Faizan Irfan

Faizan Irfan

Emergence of Unique Libraries in the World (Faizan Irfan)


Emergence of Unique Libraries in the World


  • What is Library?
  • Purpose and Function of Libraries
  • Emergence of Unique Libraries
  • Some Unique Libraries
  • Other Unique Libraries
  • Recommendation & Conclusion
  • References

What is Library?

Library is a collection or group of collections of books and/or other print or nonpoint materials organized and maintained for use (reading, consultation, study, research, etc.) (ODLIS).In addition, we can define libraries as a structure, location, or area that houses collections of sources, resources, and services. It is a place where knowledge is organized in a systematic way for individuals who are interested to access it, such as books, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, recordings, and other things. There are two types of libraries: libraries based on formats and libraries based on structure.

  • Library by Structure: National Library, Academic Library, Public Library, Special library.
  • Library by Formats: Traditional/Print Library, Digital Library and Hybrid Library

Purpose and Function of Libraries

1). National Library: Serve as the preeminent repository of information for that country. Also, their main function is to reservation and promotion of the national cultural heritage of the nation of that country.

2). Public library: Are social institutions based on the concept of democracy. i.e. for the people, by the people, and of the people. Anyone can visit, get membership and use it. Everyone has an equal right to use it.

3). Academic libraries: Are established in schools, colleges, universities and other educational intuitions and these are established to fulfill the academic needs of students, teachers and researchers

4). Special Library: Established and funded by a commercial firm, private association, government agency, nonprofit organizational or special interest group to meet the information needs of its employees, members, or staff in accordance with the interest of its host organizations missions and goals.

Emergence of Unique Libraries

There are wonderful libraries all over the world that are well-known for their extensive collections and services. But there is an issue that when someone wants to read, one’s cannot always go to the great libraries.People who live in rural locations may not even have access to a school library or a public library in their town. As a result, for persons living in rural places or with limited access to books and other reading materials, quite creative solutions have been found to provide them with library access, including transporting books to their doorsteps in some circumstances. Thy emerged as name of unique librariesUnique libraries don’t have traditional structures and embrace unusual shapes and forms, but they all serve the same purpose: to provide people with books to enjoy and learn from. Some famous unique libraries around the world are followings:

  • Mobile Library
  • Camel Library
  • Library Ship
  • Beach Library
  • Library on Public Bus
  • Vended Machine Library
  • Library in Salon
  • An Open Garden Library
  • Others Unique libraries.

1). Bookmobile or Mobile Library 

A bookmobile, sometimes known as a mobile library, is a vehicle that can be used as a library. Throughout history, they have been referred to as travelling libraries, library wagons, book wagons, book trucks, library-on-wheels, and book vehicle services.

Bookmobiles help traditional libraries reach more people by carrying books to potential readers and giving library services to those in underserved areas (such as rural areas) (such as residents of retirement homes). The services and contents provided by bookmobiles (such as Internet connectivity, large print books, and audiobooks) can be tailored to the specific regions and demographics serviced.

2). Camel Library

Camels not only carry load or give you a ride on the beach, yet can also carry books on their backs. In 1985, the Kenya National Library Service launched a programme to help nomadic communities, where literacy rates are as low as 15% and reading materials are scarce. The book-carrying camels set up camp in open areas, where anyone who wants to read can go, choose a book, read it, and then return it to the book trunk. Camels transport books and other reading materials from one location to another.

Camel libraries are also found in other places, such as Mongolia and Pakistan (Baluchistan etc.) Mobile camel library carries books to children in Baluchistan villages (November 2020)In these countries in specific areas, camels are still used to access remote regions.

3). Library Ship

On Islands in Fjords, Norway, a book boat known as ‘Epos’ sails with 6000+ books to more than 250 small communities on islands in Fjords, Norway. Epos sails every year between September and April.On board the ship

There are the captain, a cook, a couple of librarians and one or two entertainers, which make this library a unique experience. It was started in 1959, the service is funded by the libraries of the three counties — Hordaland, SogonogFjordane and More ogRomsdal — that it serves. In summer, the floating library turns into a leisure cruise ferry

4). Beach Library

While on a beach, you walk on the sand or venture in the water for a swim. However, sometimes after a tiring swim or while sun bathing, one feels like picking up a book to read. You must have seen a few avid readers laying on the beach with a book for company.For such people there is a library on the sandy beach of Bulgarian Black Sea resort.

It was German architect Herman Kompernas’ idea to build a library there and he stocked it with over 2,500 books in 10 languages, now over 6,000 books in more than 15 languages. Guests can borrow the books for free and leave their own for others to read.Now beaches in many other countries have started having libraries which have gained popularity with beach and book lovers.

5). Library on a Public Bus

Brazilian bus collector Antonio da ConceiçãoFerreira, has a passion for reading, and this passion inspired him to create what he calls, ‘Culture on the Bus’. He transformed the bus he rides, into a small library.

Buses in other countries have also been spotted having a small shelf for passengers to pick up a book and pass away the time. Initially, he carried a cardboard box full of books and wrote the names of people who took the books, but now the books are lined on a shelf inside the bus and passengers can read while riding. He does not care if people return the books or not, as the idea is that the books are passed from person to person

6). Vending Machine Libraries

You can not only take out your favorite soft drink from a vending machine, but can also pay a fee and vend out a book you wish to read.

The concept of book-vending machine is not new, but in recent years more and more libraries are being set up on busy streets, at train stations and in shopping centers.

7). Library in Salon

In the state of Tamil Nadu, in the city of Thoothukudi, a barber by profession (PonMariyappa), he encourages reading by having a small library in his salon.

He keeps books instead of magazines and newspapers for his customers, to encourage the habit of reading. And the use of mobile phones is also prohibited in the salon. Moreover, the person who reads gets a 30 percent discount on the services.

8). An Open Garden Library

The Levinski Garden Library was established in Israel to help migratory workers and refugees. This outdoor library, located in a Tel Aviv park, has books in 15 languages. There are no doors, guards, or barriers in the library. The 3,500 books are organized on two lit shelves: one for adults and one for youngsters.

The library stays open late at night to welcome people who want to rest and read beneath its big umbrella.

 Other Unique Libraries

Other unique libraries have also been founded in the world, few of them are following:

  1. Tiny Free Libraries
  2. Phone Booth Library
  3. Donkey Library

Do you know any?





Recommendation & Conclusion

We have seen that many unique libraries have emerged around the world in different places with their specific purposes. In our country, Pakistan, so many unique or new types of libraries can be built in different places, which can promote reading habits and fulfill others purpose of library. Following are some areas where we can build unique libraries in different places in the countries that can offer books or reading materials to people to enjoy and learn from them. Such as: Mentioned above Libraries in park street libraries on transport place and in transport vehicles as well.



  1. Naqvi, R. (2020, February 01). Unique libraries. The Dawn. Retrieved from https://dawn.com/news/1531277
  2. Dad, H., &Newroz, S. K. (2nd eds.). (2012). A guide to a library and information science: questions and answers. Lahore: Multiline.
  3. https://www.thinkrightme.com/en/do-right/this-barber-has-a-library-in-his-salon/




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 Top-Rated Public Libraries in Lahore

Author:  Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

 Top-Rated Public Libraries in Lahore

In this article, you will come to know about top-rated public libraries in Lahore, Pakistan. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading this.  Although there are many public libraries are serving in Lahore but I am focusing on some top-rated public libraries of Lahore. Which helps the book readers to avail themselves of the opportunity of seeking knowledge? These libraries exist in different parts of Lahore. And these are the following:

  1. Punjab Public Library
  2. Chughtai Public Library
  3. Model Town Library
  4. Defense Public Library
  5. Quaid-e-Azam Library

 Govt. Punjab Public Library

Govt. Punjab Public Library, Lahore was established on 8 November 1884 by the lieutenant governor of Punjab. The Library starts its operations in Baradari, wazir khan. Other Library places were built in 1939. The library has a grasp collection of books in the entire field of knowledge in Urdu, English, Persian, Arabic, and Punjabi. The total collection of Punjab Public Library is about 375,000 that includes books, magazines, reports more than 500 manuscripts, old gazettes of Punjab. The library has a subscription of 33 journals while the rest are complimentary copies, acquires 170 magazines and 12 dailies.

Facilities and Services

The library provides facilities of reading halls, a reference section, a children’s section, book borrowing, book demand, digitization with additional services of internet and photocopy.


Library Rd, Anarkali Bazaar Lahore, Punjab 54000


Mon-Sat                  8:00am to 8:00pm

Friday                      8:00am to 7:00pm ( 12am-3:00pm Jumma Prayer)

Sunday                    9:00am to 3:00pm

Chughtai Public Library

Chughtai Public Library is serving for 7 years with the vision to equalize education and disseminate knowledge without discrimination. Prof. A. S. Chughtai initiated this project. Dr. Mariam Chughtai is the director of this project. Chughtai Public Library has approximately 22,000 plus collections of resources which includes a wide range of subjects like Art, Culture, Science, Education, Jurisprudence, Medicine, and Philosophy. 3300+ are availing of the collection and enjoying the services of the Library. The Library is serving the people nationally with 2 Branch libraries and 5 Reading Rooms.

Services, Facilities, and Projects:

Chughtai Public Library provides the services of Children Section, Reference service, online Public access Catalog (OPAC), Reading Halls with additional services of Pantry, Photocopying, and Printing, and Wi-Fi. Chughtai Public Library has its official website http://www.chughtailibrary.com that provides digital services to users and providing information about sitting capacity in CPL Libraries to save the precious time of users.

It time to time works on different projects. The current projects on which CPL is working are:

  • Digitization Project
  • Historic Monuments of Lahore
  • Partition Stories of 1947
  • Iqbal Lecture Series
  • Educational & Summer Camps
  • Participation in Children Literature Festival
  • Preservation of Text-books


3XX-3S-1, Canal Park Gulberg 2, Lahore


Monday- Saturday                       7:00 am to 12:00am

Sunday                                          9:00am to 12:00am

Govt. Model Town Library

Govt. Model Town Library is a public library established in 1983. It has a rich collection of more than 50,000 books and 15,000 members. Since it is a public library, membership is available at 511 rupees. The library provides access to 70 periodicals & magazines, 28 Newspapers, Free Wi-Fi, an internet lab, and a facility of providing books on demand. Separate reading halls for newspapers and a computer lab also exist. The Library also provides the facility of calligraphy courses. The course is for 3 months and the library provides diploma certificates to the participants.  The library remains closed annually for a month most often in September. As a library, it is very important to the residents of Model Town Lahore. A proportion of the books are only used as a reference and cannot be issued. With the lending library, only two books can be issued at a time.


Model Town Circular Rd, Block G Model Town, Lahore, Punjab 54700


(042) 99332977


Monday to Saturday                8:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Friday                                      8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Sunday                                     Closed

Defense Public Library

Defense Public Library Lahore was inaugurated on 14th April 2000 by the Chairman of Defense Housing Authority (DHA) Lahore, Maj. Gen. Muhammad Javaid. Since then the library is providing excellent literary environments for residents of DHA and its surroundings. Besides allowing members to encourage appreciation of literature, Defense Public Library extends an excellent quiet study and work areas for students and professionals. Playing its role in the preservation and public presentation of cultural heritage, the library also orchestrates special activities associated to literacy environments, which include book fairs, lectures, seminars, and exhibitions, etc.

The library has recently been renovated, improving the existing Environments and providing many interesting valuable, and highly demanded books. Presently library has over 8500 members and more than 35000 books are available in the reading halls. Defense Public Library is comprised of two floors. On the ground floor, there is a children’s reading area on the left side. The ground floor also has a separate reading area for men, enclosed by windows. Several young adults sit around here, peering from books to laptop screens, enchanted by some kind of knowledge. On the other side, there is a separate seating area for the elderly. The Library is a little over seventeen years old. The Internet is available, as well as air conditioning in separate rooms. The library makes a simple attempt at attracting people and makes them comfortable.

Membership for this library only costs PKR 150 a year, and the process of getting the library card is simple. Access is granted to everyone on occasion, and membership is not limited to DHA residents. Users can also access the library through their official website https://dpllahore.org/ .


(Temporary)507 Street No. 22 Phase – III, Sector Z DHA Phase 3, Lahore, Punjab


Monday to Sunday     9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Quaid-e-Azam Library

The Quaid-e-Azam Library is a public library located within the Bagh-e-Jinnah in Lahore, Pakistan. The library was constructed in the mid-19th century during the British Raj comprised of Victorian-era Lawrence and Montgomery Halls. The library has a collection of 125,000 books in English, Urdu, Arabic, and Persian.

As of 2014, the library has 125,000 volumes, both in English and Urdu languages. Nearly two thousand books are added to the library annually. It has more than 17,000 people enrolled as members of the library. The Lawrence Hall is normally used as an assembly room for public meetings and theatrical and musical amusements. Nearly 19,000 people visit the library annually. It is a non-lending library. Day-to-day events have occurred in Quaid-e-Azam Library.


Bagh-e-Jinnah, Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, Jubilee Town, Lahore, Punjab 54000


  • Computer Lab
  • CSS Study Room
  • Printing and Photocopy
  • Cafeteria at QAL
  • Hall on Rent
  • List of Newspapers
  • Request for a Book
  • Kindle Device
  • Senior Citizen Membership
  • News Paper Clippings
  • Archive Material
  • Suggestions Security Measures

Quaid-e-Azam Library gives a facility of Digital access to people through their website http://www.qal.org.pk/ where people can access their required information in just a few clicks. Library also provides the option of a virtual visit to the library where people can visit the library virtually which is a good service to save users time.


Monday to Saturday                     8 am–8 pm

Friday                                         8am–12:30pm, 2:30–7pm

Sunday                                         11 am–5 pm


  1. http://www.qal.org.pk/
  2. https://dpllahore.org/ .
  3. http://www.chughtailibrary.com



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American Library Association (ALA)

Author:  Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

 American Library Association (ALA)

The American Library Association (ALA) is the world’s oldest and most powerful library organization. The aim of the American Library Association (ALA) is to “provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services, as well as the profession of librarianship, in order to facilitate learning and assure universal access to information.” It comes into existence on October 6, 1876, in Philadelphia during the Centennial Exposition.

Strategic Planning at the American Library Association

The ALA Council approved a new Strategic Plan (2017 Update) on June 28, 2015, as well as the Association’s new strategic directions for the next three to five years. In the fall of 2018, the ALA Executive Board voted to declare that the ALA’s Strategic Directions for the next three to five years will be guided by a social justice lens.. The following are the four strategic directions:

  1. Advocacy
  2. Information Policy
  3. Professional & Leadership Development.
  4. Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Mission & Priorities


“The mission of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship,” according to the ALA Constitution. “To provide leadership for the growth, promotion, and improvement of library and information services, as well as the profession of librarianship, in order to facilitate learning and assure access to information for all,” says the mission statement.


The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost.


n 1998, the ALA Council adopted Diversity, Equity of Access, Education and Continuous Learning, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st Century Literacy as guiding principles for steering the Association’s operations and resources. These principles have been expanded to include eight Key Action Areas, which are supplemented by the ALA Ahead to 2015 report. The Association’s current strategic plan, which began with ALA Goal 2000, section 2005, and ALA Ahead to 2010.

Note: Official link to visit virtually American Library Associations: https://www.ala.org/


Retrieved from: https://www.ala.org/


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 Pakistan Library Association

Author:  Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

 Pakistan Library Association

The Pakistan Library Association is the national body that represents librarians in Pakistan, established in Karachi in March. Prior to the foundation of the PLA, there was a group called the Pakistan Bibliographical Working Group (PBWG) that promoted library operations. “It was the PBWG that, at its meeting on July 6, 1954, created an Adhoc Committee with H. A. Qazi as its Chairman, to form a National Association for Librarians,” according to Dr. Anis Khurshid.

The Adhoc Committee members include Syed Vilayat Hussain, Khawaja Noor Elahi, Fazal-e-Elahi, and Akhtar H. Siddiqui. Apart from that, the PLA is in charge of representing professional librarians’ interests and working to grow and improve libraries in both the formal and informal sectors of education and research. Furthermore, the PLA also serves as a link between Pakistani and worldwide library groups with similar goals and objectives. It also succeeded to improve the public perception of librarians.

Headquarter and Branches of Pakistan Library Association

In addition, the Association has a headquarters and five branches in four provincial capitals and one in Islamabad in the Federal Capital of Pakistan.  However, the Headquarter of the PLA rotates between Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Quetta every two years. Also, PLA published its journals namely, “Pakistan Library Association Journals”.  And the last, its membership is open to all library professionals of the country.

Plans for the Future

Professional staff employed by various academic institutions (universities, colleges, schools, medical colleges, technical institutes, and so on) should be classified as teaching staff with the same pay, allowances, and technical pay as teaching staff, and their status should be equal to that of faculty members. Followings are the future plan of PLA:

  • The nomenclature for various librarian positions should be harmonized.
  • Librarians both inside and outside the country will be given training chances.
  • All colleges should introduce Library Science as an optional course at the inter and B. A. levels, and a lecturer position should be provided
  • The PLA will host a variety of workshops, seminars, conferences, book fairs, book day, library day, book launching ceremony, and other activities throughout the province to promote library activities and librarianship.
  • Legislation, Policy Framework, and Service Structure
  • Professional Development and Continuing Education
  • Image Management and Public Relations
  • Publications and Research
  • Solutions and Services in Information and Communications Technology
  • Placement and Career Counseling
  • The Empowerment of Women in LIS


Retrieved from: https://sites.google.com/view/plaorg/home?authuser=0



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National Library of Pakistan

Author:   Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

National Library of Pakistan

This article is about the National Library of Pakistan. Hopefully, you will enjoy reading this.


In 1951, under the Department of Archives and Libraries, a skeleton National Library was founded. Liaquat Memorial Library was merged with the National Library in 1954 and renamed Liaquat National Library. Basically, the Liaquat National Library was renamed Liaquat Memorial Library after the country’s new capital was established. ECNEC approved the scheme for the establishment of the National Library of Pakistan in Islamabad in 1963. However, due to a delay in the approval of the architectural plans and the low priority accorded to the project, construction of the Library building could not begin.

Furthermore, the plans for the library were approved in April 1980, and construction began in 1982. Finally, in September 1985, the ENCEC amended and approved the project for the establishment of the National Library of Pakistan, with a capital expenditure of Rs.130.322 million. The majority of the civil work was completed on time in June 1988, and the library’s holdings and personnel moved into the new facility that same year. On August 24, 1993, the library was launched by Pakistan’s interim Prime Minister, Mion-ud-Din Ahmad Qureshi, and its doors were opened to the public.

Building of National Library of Pakistan

The National Library of Pakistan is located next to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat at Shah Rah-e-Jamhoriat. The structure has four levels and a total covered area of 168,844 square feet, with central air conditioning and heating. Serial Division, Book and Newspaper Delivery Branch, Telephone Exchange, Air-conditioning and Electric Plants are all located on the bottom floor.

Apart from this, the main entrance to the library, Reception, the Digital Information Division, the Public Canteen, the Computer section, the Record Creation section, the Acquisition section, the Planning and Research section, the ISBN Agency, the Preservation & Conservation section, the Lending Division Model Children Library, and Accounts are all located on the ground floor. The first level houses the Online Public Access Catalogue, 04 Reading Halls, Manuscript & Rare Books Department, Establishment, Seminar Room, Class Room, and Meeting Room offices, as well as the On-line Public Access Catalogue.

The top storey of the structure, the 2nd floor, houses the general Stacks as well as 14 research rooms. The book elevators, lifts, and stairwells connect all of the floors. The National Library’s Auditorium, which seats 400 people, has become a focal point for educational and cultural events in Islamabad. The National Library’s reading halls include 500 seats available for readers and research scholars.

The Infrastructure of the National Library of Pakistan

The National Library building has a covered area of 168,800 sq. ft. and was built on land measuring 500x 112ft. On four levels, it is a centrally air-conditioned/heated structure with a storage capacity of one million volumes, 500 general readers’ seats, a staff workspace, an auditorium, and other services.


The vision of NLP id following: “To become a world-class national library of the region for inspiring creativity and innovation in the country”

Activities of NLP

Conclusionly, the following objectives for the National Library have been established based on the ideological and cultural needs of the people of Pakistan and the importance of the National Library as the nation’s topmost resource centre of its literary heritage and the fountainhead of all kinds of library development in the country:

  • To serve as a legal depository for all Pakistani publications unpublished
  • To preserve the nation’s literary heritage for current and future generations.
  • In order to preserve national bibliographic control, prepare and publish a Pakistan national bibliography and bibliographies.
  • To act as a national and international book exchange.
  • To act as Pakistan’s ISBN agency.
  • And to encourage Pakistani libraries to share resources and adhere to bibliographic standards.


Retrieved from: http://nlp.gov.pk/index.html


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International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

Author:  Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international organization representing library and information service users’ concerns. It is the library and information profession’s global voice.

IFLA was founded in 1927 in Edinburgh, Scotland at an international conference. now it has more than 1,500 Members in over 150 countries around the world. IFLA was registered in the Netherlands in 1971 and the Royal Library, the national library of the Netherlands, located in The Hague, generously provides the facilities for headquarters.

Aims of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

IFLA is a non-profit organization that is autonomous, international, and non-governmental. Its aims are to:

  1. Encourage the provision and delivery of high-quality library and information services.
  2. Increase public awareness of the importance of good libraries and information services.
  3. Represent IFAL’s members’ interests all throughout the world.

Membership of IFLA

Association Members and Institutional Members are the two basic types of voting members in IFLA. Within the broad field of library and information science, associations of library and information professionals, library and information services, and educational and research organizations are all eligible to join as Association Members. Individual library and information services, as well as all types of library and information-related organizations, are eligible for Institutional Membership. As International Association Members, international organizations in our field of interest are welcome to join.

Core Values of IFLA 

In pursuing these aims IFLA embraces the following core values:

  1. The endorsement of the principles of freedom of access to information, ideas, and works of imagination and freedom of expression is embodied in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  2. The belief is that people, communities, and organizations need universal and equitable access to information, ideas, and works of imagination for their social, educational, cultural, democratic, and economic well-being.
  3. The conviction that delivery of high-quality library and information services helps guarantee that access.
  4. The commitment to enable all Members of the Federation to engage in, and benefit from, its activities without regard to citizenship, disability, ethnic origin, gender, geographical location, language, political philosophy, race or religion

Regional Offices of International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

IFLA has a Regional Office in each of the IFLA Regions: Africa, Asia and Oceania, Latin America, and the Caribbean.

Language Centers

IFLA maintains four Language Centers whose mission is to improve communication among the respective language communities as well as within the IFLA entities. These languages are

  1. Arabic
  2. Chinese
  3. French (in Africa)
  4. Russian


Retrieved from: http://origin-www.ifla.org/about


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Who was Melvil Dewey?

Author:  Faizan Irfan

Mphil scholar (Punjab University)

Lecturer Library Science (Govt. Associate College, Safdrabad)

Who was Melvil Dewey?

Melville Dewey (1851-1931), “Father of Modern Librarianship,” was a powerful figure. He made an indelible impression on the library profession and had a significant impact on the path it has taken. Dewey rose from humble beginnings to become a famous leader via his tireless efforts and motivating zeal. Apart from this, he was a doer and a visionary with a diverse range of professional interests.

He created library education in the United States, assisted in the formation of the American Library Association, and was the first editor of the Library Journal. Dewey was an inventor, an educator, a wonderful librarian, and a strong administrator, among other things. Much before the famous universal adult education movement, he recognized public libraries as a powerful factor in adult education.

Library Bureau

He founded the Library Bureau, a company that sells library furniture and equipment, as a commercial endeavor. However, most of us associate Melvil Dewey with his Decimal Classification. It is the most widely used categorization system in the world, with 135 nations using it. And it was first published in 1876 and is still in use today.

School of Library Economy 

Dewey became the librarian of Columbia College in 1883, and the following year he launched the School of Library Economy, the first school for librarian education ever established.

Dewey was also the director of the New York State Library from 1888 to 1906, and the secretary of the University of the State of New York from 1900 to 1900. He overhauled the state library, making it one of the most efficient in the country, and established a system of state traveling libraries and photo collections while in that position. Furthermore, he established the New York Library Club in 1885.

American Library Association Medal

The American Library Association’s Council voted in June 2019 to remove Dewey’s name off its highest prize, the Melvil Dewey Medal, citing Dewey’s history of racism, anti-Semitism, and sexual harassment. Furthermore, with no debate, the resolution was passed by a large margin. At the ALA’s January 2020 convention, the prize was renamed the ALA Medal of Excellence.


Following are the references for this article.

  1. Satija, M.P. (1999), “Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey”, Library Review, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 47-
  2. 48. https://doi.org/10.1108/lr.1999. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvil_Dewey

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