Competency #2

Understand the focus and purpose of the four major types of libraries

It is important to understand the differences between the major types of libraries, because the needs of library patrons vary greatly depending on the type of library that the patron is visiting.  Evidence of my proficiency in this competency can be found below.

Public libraries are publicly funded and serve the information needs of the general public.  Needs of this group are often recreational or of personal interest.  Patrons might also need assistance navigating government and business institutions.

Academic libraries, whether publicly or privately funded support the mission and vision of colleges and universities.  Their patrons are most often pursuing research for completing assignments.

School libraries also may be publicly or privately funded, depending on the academic institutions they support.  However, the students they serve are in grades K-12.  There may be more recreational reading, as literacy is learned and promoted.  There is also a strong emphasis on research for completing assignments.

Special libraries take many forms.  These are generally privately funded as they more often support private organizations.  Examples include law libraries, corporate libraries, and medical libraries.


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