a. A place in which literary and artistic materials, such as books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, prints, records, and tapes, are kept for reading, reference, or lending. b. A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged. c. A room in a private home for such a collection. d. An institution or foundation maintaining such a collection. A commercial establishment that lends books for a fee. A series or set of books issued by a publisher. A collection of recorded data or tapes arranged for ease of use. A set of things similar to a library in appearance, function, or organization: a library of computer programs. The Supreme Court Library has evolved into a significant collection of materials capable of supporting the most sophisticated legal research. The library was created by a congressional act of 1832, providing that law books in the Library of Congress be separated from other works and that a law library be established for the Supreme Court justices. This statute also gave the justices power to promulgate rules for the use of the library. In 1832 the library contained 2,011 volumes. The Supreme Court's librarian, Henry Deforest Clarke, was appointed in March 1887. A century later, the current librarian administers an institution that contains half a million volumes and has access to databases and other modern library technology. The library's collections are similar to those of a large law school library, including comprehensive coverage of the primary legal materials of the United States and each of the fifty states. The librarian, who is appointed by the chief justice, has the authority to choose assistants and to acquire such books, pamphlets, periodicals, and microfilm as required by the Court for its use and for the needs of its bar. The library is open to the personnel of the Court, members of the bar of the Court, members of Congress, and attorneys of the federal government. The collection is noncirculating, except to justices and members of their legal staffs. The present library facility dates from 1935, when the Court first occupied a building of its own. The main collection is located on the third floor of the Supreme Court Building. The librarian is also responsible for a separate second‐floor library used by the justices, the collections of material and databases located in justices' chambers, and a 15,000‐ square‐foot library located nearby in the Thurgood Marshall Building. The third‐floor library consists of two rooms; the reading room contains the online catalog and circulation and reference areas. This is where the library houses its primary collections. The other room is the records and briefs room. It houses the most complete collection of the Court's records and briefs from 1832 (when written briefs were first required) to the present. What distinguishes libraries in the United States from all others in the world is their emphasis on access. While libraries in many countries collect and preserve those

books and other materials that document national heritage, libraries in the United Sates have focused on building collections to meet their patrons' needs. Consequently, American libraries are unrivaled in their ease of use. But the history of the library cannot be told in a single story because there are three distinct types in the United States: academic, special or corporate, and public. Academic libraries are subsets of educational institutions, and their histories reflect the principles and philosophies of their parent organizations. Similarly, the history of special libraries, established by individuals with a particular interest in certain topics, or of corporate libraries, created to support researchers in an organization, parallel the histories of their founders and funders. Only the public library has a history of its own. University libraries were the first to appear in America (beginning with the Harvard College Library in 1638). The availability of books for the young men who attended universities was an indication that the new nation valued education and knowledge. The presence of books was valued much more than services, but books were scarce, and more than a few British travelers wrote back to their fellow countrymen that the collections found in the United States were not worthy of the name of a library. Since the librarians were most often faculty members who had the assignment of looking after the books, university libraries were poorly funded and unevenly administered. The history of libraries in America is essentially the story of public libraries. Public libraries grew in countless communities as a response to a growing democracy, but it was not until the nineteenth century that libraries became ubiquitous. The public library that developed in the United States in the late nineteenth century was a prime example of the democratic institutions created to assimilate and integrate the diverse ethnic and cultural groups that had come to constitute America. By 1900 there were approximately two thousand public libraries in the United States. Most were either social libraries, supported by individual philanthropists with a special interest in the community, or subscription libraries, supported by fees paid by those patrons who wished to use the circulating collections. It is no coincidence that the public library came onto the scene at the same time that large corporations came into existence. Mercantile libraries, especially in the East, were founded by and run for the benefit of businesspeople, and they became a source of great pride for many cities during the nineteenth century. Most library historians who have studied these institutions argue that the libraries served, primarily, an educational purpose. The self-improvement campaign that was evident in the middle class during much of the nineteenth century was exemplified by the belief that no knowledge should be foreign to the merchant, and therefore that the reading of books, newspapers, and magazines touching on any subject was professionally useful. These mercantile libraries also became the locus of informational lectures on a wide range of topics. The Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, established in 1886, exemplified the type of library that was becoming common in many cities. Successful individual businessmen— such as Enoch Pratt, who called the library a symbol of democracy—established libraries

in an effort to repay the community. The wealthy and well educated men who served on Pratt's board of trustees proclaimed that his new library was to be an institution "where neither wealth nor poverty, high nor low position in society nor any other distinction entitles the individual to special privileges before the law." Even if the rules were applied universally, the library was more a symbol of personal success than an open institution for information. The library in Baltimore was built as a closed-stacks institution, which could be used only with permission. Letters of reference had to be submitted to the head librarian. The modern public library—the type that emphasizes access to information—emerged first in the guise of the Boston Public Library, established in 1852 as the first taxsupported municipal library. Even though it is popular among library historians to refer to the "public library movement," states and communities were reluctant to tax themselves to provide free library services. In 1849 New Hampshire was the first state to pass enabling legislation that allowed communities to levy taxes for public libraries. It took another fifty years for thirty-seven additional states to pass similar legislation. Andrew Carnegie's Philanthropy did more than anything else to accelerate the development of public libraries in towns across the country. In 1881 Carnegie made the first of a series of gifts that would link his name permanently to public library buildings. Motivations for Carnegie's philanthropy are sharply debated. Some argue that Carnegie's own experience as a self-made man led him to the recognition that access to books can lead to education, and, ultimately, wealth. Other historians have argued that Carnegie used library development as a form of social control, seeing in the library a way to instill standards of behavior and an appreciation of culture. Whatever the reason, between 1881 and 1919 Andrew Carnegie made grants for the construction of 1,679 public libraries in the United States. His particular form of philanthropy had enormous influence: Carnegie gave money to municipal governments to build library buildings. The town or city had to promise to buy books and provide library staff. The latter requirement resulted in the growth of library education programs in universities and the creation of a professional organization—the American Library Association—that would campaign for universal library service in the United States. The topic most forcefully debated by the new organization was the nature of library collections. Many of the early professionals who worked in public libraries recognized that most readers had the greatest interest in books and magazines that entertained. Yet, the leaders of the profession argued that the role of the librarian was to encourage the reading of "good" books. The founders of the Boston Public Library, Edward Everett and George Ticknor, held opposing views on the type of collections the public library should contain. Ticknor believed that collecting and circulating the "pleasant literature of the day" would result in the cultivation of higher tastes in reading among the library patrons. Everett, who ultimately lost the battle, argued that the library should be a reference (noncirculating) library for scholarly purposes. The compromise reached at the Boston Public Library—a compromise between the "best books" and "the best that people will read"—was copied by libraries across the country throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

From the mid-nineteenth century until 1956, public libraries were guided by state legislation and professional principles. Reference services and children's services grew as more funding was applied to public libraries. In 1956 the federal government began to support the expansion of library services into rural communities. Federal funds were made available for professional training, construction of new library facilities, and research into library problems. By the 1970s, states began to think in terms of developing uniform library services that were administered by the main state library. Since then, technology-based networks have allowed states to offer more library services at less cost. In the opening years of the twenty-first century, one aspect of the public library that is assuming more importance is its role as a place where members of a community can come together. Computer-based services are offered to all socioeconomic groups, but as home computers become more popular, the public library increasingly serves as a social safety net by ensuring access to information for those from lower economic levels, seeing this access as a right of all citizens. At the same time, many of the largest university libraries are deeply engaged in developing digital, or virtual, libraries, making resources for research and scholarship available through the Internet. To modern-day librarians, building collections of material that are available to anyone who has access to a computer is a natural extension of earlier services. It is uncertain how the availability of Web-based research materials will affect the concept of the library, but it does cause one to reflect on the extent to which the history of the library, until now, has been a history of buildings. As libraries move into a new era, there will be greater emphasis on information services available to scholars, researchers, and the general public. Modern libraries, in addition to providing patrons with access to books and other materials, often publish lists of accessions and may maintain a readers' advisory service. Interlibrary loan services, lecture series, public book reviews, and the maintenance of special juvenile collections are other important recent developments. Three systems of book classification are widely used to facilitate access to library collections: the Dewey decimal system of Melvil Dewey, the system of Charles Ammi Cutter, and the Library of Congress system (see catalog). Since the 1930s public library systems have had several technological tools at their disposal, including microphotographic techniques for copying, computer data banks enabling the storage of far more information and the search of indexes and catalogs far more quickly than ever before, and computer networks that provide instant access to materials in libraries throughout the world and to the Internet and its increasingly rich resources. Major university libraries in the United States must work to meet an enormous demand for research materials and spend nearly $5 million a year for books and related supplies such as binding materials. Preservation of pulp-based paper, which becomes brittle after a few decades, has become a major drain on library resources; many libraries will no longer acquire books that are not printed on acid-free paper. Such libraries typically have private endowments as well as receive federal and state support. Other libraries throughout the world operate on far smaller budgets, frequently with severe financial handicaps.

The architectural design of modern public libraries in the United States has placed the highest priority on functionalism. Outstanding examples of library construction include the central housing for collections in New York City (1911), Los Angeles (1926; major renovation 1993), Baltimore (1932), and San Francisco (1996) and university buildings at Columbia (1896; no longer a library) and Harvard (1915). Modern buildings tend toward modular construction and smaller, separate housing for special collections.

Evolution The earliest known library was a collection of clay tablets in Babylonia in the 21st cent. B.C. Ancient Egyptian temple libraries are known through the Greek writers. Diodorus Siculus describes the library of Ramses III, c.1200 B.C. The extensively cataloged library of Assurbanipal (d. 626? B.C.) in Nineveh was the most noted before that at Alexandria. The temple at Jerusalem contained a sacred library. The first public library in Greece was established in 330 B.C., in order to preserve accurate examples of the work of the great dramatists. The most famous libraries of antiquity were those of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy I, which contained some 700,000 Greek scrolls. The library at Pergamum, founded or expanded by Eumenes II, rivaled those at Alexandria. The first Roman libraries were brought from Greece, Asia Minor, and Syria as a result of conquests in the 1st and 2d cent. B.C. Caius Asinius Pollio established (c.40 B.C.) the first public library in Rome, but the great public libraries of the Roman Empire were the Octavian (destroyed A.D. 80) and the Palatine (destroyed c.A.D. 190) and the more important Ulpian library, founded during the reign of Trajan. In addition to these public collections, there were many fine private libraries by the time the Roman Republic was ended in 27 B.C. Of these there remain only fragments of one at Herculaneum. The early Christian libraries were in monasteries; the Benedictines amassed a fine collection at Monte Cassino. The Romans had brought book collections to the British Isles, but important early monastic libraries were founded in York, Wearmouth, Canterbury, and elsewhere in England and Ireland by Anglo-Saxon monks. Some of the finest manuscript illumination was produced in these libraries. On the Continent, St. Columban and other missionaries founded monastic libraries in the 6th cent. Most of the ancient Greek and Latin texts that have survived until modern times were preserved in medieval European monastery libraries. The Arabs in the 9th to 15th cent. collected and preserved many libraries, and the Jews and the Byzantines also developed fine libraries during the medieval period. In the 14th and 15th cent. Charles V of France, Lorenzo de' Medici, and Frederick, duke of Urbino, all formed fine libraries; part of the Urbino library is now in the Vatican Library. In the 15th cent. the Vatican Library, the oldest public library in Europe, was formed. In 1475, Platina, as its first librarian, made a catalog that included 2,527 volumes. In 1257 the Sorbonne library at Paris was founded, and in 1525 the erection of the Laurentian Library

in Florence, designed by Michelangelo, was begun. Many of the great university libraries (e.g., Bologna, Prague, Oxford, and Heidelberg) were opened in the 14th cent. In the United States a circulating library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, was chartered in 1732 on the initiative of Benjamin Franklin. A public library had, however, been opened in Boston as early as 1653 (see Boston Public Library). Other early subscription libraries included the Boston Athenaeum, the New York Society Library, and the Charleston (S.C.) Library Society. In 1833 the first tax-supported library in the country opened at Peterborough, N.H. The American Library Association was formed in 1876, and this organization spurred improvements in library methods and in the training of librarians. Libraries in the United States and Great Britain benefited greatly from the philanthropy of Andrew Carnegie, who gave more than $65 million for public library buildings in the United States alone and strengthened local interest by making the grants contingent upon public support. Among the innovations of the late 19th cent. were free public access to books (involving elaborate classification schemes) and branch libraries or deposit stations for books in many parts of cities; in the early 20th cent. traveling libraries, or “bookmobiles,” began to take books to readers in rural or outlying areas. Notable Libraries Among the chief modern public and university libraries are the Bibliothèque nationale and the Mazarine, Paris; the British Museum, London; the Bodleian Library, Oxford; the Vatican Library, Rome; the Ambrosian Library, Milan; the Laurentian Library, Florence; the Russian State Library, Moscow; the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif. (see under Huntington, Henry Edwards); the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; the New York Public Library; the libraries of Chicago, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and other major American universities; and the Newbery and John Crerar libraries in Chicago. There are several sorts of libraries in the United States and elsewhere that exist apart from the public and university systems. Three major categories of these are private libraries, usually housing special collections, e.g., the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City of rare books in the humanities and the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. (see under Folger, Henry Clay); presidential libraries, which contain the papers of past presidents not held in the Library of Congress, e.g., the Jimmy Carter Library, Atlanta, Ga., the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kans., the Gerald R. Ford Library, Ann Arbor, Mich., the Rutherford B. Hayes Library, Fremont, Ohio, the Herbert Hoover Library, West Branch, Iowa, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library at the Univ. of Texas, Austin, the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library, Boston, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N.Y., and the Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo.; and industrial libraries formed by many corporations to house research works relevant to their business. The first libraries were composed, for the most part, of unpublished records, a particular type of library called archives. Archaeological findings from the ancient city-states of Sumer have revealed temple rooms full of clay tablets in

cuneiform script. These archives were made up almost completely of the records of commercial transactions or inventories, with only a few documents touching theological matters, historical records or legends. Things were much the same in the government and temple records on papyrus of Ancient Egypt. The earliest discovered private archives were kept at Ugarit; besides correspondence and inventories, texts of myths may have been standardized practice-texts for teaching new scribes. There is also evidence of libraries at Nippur about 1900 B.C. and those at Nineveh about 700 B.C. showing a library classification system.[1]

Libraries in Persian Empire
During the Achaemenid Persian Empire (558–330 BC) the religious and scientific books of Persia since Zoroaster, were archived in the libraries of "Ganj-i-hapigan" in Takht-iSuleiman and "Dez-i-Napesht" in Persepolis.[2] These books were probably in the fields of philosophy, astronomy, alchemy and medical sciences, the fields in which Magus of Persia were master in. After the invasion of Persia by Alexander the great all these books were burned. It has been mentioned in the book Arda Viraf that [3]: "He came to Persia with severe cruelty and war and devastation... and destroyed the metropolis and empire, and made them desolate... all the avesta and zand, written upon prepared cow-skins and with gold ink, was deposited in the archives... he burned them up."

Libraries in the Hellenic world and Rome
Private or personal libraries made up of non-fiction and fiction books (as opposed to the state or institutional records kept in archives) first appeared in classical Greece, in the 5th century BC. The celebrated book collectors of Hellenistic Antiquity were listed in the late second century in Deipnosophistae:[4] Polycrates of Samos and Pisistratus who was tyrant of Athens, and Euclides who was himself also an Athenian[5] and Nicorrates of Samos and even the kings of Pergamos, and Euripides the poet and Aristotle the philosopher, and Nelius his librarian; from whom they say our countryman[6] Ptolemæus, surnamed Philadelphus, bought them all, and transported them, with all those which he had collected at Athens and at Rhodes to his own beautiful Alexandria.[7] All these libraries were Greek; the cultivated Hellenized diners in Deipnosophistae pass over the libraries of Rome in silence. By the time of Augustus there were public libraries near the forums of Rome: there were libraries in the Porticus Octaviae near the Theatre of Marcellus, in the temple of Apollo Palatinus, and in the Biblioteca Ulpiana in the Forum of Trajan. The state archives were kept in a structure on the slope between the Roman Forum and the Capitoline Hill.

Private libraries appeared during the late republic: Seneca inveighed against libraries fitted out for show by non-reading owners who scarcely read their titles in the course of a lifetime, but displayed the scrolls in bookcases (armaria) of citrus wood inlaid with ivory that ran right to the ceiling: "by now, like bathrooms and hot water, a library is got up as standard equipment for a fine house (domus).[8] Libraries were amenities suited to a villa, such as Cicero's at Tusculum, Maecenas's several villas, or Livy the Younger's, all described in surving letters. At the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, apparently the villa of Caesar's father-in-law, the Greek library has been partly preserved in volcanic ash; archaeologists speculate that a Latin library, kept separate from the Greek one, may await discovery at the site. In the West, the first public libraries were established under the Roman Empire as each succeeding emperor strove to open one or many which outshone that of his predecessor. Unlike the Greek libraries, readers had direct access to the scrolls, which were kept on shelves built into the walls of a large room. Reading or copying was normally done in the room itself. The surviving records give only a few instances of lending features. As a rule Roman public libraries were bilingual: they had a Latin room and a Greek room. Most of the large Roman baths were also cultural centers, built from the start with a library, with the usual two room arrangement for Greek and Latin texts. Libraries were filled with parchment scrolls as at Lebrary of Pergamum and on papyrus scrolls as at Alexandria: export of prepared writing materials was a staple of commerce. There were a few institutional or royal libraries like the Library of Alexandria which were open to an educated public, but on the whole collections were private. In those rare cases where it was possible for a scholar to consult library books there seems to have been no direct access to the stacks. In all recorded cases the books were kept in a relatively small room where the staff went to get them for the readers, who had to consult them in an adjoining hall or covered walkway. The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was once the largest library in the ancient world. In 642 after the Byzantine army was defeated at the Battle of Heliopolis the Muslim commander asked the caliph Umar what to do with the library. He gave the famous answer: "They will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous." The Arabs subsequently burned the books to heat bathwater for the soldiers.[9] In the sixth century, at the very close of the Classical period, the great libraries of the Mediterranean world remained those of Constantinople and Alexandria. Cassiodorus, minister to Theodoric, established a monastery at Vivarium in the heel of Italy with a library where he attempted to bring Greek learning to Latin readers and preserve texts both sacred and secular for future generations. As its unofficial librarian, Cassiodorus not only collected as many manuscripts as he could, he also wrote treatises aimed at instructing his monks in the proper uses of reading and methods for copying texts accurately. In the end, however, the library at Vivarium was dispersed and lost within a century.

Through Origen and especially the scholarly presbyter Pamphilus of Caesarea, an avid collector of books of Scripture, the theological school of Caesarea won a reputation for having the most extensive ecclesiastical library of the time, containing more than 30,000 manuscripts: Gregory Nazianzus, Basil the Great, Jerome and others came to study there. With education firmly in Christian hands, however, many of the works of classical antiquity were no longer considered useful. Old texts were washed off the valuable parchment and papyrus, which were reused, forming palimpsests. As scrolls gave way to the new book-form, the codex, which was universally used for Christian literature, old manuscript scrolls were cut apart and used to stiffen leather bindings.

In Persia many libraries were established by the Zoroastrian elite and the Persian Kings. Among the first ones was a royal library in Isfahan. One of the most important public libraries established around 667 AD in south-western Iran was the Library of Gundishapur. It was a part of a bigger scientific complex located at the Academy of Gundishapur. Upon the rise of Islam, libraries in newly Islamic lands knew a brief period of expansion in the Middle East, North Africa, Sicily and Spain. Like the Christian libraries, they mostly contained books which were made of paper, and took a codex or modern form instead of scrolls; they could be found in mosques, private homes, and universities. In Aleppo, for example the largest and probably the oldest mosque library, the Sufiya, located at the city's Grand Umayyad Mosque, contained a large book collection of which 10,000 volumes were reportedly bequeathed by the city's most famous ruler, Prince Sayf al-Dawla.[10] Some mosques sponsored public libraries. Ibn alNadim's bibliography Fihrist demonstrates the devotion of medieval Muslim scholars to books and reliable sources; it contains a description of thousands of books circulating in the Islamic world circa 1000, including an entire section for books about the doctrines of other religions. Unfortunately, modern Islamic libraries for the most part do not hold these antique books; many were lost, destroyed by Mongols, or removed to European libraries and museums during the colonial period.[11] By the 8th century first Iranians and then Arabs had imported the craft of papermaking from China, with a paper mill already at work in Baghdad in 794. By the 9th century completely public libraries started to appear in many Islamic cities. They were called "halls of Science" or dar al-'ilm. They were each endowed by Islamic sects with the purpose of representing their tenets as well as promoting the dissemination of secular knowledge. The 9th century Abbasid Caliph al-Mutawakkil of Iraq, even ordered the construction of a ‘zawiyat qurra literally an enclosure for readers which was `lavishly furnished and equipped.' In Shiraz Adhud al-Daula (d. 983) set up a library, described by

the medieval historian, al-Muqaddasi, as`a complex of buildings surrounded by gardens with lakes and waterways. The buildings were topped with domes, and comprised an upper and a lower story with a total, according to the chief official, of 360 rooms.... In each department, catalogues were placed on a shelf... the rooms were furnished with carpets...'.[12] The libraries often employed translators and copyists in large numbers, in order to render into Arabic the bulk of the available Persian, Greek, Roman and Sanskrit non-fiction and the classics of literature. This flowering of Islamic learning ceased centuries later when learning began declining in the Islamic world, after many of these libraries were destroyed by Mongol invasions. Others were victim of wars and religious strife in the Islamic world. However, a few examples of these medieval libraries, such as the libraries of Chinguetti in West Africa, remain intact and relatively unchanged even today. Another ancient library from this period which is still operational and expanding is the Central Library of Astan Quds Razavi in the Iranian city of Mashhad, which has been operating for more than six centuries. A number of distinct features of the modern library were introduced in the Islamic world, where libraries not only served as a collection of manuscripts as was the case in ancient libraries, but also as a public library and lending library, a centre for the instruction and spread of sciences and ideas, a place for meetings and discussions, and sometimes as a lodging for scholars or boarding school for pupils. The concept of the library catalogue was also introduced in medieval Islamic libraries, where books were organized into specific genres and categories.[13] The contents of these Islamic libraries were copied by Christian monks in Muslim/Christian border areas, particularly Spain and Sicily. From there they eventually made their way into other parts of Christian Europe. These copies joined works that had been preserved directly by Christian monks from Greek and Roman originals, as well as copies Western Christian monks made of Byzantine works. The resulting conglomerate libraries are the basis of every modern library today.

Medieval Christian libraries
Medieval library design reflected the fact that these manuscripts--created via the laborintensive process of hand copying--were valuable possessions. Library architecture developed in response to the need for security. Librarians often chained books to lecterns, armaria (wooden chests), or shelves, in well-lit rooms. Despite this protectiveness, many libraries were willing to lend their books if provided with security deposits (usually money or a book of equal value). Monastic libraries lent and borrowed books from each other frequently and lending policy was often theologically grounded. For example, the Franciscan monasteries loaned books to each other without a security deposit since according to their vow of poverty only the entire order could own property. In 1212 the council of Paris condemned those monasteries that still forbade loaning books, reminding them that lending is "one of the chief works of mercy." [14] The early libraries located in monastic cloisters and associated with scriptoria were collections of lecterns with books chained to them. Shelves built above and between

back-to-back lecterns were the beginning of bookpresses. The chain was attached at the fore-edge of a book rather than to its spine. Book presses came to be arranged in carrels (perpendicular to the walls and therefore to the windows) in order to maximize lighting, with low bookcases in front of the windows. This stall system (fixed bookcases perpendicular to exterior walls pierced by closely spaced windows) was characteristic of English institutional libraries. In Continental libraries, bookcases were arranged parallel to and against the walls. This wall system was first introduced on a large scale in Spain's El Escorial.

Early modern libraries
Johannes Gutenberg's movable type innovation in the 1400s revolutionized bookmaking. From the 15th century in central and northern Italy, the assiduously assembled libraries of humanists and their enlightened patrons provided a nucleus around which an "academy" of scholars congregated in each Italian city of consequence. Cosimo de Medici in Florence established his own collection, which formed the basis of the Laurentian Library.[15] In Rome, the papal collections were brought together by Pope Nicholas V, in separate Greek and Latin libraries, and housed by Pope Sixtus IV, who consigned the Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana to the care of his librarian, the humanist Bartolomeo Platina in February 1475.[16] In the 16th century Sixtus V bisected Bramante's Cortile del Belvedere with a cross-wing to house the Apostolic Library in suitable magnificence. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries saw other privately-endowed libraries assembled in Rome: the Vallicelliana, formed from the books of Saint Filippo Neri, with other distinguished libraries such as that of Cesare Baronio, the Biblioteca Angelica founded by the Augustinian Angelo Rocca, which was the only truly public library in CounterReformation Rome; the Biblioteca Alessandrina with which Pope Alexander VII endowed the University of Rome; the Biblioteca Casanatense of the Cardinal Girolamo Casanate; and finally the Biblioteca Corsiniana founded by the bibliophile Clement XII Corsini and his nephew Cardinal Neri Corsini, still housed in Palazzo Corsini in via della Lungara. A number of factors combined to create a "golden age of libraries" between 1600 and 1700: The quantity of books had gone up, as the cost had gone down, there was a renewal in the interest of classical literature and culture, nationalism was encouraging nations to build great libraries, universities were playing a more prominent role in education, and renaissance thinkers and writers were producing great works. Some of the more important libraries include the Bodleian Library at Oxford, the Library of the British Museum, the Mazarine Library in Paris, and the National Central Library in Italy, the Prussian State Library, the German State Library, the M.E. Saltykov-Schedrin State Public Library of St. Petersburg, and many more.[17]

Public libraries
The earliest example in England of a library to be endowed for the benefit of users who were not members of an institution such as a cathedral or college was the Francis Trigge Chained Library in Grantham, Lincolnshire, established in 1598. The library still exists

and can justifiably claim to be the forerunner of later public library systems.The beginning of the modern, free, open access libraries really got its start in the U.K. in 1847. Parliament appointed a committee, led by, William Ewart, on Public Libraries to consider the necessity of establishing libraries through the nation: In 1849 their report noted the poor condition of library service, it recommended the establishment of free public libraries all over the country, and it led to the Public Libraries Act in 1850, which allowed all cities with populations exceeding 10,000 to levy taxes for the support of public libraries. Another important act was the 1870 Public School Law, which increased literacy, thereby the demand for libraries, so by 1877, more than 75 cities had established free libraries, and by 1900 the number had reached 300.[18] This finally marks the start of the public library as we know it. And these acts led to similar laws in other countries, most notably the U.S. 1876 is a well known year in the history of librarianship. The American Library Association was formed, as well as The American Library Journal, Melvil Dewey published his decimal based system of classification, and the United States Bureau of Education published its report, "Public libraries in the United States of America; their history, condition, and management." The American Library Association continues to play a major role in libraries to this day, and Dewey's classification system, although under heavy criticism of late, still remains as the prevailing method of classification used in the United States. As the number of books in libraries increased, so did the need for compact storage and access with adequate lighting, giving birth to the stack system, which involved keeping a library's collection of books in a space separate from the reading room, an arrangement which arose in the 19th century. Book stacks quickly evolved into a fairly standard form in which the cast iron and steel frameworks supporting the bookshelves also supported the floors, which often were built of translucent blocks to permit the passage of light (but were not transparent, for reasons of modesty). With the introduction of electrical lighting, it had a huge impact on how the library operated. Also, the use of glass floors was largely discontinued, though floors were still often composed of metal grating to allow air to circulate in multi-story stacks. Ultimately, even more space was needed, and a method of moving shelves on tracks (compact shelving) was introduced to cut down on otherwise wasted aisle space. Library 2.0, a term coined in 2005, is the library's response to the challenge of Google and an attempt to meet the changing needs and wants of the users by using web 2.0 technology. Some of the aspects of Library 2.0 include, commenting, tagging, bookmarking, discussions, using social software, plug-ins, and widgets.[19] Inspired by web 2.0, it is an attempt to make the library a more user driven institution.

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