Before the end of the 17th century there was a marked increase in reading habits. This was due to the spread of education. More than 5,000 grammar schools and 460 charity schools had been established before the end of 1700 AD. The intelligentsia met in coffee houses where they discussed various issues and these coffee houses became centres for the dissemination of news. Magazines like the Tatler, the Spectator and the Gentleman's Magazine appeared in the first decade of the 18th century. These factors were responsible for the spread of subscription and circulating libraries.
2) State the major features of the Public Libraries Act, 1850:
The Public Library Act of 1850 empowered municipal authorities with a population of 10,000 and above to adopt the Act. However, a two-third majority of votes cast was necessary for the adoption, and in case the motion was not carried, another poll could not be held for two more years. The Act
provided to levy half a penny in the pound on the rateable value of the property. Spending was restricted to building, fuel, lighting, fixtures, furniture and the salaries of the staff.
3) State some of the reports on the public library set up in the UK
Some of the committees that were appointed to look into the working of the public libraries in England were (1) Adams Report (2) Mitchell Report (3) Kenyon Report (4) McColvin Report (5) Robert Report.
4) Mention the different kinds of libraries in the UK that constitute a total library structure.
The total library structure of the UK comprises:
The British Library, and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales
The public library system
Academic libraries which include research, university, college, polytechnic libraries and others of teaching and learning institutions.
Special libraries, comprising business, industrial, and other types of libraries, serving special categories of users.
5) Mention briefly the major current trends in library and information systems and services in the UK and the future possibilities.
The current trends are a funds crunch, dwindling gradually for all kinds of libraries, the impact of technology in all library activities, demographic patterns, structural reorganisation of libraries and such others. Future possibilities include pricing for library and information services as a norm, rapid changes in conventional library and information systems, changing staff patterns, increasing application of IT with greater thrust on information provision, etc.
6) State the different types of libraries that were established- in the USA during the early years.
In the beginning, American libraries were mainly privately owned. Subscription libraries and commercial libraries came into being during the period 1790-1815. They were called "social libraries". -School-district public libraries were of a slightly later origin. Mercantile libraries on the pattern of Mechanics Institute of England were another popular type of library that existed before the advancement of free public libraries.
7) How were school libraries developing in the USA?
A distinguishing feature of academic libraries in the USA is the development of school libraries and media centres. More than 75,000 libraries and media centres are now in public and private elementary and secondary schools. The infusion of federal support, coupled with standards developed by professional associations, have allowed libraries and media centres to improve traditional services in reading, reference, and teaching and to augment their role in supplying schools with additional instructional support. In many cases they are also participating actively in computer literary
programmes in US elementary and secondary schools.
8) What are the future trends which promise a possible radical change from the present library and information set up?
Internet/the National Research and Education Network (NREN) and the Federal Government vision of creating an Information Superhighway are the notable efforts to face the challenges of the future.
9) How do professional associations contribute to the growth and development of libraries in the UK and the USA?
These professional bodies have endeavoured to promote library and information services in their countries, striven to protect the interests of professionals, developed professional practices through standards, guidelines, codes, manuals a;-.d other types of publications, published journals to reflect
professional developments conducted professional courses and training programmes to enable skill development, established national and international contacts to be in tune with international thinking and practices and done similar other things.
Database : Information stored on computer files, and accessible via a remote terminal and telecommunications link.
Documentation: The study of the acquisition, handling and communication of information, particularly relating to scientific reports, semi-published material,
Information Superhighway: Collection of electronic networks which provide access to many databases, brought about by the convergence of hardware, software and networking technologies
Intellectual Property : Author's right to claim ownership of a created work.
Network : A system of physically separate computers with telecommunication links, allowing the resources of each participating machine to be shared by each other
Teleconferencing : A special counselling session/meeting/ conference/ discussion organised with the help of advanced media technology whereby participant of distant regions can interact with each other from one or more regions instantively