Social Role of Libraries


- Renuka Guragain

The library is a social institution. They are the products of society. To work as media for its social processes, and to carry them forward through techniques developed for the purpose. The library possesses all the features of a social institution, viz., social origin, social objectives, inter relations with other institutions. At different stages of history, social forces such as religion, industrial revolution, the accumulation of surplus wealth, universal education etc have made their impact •on the origin and development of libraries. A study of the human society and culture or man's continued existence • culturally throughout the ages has revealed that the library existed in all ages as a part of the socia l fabric. If the culture has advanced, the libraries have also developed. A cultural signpost of any nation is conditioned by a popular urge for social, economic and intellectual improvement. To a large extent by the size and organization of the social order in which the libraries have to functions.

J.H. Shera points out the importance of the library in society. Thus it is a element in the total communication system by which a society is held together and a culture is to offer adequate tra ining to users of information in the methods and the techniques of intellectual work to obtain maximum benefit from the facilities offered by the system.

The function of a library system should be the provision of information, training and cultural education. If these three basic functions are discharged to the fullest extent by library and information centers. And they would automatically be dynamic institutions making a positive contribution to the process of development.

Source: INFOLIB, 2010, 3(3): 48

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