Types of Libraries: Special
MSN Encarta defines library as ‘collection of books and other informational materials made available to people for reading, study, or reference. The word library comes from liber, the Latin word for “book.” However, library collections have almost always contained a variety of materials. Contemporary libraries maintain collections that include not only printed materials such as manuscripts, books, newspapers, and magazines, but also art reproductions, films, sound and video recordings, maps, photographs, microfiches, CD-ROMs, computer software, online databases, and other media. In addition to maintaining collections within library buildings, modern libraries often feature telecommunications links that provide users with access to information at remote sites.’ (Microsoft Encarta, 2009)
Special libraries include almost any other form of librarianship, including those who serve in medical libraries, corporations, news agencies, or other special collections. The collection at held at these libraries will be specific to the industries that house that collection. The work may include solo work, such as research; corporate financing; developing a special collection for a museums, and extensive self-promotion to potential patrons.
It was during the Industrial Revolution libraries began to change and branch outside the educational boundaries, to meet industrial needs. Various organizations, industries and governmental agencies started their own private library collections. The collections the various groups started were to help them stay competitive in the fields of research and development. The collections were deemed necessary and were funded by various sources to keep them top in their field. In 1910 Nigeria established three special libraries to serve research officers at three different research companies and they were the first country to set up such libraries for research and development. By the 1990’s South Africa had over 600 special libraries to help in various fields of law, banking, agriculture, medicine, politics, and social sciences. (Microsoft Encarta, 2009) During the second half of the 20th century many places organizations and governments started their own libraries to keep a collection that would not be available in other libraries. These collections are often supported by the company, donations from outside agencies.
"Library (institution)," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2009http://encarta.msn.com © 1997-2009 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.