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July 18, 2019

A Perfect Hidden Library

A library is an organized collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing. It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or sometimes both. A library’s collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, prints, documents, and in recent time CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and many other formats. Libraries range in size from only a couple of shelves of books to several million items.

Librarians have sometimes complained that some of the library buildings which have been used to accommodate libraries have been inadequate for the demands made upon them. In general this condition may have resulted from one or more of the following causes:

An effort to erect a monumental building; most of those who commission library buildings are not librarians and their priorities may be different

To conform it to a type of architecture unsuited to library purposes

The appointment, often by competition, of an architect unschooled in the requirements of a library

Failure to consult with the librarian or with library experts

Much advancement has undoubtedly been made toward cooperation between architect and librarian, and many good designers have made library buildings their specialty, nevertheless it seems that the ideal type of library is not yet realized—the type so adapted to its purpose that it would be immediately recognized as such, as is the case with school buildings at the present time. This does not mean that library constructions should conform rigidly to a fixed standard of appearance and arrangement, but it does mean that the exterior should express as nearly as possible the purpose and functions of the interior.

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