A Greek word derived in Latin bibliothēca, which came to Castilian as a library. The first meaning included in the dictionary prepared by the DigoPaul refers to the entity dedicated to the purchase, safeguard, analysis, exhibition and loan of books and other types of documents.
For example: “I’m going to go to the library to see if I can find the book that they asked me to read at the faculty, ” The library in my neighborhood has a large collection of children’s stories “, ” I remember that novel, I read it a few years ago in the National Library ”.
In a broad sense, it can be said that libraries are institutions that facilitate access to books. Beyond their basic function, these organizations can also keep other kinds of materials, such as historical documents, diaries, etc. It is also common for them to start cultural activities, such as book presentations, poetry readings, concerts and other proposals.
To be able to function, a library must first have a collection of works, which it can build from acquisitions or donations. Once you have this collection, you have to organize it so that the books can be easily found and made available to users. Finally, you must define its operation: there are libraries that only allow the reading of the materials in their facilities, while others allow people to take the works home and then return them.
Literature lovers not only want libraries to have a large selection of books, but also to offer them a pleasant environment to enjoy them. One of the most beautiful buildings in the world is the Royal Library of the El Escorial Monastery, founded by Felipe II and created with the collaboration of various important humanists who were looking for the perfect library.
In its impressive rooms you can see engravings, drawings, portraits, maps, replicas of animals and plants, instruments of science and astrolabe, among other elements that enrich the experience of readers. Visiting it is like traveling back in time, to a time when people seemed to have more time and predisposition to fill up on knowledge and travel to fantasy lands.
Although its traditional definition always refers to a building in which the books are housed, there are also so-called itinerant libraries, cars of different types that carry the books on public roads so that more people can access them. In this case there is a greater versatility in the structure, since it can be a bus, a van or a car pulled by another vehicle.
The traveling library is an invention that aims to maximize access to culture, in this particular case to books, to avoid that those far from the center or with reduced mobility are left without this very important ingredient of intellectual training.
As with academic music, literature suffers from that cliché that presents it as an elitist discipline, which requires certain knowledge to enjoy it; precisely, through movements such as the traveling library, the aim is to leave these ideas behind and show people that letters are for everyone.
Library is also the name of the piece of furniture that is used to store books and the name of the group of works that an individual or a building keeps: “When I graduated, my parents gave me a large oak library”, “I left the envelope in the living room, about the library ”, “ The Peruvian writer decided to donate his library to the school in his hometown ”.