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Main article: Library

Celsus Library was built in 135 AD and could house around 12,000 scrolls.

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 ancient world, the maintaining of a library was usually (but not exclusively) the privilege of a wealthy individual. These libraries could have been either private or public, i.e. for people who were interested in using them. The difference from a modern public library lies in the fact that they were usually not funded from public sources. It is estimated that in the city of Rome at the end of the 3rd century there were around 30 public libraries. Public libraries also existed in other cities of the ancient Mediterranean region (for example, Library of Alexandria).[30] Later, in the Middle Ages, monasteries and universities had also libraries that could be accessible to general public. Typically not the whole collection was available to public, the books could not be borrowed and often were chained to reading stands to prevent theft.

The beginning of modern public library begins around 15th century when individuals started to donate books to towns.[31] The growth of a public library system in the United States started in the late 19th century and was much helped by donations from Andrew Carnegie. This reflected classes in a society: The poor or the middle class had to access most books through a public library or by other means while the rich could afford to have a private library built in their homes. In the United States the Boston Public Library 1852 Report of the Trustees established the justification for the public library as a tax-supported institution intended to extend educational opportunity and provide for general culture.[32]

The advent of paperback books in the 20th century led to an explosion of popular publishing. Paperback books made owning books affordable for many people. Paperback books often included works from genres that had previously been published mostly in pulp magazines. As a result of the low cost of such books and the spread of bookstores filled with them (in addition to the creation of a smaller market of extremely cheap used paperbacks) owning a private library ceased to be a status symbol for the rich.

In library and booksellers' catalogues, it is common to include an abbreviation such as "Crown 8vo" to indicate the paper size from which the book is made.

When rows of books are lined on a book holder, bookends are sometimes needed to keep them from slanting.

Identification and classification

ISBN with barcode

During the 20th century, librarians were concerned about keeping track of the many books being added yearly to the Gutenberg Galaxy. Through a global society called the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), they devised a series of tools including the International Standard Bibliographic Description (ISBD). Each book is specified by an International Standard Book Number, or ISBN, which is unique to every edition of every book produced by participating publishers, worldwide. It is managed by the ISBN Society. An ISBN has four parts: the first part is the country code, the second the publisher code, and the third the title code. The last part is a check digit, and can take values from 0–9 and X (10). The EAN Barcodes numbers for books are derived from the ISBN by prefixing 978, for Bookland, and calculating a new check digit.

Commercial publishers in industrialized countries generally assign ISBNs to their books, so buyers may presume that the ISBN is part of a total international system, with no exceptions. However, many government publishers, in industrial as well as developing countries, do not participate fully in the ISBN system, and publish books which do not have ISBNs. A large or public collection requires a catalogue. Codes called "call numbers" relate the books to the catalogue, and determine their locations on the shelves. Call numbers are based on a Library classification system. The call number is placed on the spine of the book, normally a short distance before the bottom, and inside. Institutional or national standards, such as ANSI/NISO Z39.41 - 1997, establish the correct way to place information (such as the title, or the name of the author) on book spines, and on "shelvable" book-like objects, such as containers for DVDsvideo tapes and software.

Books on library shelves with bookends, and call numbers visible on the spines

One of the earliest and most widely known systems of cataloguing books is the Dewey Decimal System. Another widely known system is the Library of Congress Classification system. Both systems are biased towards subjects which were well represented in US libraries when they were developed, and hence have problems handling new subjects, such as computing, or subjects relating to other cultures.[citation needed]Information about books and authors can be stored in databases like online general-interest book databasesMetadata, which means "data about data" is information about a book. Metadata about a book may include its title, ISBN or other classification number (see above), the names of contributors (author, editor, illustrator) and publisher, its date and size, the language of the text, its subject matter, etc.

Classification systems

Bliss bibliographic classification (BC)Chinese Library Classification (CLC)Colon ClassificationDewey Decimal Classification (DDC)Harvard-Yenching ClassificationLibrary of Congress Classification (LCC)New Classification Scheme for Chinese LibrariesUniversal Decimal Classification (UDC)


Aside from the primary purpose of reading them, books are also used for other ends:

A book can be an artistic artifact, a piece of art; this is sometimes known as an artists' book.A book may be evaluated by a reader or professional writer to create a book review.A book may be read by a group of people to use as a spark for social or academic discussion, as in a book club.A book may be studied by students as the subject of a writing and analysis exercise in the form of a book report.Books are sometimes used for their exterior appearance to decorate a room, such as a study.

Paper and conservation

Main article: Conservation and restoration of books, manuscripts, documents and ephemera

Halfbound book with leather and marbled paper.

Paper was first made in China as early as 200 BC, and reached Europe through Muslim territories. At first made of rags, the industrial revolution changed paper-making practices, allowing for paper to be made out of wood pulp. Papermaking in Europe began in the 11th century, although vellum was also common there as page material up until the beginning of 16th century, vellum being the more expensive and durable option. Printers or publishers would often issue the same publication on both materials, to cater to more than one market.

Paper made from wood pulp became popular in the early 20th century, because it was cheaper than linen or abaca cloth-based papers. Pulp-based paper made books less expensive to the general public. This paved the way for huge leaps in the rate of literacy in industrialised nations, and enabled the spread of information during the Second Industrial Revolution.

Pulp paper, however, contains acid which eventually destroys the paper from within. Earlier techniques for making paper used limestone rollers, which neutralized the acid in the pulp. Books printed between 1850 and 1950 are primarily at risk; more recent books are often printed on acid-free or alkaline paper. Libraries today have to consider mass deacidification of their older collections in order to prevent decay.

Stability of the climate is critical to the long-term preservation of paper and book material.[33] Good air circulation is important to keep fluctuation in climate stable. The HVAC system should be up to date and functioning efficiently. Light is detrimental to collections. Therefore, care should be given to the collections by implementing light control. General housekeeping issues can be addressed, including pest control. In addition to these helpful solutions, a library must also make an effort to be prepared if a disaster occurs, one that they cannot control. Time and effort should be given to create a concise and effective disaster plan to counteract any damage incurred through "acts of God" therefore an emergency management plan should be in place.

See also


^ "Books of the world, stand up and be counted! All 129,864,880 of you.". Inside Google Books. August 5, 2010. Retrieved August 15, 2010. After we exclude serials, we can finally count all the books in the world. There are 129,864,880 of them. At least until Sunday.^ Curtis, George (2011). The Law of Cybercrimes and Their Investigations. p. 161.^ "The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead". The New York Times. September 22, 2015. Retrieved October 8, 2015.^ "Book". Retrieved November 6, 2010.^ "Northvegr - Holy Language Lexicon". November 3, 2008. Archived from the original on November 3, 2008. Retrieved December 30, 2016.^ Leila Avrin. Scribes, Script and Books, p. 173.^ Bischoff, Bernhard (1990). Latin palaeography antiquity and the Middle Ages. Dáibhí ó Cróinin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 11. ISBN 0-521-36473-6.^ Avrin, Leila (1991). Scribes, script, and books: the book arts from antiquity to the Renaissance. New York, New York: American Library Association; The British Library. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-8389-0522-7.^ Dard HunterPapermaking: History and Technique of an Ancient Craft New ed. Dover Publications 1978, p. 12.^ Leila Avrin. Scribes, Script and Books, pp. 144–145.^ The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature. Edd. Frances Young, Lewis Ayres, Andrew Louth, Ron White. Cambridge University Press 2004, pp. 8–9.^ Leila Avrin. Scribes, Script and Books, pp. 207–208.^ Theodore MaynardSaint Benedict and His Monks. Staples Press Ltd 1956, pp. 70–71.^ Martin D. Joachim. Historical Aspects of Cataloguing and Classification. Haworth Press 2003, p. 452.^ Edith Diehl. Bookbinding: Its Background and Technique. Dover Publications 1980, pp. 14–16.^ Bernhard Bischoff. Latin Palaeography, pp. 16–17.^ Paul Saenger. Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading. Stanford University Press 1997.^ Bernhard Bischoff. Latin Palaeography, pp. 42–43.^ W. Durant, "The Age of Faith", New York 1950, p. 236^ S.E. Al-Djazairi "The Golden Age of Islamic Civilization", Manchester 2996, p. 200^ Edmund Burke (June 2009). "Islam at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity". Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawaii Press20 (2): 165–186 [43]. doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045.^ Edmund Burke (June 2009). "Islam at the Center: Technological Complexes and the Roots of Modernity". Journal of World HistoryUniversity of Hawaii Press20 (2): 165–186 [44]. doi:10.1353/jwh.0.0045.^ Johs. Pedersen, "The Arabic Book", Princeton University Press, 1984, p. 59^ Clapham, Michael, "Printing" in A History of Technology, Vol 2. From the Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution, edd. Charles Singer et al. (Oxford 1957), p. 377. Cited from Elizabeth L. EisensteinThe Printing Press as an Agent of Change (Cambridge University, 1980).^ Bowker Reports Traditional U.S. Book Production Flat in 2009 Archived January 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.^ Gary B. Shelly; Joy L. Starks (6 January 2011). Microsoft Publisher 2010: Comprehensive. Cengage Learning. p. 559. ISBN 1-133-17147-8.^ Rainie, Lee; Zickuhr, Kathryn; Purcell, Kristen; Madden, Mary; Brenner, Joanna (2012-04-04). "The rise of e-reading"Pew Internet Libraries. Retrieved 2017-02-02.^ "What is an e-book". Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved December 30, 2016.^ Edwin Mcdowell (October 30, 1989). "The Media Business; Publishers Worry After Fiction Sales Weaken"New York Times. Retrieved January 25, 2008.^ Miriam A. Drake, Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science (Marcel Dekker, 2003), "Public Libraries, History".^ Miriam A. Drake, Encyclopedia of Library, "Public Libraries, History".^ McCook, Kathleen de la Peña (2011), Introduction to Public Librarianship, 2nd ed., p. 23 New York, Neal-Schuman.^ Patkus, Beth (2003). "Assessing Preservation Needs, A Self-Survey Guide". Andover: Northeast Document Conservation Center.

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