A library funded by taxes and other public sources is called a public library. It is open to the general public and is run by library professionals and librarians. They are civil servants because their service affects the public interest.
The best thing about a public library is its collection accessible to any community member.
The readers and visitors maintain no particular distinction within its space. That is why a public library differs from a school or a research library. It empowers the literary circle of a locality.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Public Libraries 📚
✔️ Pros of Public Libraries:
- Open To All:
One of the best features of a public library is that it is open to all community members. You don’t need a particular degree or designation to enter a public library.
You may probably require a gate pass or a membership card, but you do not have to adhere to any particular standard or policy to become a public library member.
- Aided By Public Funds 💰:
These libraries are generally funded from taxes paid by ordinary people. That is the reason why they are affordable and accessible to anyone. The unique selling point of a public library is that it is free.
All you have to do is return your books within a specific time frame. Even the fine they charge is a nominal sum.
- A Huge Collection Of Books:
The Internet indeed provides all the information you need, but the smell of a book is irrevocable. The experience you gather in a library is beyond all the technical aids you seek elsewhere.
Some of the best libraries are popular for preserving antique books and editions you may not find online.
- Promote Reading:
Public libraries are local centers for avid readers and book lovers. Not only can you borrow certain books from a library, but also you can find a comfortable space to explore and read them.
You can hold literary meetings and discuss the works of various authors. All in all, a public library empowers the reading community of a locality in ways more than one.
- The Job Of A Librarian:
A library professional or a librarian has a job that offers security. He is considered a civil servant who serves the general public.
Stacks of books surround him and help the visitors find the books they need to borrow. He receives a decent salary and enjoys certain benefits.
- Research Assistance 🔍:
Public libraries are not entirely research libraries but provide research assistance. Some public libraries assist students and researchers in finding reliable reference materials, essential papers, and reference guides.
- Some Other Services:
There are public libraries that keep separate collections of DVDs, audiobooks, and even ebooks. They offer bookmobile and internet services; some even have computer labs.
A board of prominent directors operates a public library. National or state governments and patrons also aid some of them. Most of public libraries have legal authorization and authentic funding sources.
- Public Welfare:
Public libraries are primarily established in the general public interest. They significantly contribute to cultivating a place’s literary culture and promoting community well-being. Public libraries are important centers for hosting exhibitions and other literary events.
❌ Cons of Public Libraries:
- Traditional Structure:
One of the most significant disadvantages of public libraries is their traditional structure. With a fast-growing economy and the development of technological aids, people are becoming more dependent on the facilities provided by the Internet.
Hence, the traditional reading mode has been replaced by free PDFs and ebooks available everywhere.
- Fixed Time Frame:
Libraries are operated by one central principle, the idea of borrowing and lending books. If you borrow a book from a library, you must finish reading it within a fixed time frame.
If you fail, you will have to pay the fine. This is a crucial problem faced by slow readers or people who cannot afford expensive books.
They have no other option but to rely on public libraries, so they probably cannot enjoy reading a book within that period.
- Issues In Cataloging Books:
A public library occupies a vast space, and cataloging books is a mammoth task. You may not find a book in a specific section due to a lack of cohesive categorization.
These practical issues may trouble the readers unless the library professionals are skilled enough.
- Public Libraries Are Cheap:
Public libraries are undoubtedly cheap. This fact alone benefits many people, but it also has certain disadvantages.
Since the library officials charge a nominal fine, many people do not feel obligated to return their books in perfect condition. There have been several cases where the library authorities have found that the pages of a book are torn or marked.
Hence, it becomes difficult for some public libraries to preserve certain books.
- Security 🔒:
Many public libraries are not equipped with adequate security facilities, about which many antique books risk getting stolen. Rare manuscripts, antique editions, and books signed by the authors need extra protection, but unfortunately, many public libraries fail to preserve them.
- Limited Space:
No matter how extensive a public library is, it has limited space and can contain a fixed number of books. However, digital libraries can hold multiple books, and there is no restraint.
Nevertheless, public libraries have their charm. Nothing can compete with the genuine experience that a book provides.
Our generation is prone to avail shortcuts, so the habit of reading books is becoming obsolete. But these public libraries can restore that and enrich our literary culture.
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