Libraries are a source of information containing materials such as books, documents, media, etc. that is easily accessible for use and not just for display. A library offers either physical or digital access (or both) to those resources either in a physical location or in the form of a virtual space. Libraries today often offer a mix of both physical and digital access to their resources which can either be borrowed in physical form or by downloading an ePUB version of the same from a digital library.
Of course, public libraries are important, but what is the importance of library spaces in education? Well, it can be said that libraries are almost vital to students and are compulsory for any educational institution. Most libraries in educational institutions are lending libraries and offer students the opportunity to borrow books for a certain amount of time.
Importance of Library for Students
Even though there are other forms of gaining information, books are still by far the most used and most sought out method, and rightfully so. Even in the digital age, there is hardly any solid substitute for good old-fashioned hard bind. Students require a vast amount of ready information that they can use for research purposes, either as part of academic research or just doing projects. So, the importance of library spaces is quite obvious. However, it does not end there. Here are a few reasons highlighting the need for library spaces in the education system:
Developing Reading Habits
One of the most obvious and yet most important outcomes of having a library at an educational institution is fostering reading habits in the students. Students who want to or are interested in reading can make use of the library either for leisure reading or for looking up information for projects, assignments, etc. Students can also use the library as a reading room, but prior permission will probably have to be asked to bring external books into the library. A lot of libraries do not allow it as a rule.
Create a Different Ambience
A library always has a very different ambiance when compared to the rest of the institution. For starters, silence is maintained in the library and for that reason, it is usually located on one of the higher floors if it is in the same building, or in a completely different building. Students can come here to study or for some peace of mind.
Facilitating the Expansion of Knowledge
Students who want to learn something outside of their syllabus can use the library for doing so. A lot of students might not be interested in studying outside their syllabus, but for those who do, this can be a real help.
Importance of Library Spaces in the Digital Format
Digital libraries are rather more recent but their relevance has increased quite a lot in recent years because of the fast pace of technology and its increasing significance in education. However, they are still not very prevalent in educational institutions even though they are increasingly being integrated into public lending libraries. Digital libraries are especially important in education because they are quite easy to find information in and also easily accessible because they are online. They also save a whole lot of paper, so they are effectively eco-friendly as well. However, digital libraries are being discussed as the future of information, and here are a few reasons why:
24x7 Availability - Unlike brick and mortar libraries, digital libraries can be accessed at any time of the day from any part of the world. All you need is an account and an internet connection.
Easily Updated - Digital libraries can be updated practically instantly by simply uploading the content directly on the main server. Updating a brick-and-mortar library is a much more meticulous and longer process.
The Search Process - In the case of a brick-and-mortar library, you will have to search manually for the book you are looking for, which can also be misplaced at times. However, it is extremely easy to find books in digital libraries because they are searchable.
As demonstrated here, the importance of library spaces is quite high in today’s world and can be quite instrumental in helping students get the resources they need. As more and more of the educational space is turning digital, it is only fair that libraries also jump on that bandwagon and become digital too. A lot of discussions are being done in terms of integrating them into brick and mortar libraries at educational institutions, so there might be more and more springing up soon.