A library is a collection of books and other reference materials, and often features a help desk. Many libraries, though not all, make at least some of their books available for borrowing, so readers can use them at home, over a period of days or weeks.
Etymology of the word
The word is derived from Latin liber, which means "book." Derivations from the Greek Bibliothek (from Biblos, book) are used in at least German, French, Spanish, and Swedish. Other languages, such as Icelandic, Finnish, and Estonian, use words that derive from their own words for book (Bokasafn, Kirjasto, and Ramattukogu, respectively).
Basic tasks in library management include the planning of acquistion (which materials should we acquire?), library classification, preservation of materials (especially rare and fragile materials such as MSS), borrowing, and developing and administering library computer systems. More long-term issues include the planning of the construction of new libraries or extensions to existing ones.
Some famous libraries
We need prose sentences here, not just a list.
- Library of Alexandria in ancient Egypt
- Library of Congress in Washington DC
- British Library in London
- Bibliotheque National in Paris
- Bodelian Library at Oxford University
- Fisher Library at the University of Sydney (largest in the Southern Hemisphere)
Most of the countries of the world have their own National Libraries.