Below Are 63 Fun Facts About Libraries From All Over The World

Aashita Dhingra
Nov 01, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Feb 08, 2022
Library with many shelves and books
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.4 Min

Libraries, irrespective of whether they are public libraries or private ones, are a great source of knowledge and understanding. A book lover cannot always get their hands on desirable rare books or books of extreme significance and importance.

But public libraries across the world ensure knowledge is accessible to all.

Books mean different things to different people. While some view books only as a way to get good grades in school, there are others who love to spend their time casually reading, or researching facts in a library, instead of being out partying with their peers.

Of course, it is possible that someone who likes books will have similar friends, in which case, they could devote entire days to searching for and reading books.

In the modern age, however, this tendency is decreasing, as there are too many distractions. Many teens, in particular, just want to complete their course books and watch videos on the Internet.

Libraries provide sanctuary to those with a thirst for knowledge. For them, these are not just books, rather they are founts of knowledge or magical rides to different realities. A library is like entering a living book.

Beautiful collections of stories and various other published materials, fact and fiction, are at the heart of a good library. All libraries must have a good collection of all genres, historical, action, adventure, educational, romance and fantasy.

Stories have a way of recreating reality. Each year, publishers bring forth more books than the wallet permits and therefore the only way to read these publications and satisfy oneself is to visit well-equipped libraries.

The bookshelves in a well-managed public library are properly labeled and provide access to a range of materials.

How can you gain and use a library card for a public library? What is the importance of a librarian in a library? Read on for some interesting facts related to libraries.

The History Of Libraries

It was back in the seventh century BC that the concept of libraries first turned into a reality, with the creation of the world's oldest library.

The Assyrian Ashurbanipal, ruler of Ninevah (present-day Iraq), is said to have ordered the building of the first library "for royal contemplation", safeguarding a collection of around 30,000 pieces of historical records on cuneiform tablets inside it.

Ancient libraries started being built in places like Egypt soon after. The main aim of these wide-spreading libraries was to form collections of records of historical accounts to ensure that their legacies were carried forward and known about, usually from the victor's point of view.

At first, library work was undertaken only by palace officials as it was used to keep the records of lands, agriculture, advancements in education, wars and so on.

As the years passed, the local people realized the importance of gaining knowledge and learned to appreciate the existence of such a library.

These libraries were made open for all and soon after library hands, or librarians, also started being appointed as interest in these public libraries increased.

It is the job of the librarian to carry out library work and cater to the needs of people seeking information about the locations of various rare books and also the general books published at the time. 

In the United States, a subscription library by Benjamin Franklin is said to have been established in 1731.

Another interesting historical fact is that Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan (1892-1972) is regarded as the father of library science, particularly in India.

However, towards the end of the 20th century, new technology emerged and the era of the Internet began, and interest in libraries was on the wane. Gone was the excitement for libraries, and it was a start of their decline as many were closed.

Many people were glued to their screens and had no time left for visiting libraries.

However, even though this is still the case to a certain extent, with increased literacy a huge part of the population all over the world is still interested in visiting a good, well-managed and -equipped library.

Researchers from all fields love to know and understand the history behind the formation of libraries and conduct studies by using old records of books and manuscripts.

Benefits Of Libraries

Libraries are still essential and have great benefits not just for researchers and scholars but also for budding writers and book lovers. Being inside a library for the first time feels like being in a living book, with so many books surrounding you from every direction.

Local libraries are more beneficial to those who are not yet allowed to travel long distances alone but wish to gather knowledge.

These local libraries build the foundation of developing an interest in reading more than just what is required by school and college.

A collection of books stacked well on the bookshelves by a librarian completes the overall look of a local library.

Some even go to these local libraries to hang out with their friends, and complete their assignments and various projects and research.

Although websites also provide most of the details that were once only found in books of an academic and research nature, the information provided here is not always accurate. Modern publishers may upload information into an accessible form. However, historic records and access to the primary data written by the authors are not always available on these websites.

Academic libraries are sometimes merged into the local library itself to help those living nearby with their homework and projects.

A lesser-known benefit of libraries is the assistance they provide to the local population, in terms of raising their economic condition.

What is also interesting is that researchers have shown that communities, where there are local libraries present, are healthier than the communities where such facilities are absent.

This is mainly because spending time with books is better and a healthier way of spending free time than being glued to electronic devices such as the television, mobiles, or video games.

However, these days, modern libraries also have computers and internet access, to attract the younger generation.

Libraries provide a lot of books for those who are ready to immerse themselves in some new activity, such as cookery, travel, languages, and survival techniques.

It is also a great place to socialize and increase togetherness within the community. People may meet in libraries to discuss and share information from the respective books they have read.

Not everyone can read every book and therefore this exchange helps expand people's knowledge and interests. Book clubs can order books from the library and discuss them at a social night.

Even hard-to-find books or costly books which are a part of the series can be easily accessed here, if ordered from the librarian, with a free library card.

Types Of Libraries

Even though each library has its own unique charm, researchers have stated that, in general, there are four types in which libraries can be divided into - academic library, public library, national library, and special library.

Academic libraries are usually institutions that are either attached to or assigned to a particular knowledge institution, such as schools, colleges, or universities.

These libraries are mainly devoted to catering to the needs of students and assisting them in their coursework and syllabuses.

While school libraries include short stories, novels, and factual books aimed at children, academic libraries are much larger, with books relating to more genres, such as psychology, English, music, history, political science, and botany, on well-labeled bookshelves.

Reading the title of the books helps in book selection along with knowing the right row for your field. Books are ordered according to the Dewey-Decimal System.

With academic libraries, students can complete their projects and research while even gaining some extra knowledge on the way. 

Special libraries are ones that cater to the needs of only a particular group of people. These might be government officials or members of a particular club.

Public libraries are most commonly visited by book lovers. Access is given to all individuals, irrespective of their differences. These are maintained by the government and people can take books out on any subject, from paranormal romance to discourses on political matters.

Students are the main individuals influenced by the power that the library holds and mainly use them for research purposes, and to find out interesting facts.

National libraries do not provide the same lending facilities as public libraries. They keep records of the rarest books and manuscripts, so lending books is not a risk that they take. The collection is protected by specialist librarians and library hands.

Large capital buildings don't have just books, they also have research papers and other related information published on various sources.

Public libraries mostly allow people with library cards to borrow the books as these individuals can be traced to keep a record of the book issued.

Prison libraries are also common in some countries of the world. It is thought that the presence of prison libraries could assist in the recreational activities of most prisoners, and help in reform, as it prepares them for a new life.

Whatever the library, information services that the library provides are of great importance to many.

Teacher reading fairy tales to children sitting

Fascinating Facts About Libraries

The majority of library work is carried out by the librarian, or library hand.

Some light reading with music is considered effective in the cultures of numerous countries as it is felt that information is better understood if reading is done while music is being played, creating a living book where people can engage their senses when learning new information, or for escapism.

Here are some fascinating facts about libraries:

The first library ever built, in Ninevah around the seventh century BC, is the oldest library known to date. Some of its contents still survive in London's British Museum. The first book ever written that has survived, The Epic of Gilgamesh, was part of Ashurbanipal's library.

The largest library in the world is located in the U.S. It is known as the Library of Congress and covers a large area. An entire day or two can easily be spent there just looking at all the books contained. It even has a wide space to sit and read at tables.

Carnegie Libraries, in the U.S. and the U.K., are an example of new-gen libraries. Carnegie Libraries started bring built in 1883, with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. More recently, these libraries have embraced new technology.

You can get virtual tours and search the library catalog online while sitting in the comfort of your home. The website of Carnegie Library contains books, audiobooks, magazines as well as music. These added attractions make the library more popular and engaging.

Another fun fact is that, every year, National Library Week is celebrated in April, especially in America. The main idea behind dedicating an entire week is to thank librarians for their hard work.

In America, there is a grand band procession, and people dance on the streets, during National Library Week.

World dates for the library week celebrations almost always begin on a Sunday.

Another fun fact is that the world's highest library is situated in China. This world record holder was built on the 60th floor of a fascinating, modern hotel. While the smallest library, in contrast, is just an open mailbox in the Hudson area of the U.S.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

Aashita Dhingra picture

Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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