What are the Types of Libraries?


There are different types of Library, though all exist to provide information services to users. The various types of library include School, Public, Private, Academic, National .and Special Libraries.


School Libraries are libraries in primaxy and secondary schools. They are also called school library resource centres. Some will regard school libraries as academic libraries This is because all Libraries in Educational Institutions support the educational work of their parent institution. However, it must be emphasized that school libraries differ from libraries in higher institutions of learning. So they should be understood and treated differently.


Public Libraries, as the name implies, is a library meant to serve the information, entertainment and leisure needs of the general reading public, without restriction to sex, age, educational and social standing.

According to the declaration of UNESCO in 1994,

“The public Iibrary is the local centre of information, making all kinds of knowledge and information readily available to its users”.

The services of the Public Library are provided on the basis of equality of access for all, regardless of age, race, sex.
, religion, nationality, language or social status. Specific services and materials must be provided for those users who cannot for whatever reason, use the regular services and materials. For example, linguistic minorities, people with disabilities or people in the hospital or prison.

The aims of the Public Library according to the UNESCO manifesto are as follows:

 A. Crafting and strengthening reading habits in children from an early age.

B. Supporting both individual and self education as well as formal education at all levels.

C. Providing opportunities for personal creative development.

D. Stimulating the imagination and creativity of children and young people.

E. Promoting awareness of cultural heritage, appreciation of the arts, scientific achievements and innovations.

F. Providing access to cultural expression of all performing arts.

G. Ensuring access for citizens to all sorts of community information needs, etc.


Academic Libraries are libraries in higher institution of learning, such as universities, Colleges of Education, Colleges of Technology, Polytechnics and Monotechnics.


A. To provide information materials required for the academic program of the parent institution.

B. To provide research information resources in consonance with the needs of faculty and research students.

To provide information resources for recreation and for personal self-development of users.

D. To provide study accommodation in a useful variety of locations.

E. To provide protection and security for educational materials

F. To co-operate with other Libraries at appropri ate levels for improved information services.

G. To provide specialized information service to appropriate segments of the wider community.


Just as you have the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Apex Bank of the Nation, so also is the National Library of any country. It is the Library of libraries, a rallying point for all other libraries within any given country.

According to Edoka (1992), it is the designated Legal Depository for books, periodicals, and other information materials relating to the country. This Legal Deposit Status gives the National Library the legal backing for a comprehensive acquisition of document emanating from the country.

 An example of a national library is the national library of the United States, situated in Washington D C. It is the National Library of National Libraries. This means that the National Library of the U.S. receive and preserve materials from other nations' national libraries.

The Library of Congress classification scheme which is being used by most tertiary instimtions all over the world in classifying its materials was originated by the National Library of the United States of America.


A library is regarded as special, when it belongs to a particular establishment, collects, preserve books and non-book materials and journals of a specified subject discipline.

Examples of such Special Libraries are Law Library, Medical library, Psychiatric Hospital Library, library of ministries, banks, research institutes, government and non-governmental libraries and other professional bodies e.g. International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan and Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) Oshodi etc.


Private Library is a Library owned by an individual especially (politicians and renowned Academics) who may have acquired huge amount of literature due to their insatiable appetite for acquisition of knowledge in their calling and other endeavors. Such a Library is personal to the owner who gives access to his collection following his own terms/wishes. He/she may instruct his Family to donate the Library to any institution at his/her demise.

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