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Introduction / Objectives
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Library Organization: Sections
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Library Organization: Sections

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Each library is organized for the best use of its primary customers.

  • Public libraries support the recreation, business, and citizenship needs and reflect the ethnic, linguistic, socio-economic, and other demographic characteristics of their communities.
  • Special libraries support the information needs of their employers (law firms, corporate research & development, hospitals, etc.)
  • School library and media centers support the classroom activities of elementary and secondary school students.
  • Academic libraries (undergraduate libraries and the libraries of small colleges and universities and community colleges) support the course work of their students, with some collections devoted to research.
  • Research libraries are maintained at large research universities and support both student course work and faculty research. These are typically the world's largest libraries.

To make finding sources easier, librarians categorize materials using various characteristics, such as format (video, book, Web site), source type (reference, fiction), and subject (engineering, social work, sports). These collections may be arranged by room, floor, Web page, or building. Explore the sample library sections below (click rooms for more info).

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Librarians are there to help you

Library Services

Reference librarians can help you find/use reference materials, search databases, develop research strategies, and almost anything related to information-seeking.

Circulation is responsible for checking library materials in and out, maintaining reserve readings for courses, and handling requests for checked out or missing material.

Interlibrary Loan processes "loans" for material from other libraries. If you need an article or book your library doesn't own, ask interlibrary loan for help.


© University of Washington Information Literacy Learning 2001