The Word library comes from the Latin word ‘liber’, meaning ‘book’. This is a place where information in print (book, manuscripts, periodicals and musical scores) and in other forms is collected.
Libraries can be found in many places. There are libraries in small towns and large cities and there are libraries at schools, universities, colleges. People go to the library to read, look, listen, search, inquire, relax, discuss, learn and think. The largest and the best known libraries in the world are: the British National library in London, the Library of Congress in Washington and The Russian State Library.
The British Library is the largest state library in Britain and is one of the finest libraries in the world. It is a rapidly growing modern research library with all its current publications. People who want to read for higher degrees and who are engaged in research in their spare time visit this library.
Other library which is known throughout the world is the Library of Congress. It was established as a reference library in 1600 and gradually would come a world famous institution that now occupies three huge buildings. A great number of items in collections of books, newspapers, periodicals, manuscripts, films, maps and works of drama, music, art and important and exciting documents from American history are kept in library’s archives. There are materials on practically every subject to which members of Congress can refer.
The Lenin Library is the central library and is one of the world’s largest. The old library building was built in 1786 on a hill opposite the Kremlin by Vasily Bashenov and was a typical example of a Moscow town residence of that time. Its new buildings were built in 1940. When the library was founded in 1961, it contained over 1000.000 volumes, and was then located in the old Pashkov part of the complex. In 1915 its one reading room had a sitting capacity of only 170. Now it has 23 reading rooms of 2500 seating capacities and a book fund of 27 millions. There a wide choice of books: fiction, non-fiction, serious books, detective stories, science fiction, biographic, history and encyclopedias which are extremely useful in work, because it gives information about every branch of knowledge. Of cource there is a catalogue of books.
The titles and authors of all the books in the library can be found in a card catalogue or a computer listing. Each card in catalogue gives very helpful information about the book; the title send the author, the time and place of publication and the even something about it contents. The library is used daily by around 10000 people. Most librarians have a professionally staff whose first duty is to help you. Librarians also select books and other materials, organize materials so that you can easily use them, answer questions about facts, people, events, or advise you how to find the information you need. The library today is a centre for all kinds of communications: printed, pictured, recorded and even electronically stored.