Public library as gateways to knowledge and culture play a fundamental role in education and the society. The resources and services public library offer create opportunities for learning, support literacy and education, and help shape the new ideas and perspectives that are central to a creative and innovative society.
The role of public library in education and the society is to also help ensure an authentic record of knowledge created and accumulated by past generations. Without public library in the society, it would be difficult to advance research and human knowledge or preserve the world’s cumulative knowledge and heritage for future generations.
The primary purposes of the public library are to provide resources and services in a variety of media to meet the needs of individuals and groups for education, information and personal development including research.
Public libraries are a world-wide phenomenon. They occur in a variety of societies, in differing cultures and at different stages of development. Although the varied contexts in which they operate inevitably result in differences in the services they provide, and the way those services are delivered, they normally have characteristics in common.
A public library is an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some other form of community organization. The primary role of public library in education and the society is to provides access to knowledge, information and works of the imagination through a range of resources and services and is equally available to all members of the community regardless of race, nationality, age, gender, religion, tribe and so on. The main objectives of public library includes:
- Its society and its duty is to cater for the information and recreational needs of its users;
- To provide a harmless and elevating use of leisure;
- To be responsible for preservation and development of cultural and antiquarian heritage of the society.
- To provide up-to-date and authentic information on all subjects;
- To provide services free of cost or at nominal rates to each member of the society without any discrimination;
Role of Public Library in Education and the Society
The public library contributes to the achievement of education and societal aspirations in a number of ways, including:
1. It Preserve Cultural Heritage of the Society
The role of public library in education and the society is that it help preserving cultural heritage through recognizing the cultural importance of sharing. The stimulus to share and reuse information and knowledge comes in many guises. Perhaps the most deep-rooted of our human instincts is the desire to preserve our culture for future generations. This is one of the most important role of public library in education and the society.
Libraries are rich repositories of historically and culturally significant collections, many of which are not available anywhere else in the world. Without an appropriate copyright exception, a library could not preserve or replace a damaged work while it is still covered by copyright. Without appropriate libraries in the society, the human cultural heritage would be lost to future generations.
2. It Support Education
Public libraries are synonymous with education and offer countless learning opportunities that can fuel economic, social and cultural development.
Public library provide access to lending books, also involved in copying materials for research or private study purposes. Students cannot afford to buy every book, or pay for every television broadcast or journal they need to access for their studies. They therefore rely on the services of a library.
3. Enable Access to Tools of Information
Public libraries enable access to tools of information and education. The primary function of public libraries is the means of information and education literature (tools such as books, magazines, etc.) for meeting the information needs of local people. Compile and administer so that users can access these tools easily.
These libraries provide direct, easy, and independent access to readers for use by arranging the study material of their collections by applying new methods in cataloging, classification indexing, and documentation work and services.
4. Formal Self Education Promotion
Public libraries are an institution on which older people depend more on their education. Public libraries provide study material to increase the intelligence, knowledge, and value of such persons.
5. Provision of Useful Textual Materials
Any society is made up of individuals consisting of people related to many languages, religions, occupations and work, and many types of social and cultural groups are seen.
Public libraries provide useful textual material to all these groups for conducting their activities and at the same time, they also display films or dramas, etc. from their level and also arrange a reading room for cultural and social groups.
6. Individuals Knowledge Development
Individuals can become more powerful in their vocations and professions utilizing the information stored in public library.
Public library supply the right information to the right reader at the right time for their users keeping pace with the tremendous changes in all walk of life.
People need develop their individual knowledge by reading exploring and studying materials on their own choice to base their own thinking as preface and supplement to competent discussion.
7. Current Trends Adjustment
The impact of science and technology is effecting changes in all spheres of human life and assigns to public library role that it only can play.
Today the personal life styles are changing, the existing social order, crumbling and in a fantastic new way in day to day life.
Public libraries is the only institution which can help to adjust with the current trends to the majority of the population.
8. Self development
Public Library provides the information to the common people quickly and in-depth.
This information can help the present day world where invention and discoveries are flooding every day impelling them to have continues education for professional maturity.
Public library has an most important role to play in social education and to prepare people for social adjustment.
9. Economic development
Public library has to offer materials and services to the people to understand social phenomenon and thus live successful social life avoiding social evils. It provides opportunities to the people to understand social evils and methods to control them.
10. Cultural Development
Public Library helps cultural development in more than one way.
It can promote a keener participation, enjoyment and appreciation of arts.
It can act as cultural centre in collecting and preserving the cultural heritage of the locality and make it readily available to the people to enrich their cultural awareness.
11. It Spread Formal and Informal Education
The educational role of a library can hardly be over-emphasized, It help to spread formal and informal education, which are essential for the development of people. Public library service is necessary for the presentation of universal literacy. Public library provides the following method to spread education.
- To develop their creative and spiritual capabilities to make them more capable in their daily occupations to discharge political and social obligations and to become better members of home and community.
- To help the lifelong education on and all to furnish up to date facts and information to one and all.
- To contribute the productivity by informing top management about the latest trends in diverse enterprises by pleasing back the minds of researchers, scientists and technicians.
- To preserve the literacy remains of humanity for posterity, as vehicles of culture and as a source material for research to work for all the continued social well being as the agency in charge of all socialised recorded thoughts.
- To distribute in an unbiased and balanced way all shades of recorded views and thoughts to one and as a help in the discharge of their political functions in respect of Local, National and International affairs.
- To assist people to contribute to the growth of knowledge that such use of knowledge as will promote personal and social well-being.
12. Public Library Guarantee Access to Information
Public libraries are important because they guarantee access to information by citizens which is critical to the many social and economic challenges facing the society today. A well-supported and functional public library infrastructure can contribute to the sustainable social and economic development and the country’s national agenda.
13. Gives Opportunities to Citizens
As part of its vital role, public libraries also give opportunities to citizens who have been excluded from formal educational institutions to achieve their goals and improve their quality of life through life-long learning.
public libraries are, therefore, a cornerstone in any society. In both learning institutions and ordinary communities, they help support literacy activities among ordinary citizens and learners, offer recreational and important information needed for citizens to make informed decisions.
Citizens who are well informed are well placed to make better decisions on issues affecting them and their communities than those who are not.
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