Libraries had come a long way from the very beginning to the present day. The word Library derives from the Latin word 'liber' which means book.
There are two different types of libraries. One - a lending library - which allows members to borrow books. Two - a reference library - where you can only use references on the premises.
At first libraries were only for stocking books but times have changes. Nowadays the modern lending libraries stocking music cassettes, records and compact discs, films and video tapes, and often prints, paintings and toys. Some libraries even provide Internet, and word processors equipment with the latest software.
But let us go back to the beginning of the Library.
The beginning or start of libraries lays in the 3rd millennium BC. The Babylonians inscribed and stored information on clay tablets.
The Greeks in the 4th century BC kept a collection of writing in their temples.
In 340 BC great libraries were established and were widely known and visited by scholars. The best know Greek library was of Aristotle.
At the same time a library in Alexandria, Egypt became so famous that it is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
In Europe, mainly the monasteries established libraries and studies. Therefore, reading, writing, books and knowledge was much centralised to only certain places.
When printing was developed it spread literacy and libraries started to be more and more in demand.
Libraries were opened to a wider public in the 19th century. The philanthropists Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) supported the public lending libraries to help the working class to learn reading, writing and improve their knowledge.
As literacy was spreading, so was better education. The libraries were high in demand. The increase of leisure time also increased the demand on fiction. Fictions are two-thirds of any library.
The largest library is in the USA - Library of Congress - in Washington, DC. It has around 110 million items and of that more than 16 million books.
|LIBRARY OF CONGRESS|