Going to the library is the first place you think of whenever you are given with something to research for, regardless of what the topic is about. This place is a big part of every student’s life, even those who are already out of school. Being a student once, it is certain that you had you fair share of times when you visited your school library or the one nearby your area. But did you know that the libraries you may have visited may be of different type? Yes, libraries also come in different types, and here are seven types of libraries you can find across the world.

Academic Libraries - Generally Located on Universities and College Campuses

Since this library type is located in these places, it is palpable that the people being served by such are the faculty and students of the said institutions. But there are also academic libraries that are accessible by the public either in part or whole, specifically it is located at a public institution. This type of library is basically hosted in universities and colleges and other post-secondary education institutions.

As one of the types of libraries, its main function is to provide research support and resources for the faculty and students of its education institution. In this place, resources are mostly specific course-related, like article readings and textbook copies. Researchers may find physical or print and digital resources here. Any of the resources can be accessed by making reservations first, and is loaned out for only a short-term basis, which usually takes for about some hours only.

These libraries are also offering courses and workshops outside formal and graded coursework. These are designed to provide the tools needed by students to succeed in their chosen programs. Apart from providing educational resources, it also serves as a place quite space where students can study within the campus.

Children’s Libraries

Among the types of libraries, children’s libraries are meant for young readers. It provides special collections of books and is found within public libraries, but in separate rooms. In some instances, it occupies an entire wing or floor in bigger libraries. It primary purpose is to make children informed about the world’s literature and develop love for the activity of reading.

There are also related services offered in these libraries, which includes storytelling sessions designed for children from infants to preschoolers. There are also available after-school programs offered. All these services are offered with the purpose of inspiring children to read and love books and promote early literacy skills. PAWS to READ is among the most popular reading programs these libraries have for children, which is inspired from the fact that animals have that calming influence that can significantly help in helping children have confidence and develop love for reading.

National Libraries – Where Several Significant, Rare and Valuable Works are Found

As one of the types of libraries, a national library is established to serve as a national storehouse of information, which also comes with the right of Legal Deposit. It is a legal requirement requiring publishers within the country to give a copy of each of their publication to the library.

Compared to public libraries, this type only rarely allows individuals to have their collection of books borrowed. The first every national libraries the world has had origins concerning royal collections. Today, most national libraries are cooperating with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ National Libraries Section. The purpose of these is to define as well as promote their common standards, get updated of their common tasks and execute projects to fulfill their duties. 


Public Lending Libraries

It is the type of library that was established to provide services that are widely accessible for the general public. Any citizens possessing an active library card have the opportunity to use a library system’s library branches. But citizens who are not member of their county’s library system may only be able to access their city’s library.

Like most of the types of libraries, most of the materials and resources available in a public lending library are permitted for borrowing. Although borrowing is permitted, only a limited number of materials can be loaned. There is a time limit on until when the materials can be borrowed. The library staff is the one responsible deciding on both occasions. Most of these libraries are also acting as community organizations designed to provide free events and services to the public. Some of which are toddler story time and reading groups. As a public library, it is being protected as well as funded by the people or public it serves.

Reference Libraries

The primary difference of this library type is the books are not allowed to be borrowed along with other items. Materials found at these libraries are only allowed for reading inside. The unique advantage of a reference library is there are materials found there that are historical and one if its kind. People typically use this library type for research purposes, like at universities. Some good examples of reference libraries in the world are Oxford University’s Bodleian Library and London’s British Library. These places may also have areas they call as reading rooms, where common reference books are found. Such examples are dictionaries together with periodicals and newspapers.

Research Libraries

This library type is a place that holds a collection of materials concerning one or several more subjects. As a research library, it serves as a place that supports scientific or scholarly research. Materials found here include primary and secondary sources. Considering the other types of libraries, a research library may also serve as a national or academic library. As for the last type of library, it may feature its own research library. There are also a number of the largest public libraries in the world that are considered as this type. Even a large university library may also be regarded as a research library. Whichever the case is, all materials in these libraries are not offered for lent and can only be used inside.

Special Libraries

This is the last of the types of libraries that can be found in the world. A special library is a category where all the other libraries not named belongs. Examples of these are those libraries maintained within public organizations and private businesses, like research laboratories, government agencies and departments, churches, museums and hospitals.

These libraries are established for the consumption of these organization’s employees when conducing a specialized research that relates to their work. As for whether it can be accessed by the public, it would depend on the institution. Compared to the other types of libraries, the librarians that are employed to take care of the transactions in the place are mostly specialists from the institutions. This is especially the case with more specialized institutions, like research laboratories and law firms.