Unit-2: Five Laws of Library Science

First Law “Books are for Use”
- Location
- Library Hours
- Library Building and Furniture
- Staff
Second Law “Every Reader His/Her Book”
- Obligation of the State
- Obligation of the Library Authority
 -- Choice of Books
 -- Choice of Staff
- Obligations of the Staff
- Obligations of the Reader
- Resource Sharing
Third Law “Every Book Its Reader”
- Open Access
- Services
- The Library Catalogue
Fourth Law “Save the Time of the Reader”
- Open Access
- Classification and Cataloguing
- Charging System
Fifth Law "Library is a Growing Organism"
- Book Stock
- Readers
- Staff
- Classification and the Catalogue
- Modernisation
- Provision for the Future
-Weeding out of Books

1) State briefly the implications of the First Law with reference to library staff. 
 If books are for use, the staff that serve readers must have the abilities to organise their collection efficiently. The first requirement for the staff is that they should have the knowledge of the collection available in the library. They should know how to use the various tools in the library to provide access to documents stocked in the library and even outside the library. The more knowledgeable the library staff is about subjects, the better would be the service. Besides these skills and knowledge the library staff should be courteous, cheerful and helpful. Users rate a library on the basis of the way the library staff shows keenness to assist them. The credibility of the staff, both in respect of their  knowledge and their personal attitude to readers, is a general factor in the promotion of the use of books.

2) Answer briefly how the Second Law provides guidelines for book selection in a library. 
"Books for All" irrespective of the type of readers is the message of the second law of library science. Users' information requirements are the prime consideration for building a collection in any type of library. Users' need can be assessed in every type of library by systematic methods of survey of users, of their responsibilities and duties in- the given context and the subjects they are specialised in. These will .determine the user requirements and book selection policy should therefore be determined on the basis of the findings of the survey. Resource sharing is one of the methods adopted by libraries to provide the service of material not available in a particular library.

3) State briefly how open access facilitates better use of the library
Allowing readers to browse a collection through an open access system has a definite purpose. This method fulfils the message of the five laws. This system facilitates better use of books because it  lives freedom to readers to choose what they are interested in. Their actual and potential needs are satisfied by the browsing process. Display of books according to their subject affiliation enhances the readers' chances of getting at their particular item. It saves the time of the reader to get the  appropriate documents. The advantages of the open access system outweigh its disadvantages.

4) What are the operational methods employed by libraries to save the time of readers?
Time is a precious commodity. The library has several operational devices to save this precious commodity of readers. The organisation of the collection according to an acceptable standard system of classification, the provision of a good catalogue, the display of books, a reference service by the staff, and library guides are some of the operational devices employed by libraries to cut delays. These methods and techniques are constantly reviewed and improved to offer a high quality of services. Modernisation through library automation is the most modern method of serving readers with the least amount of delay.

5) Explain briefly the implications of the five laws in the wider context of documentation and information work.
“Organism” is a biological term, which means a form of life composed of mutually dependent parts that maintain various vital processes. It connotes a system having properties and functions determined by the character of the whole as well as of the parts. As long as life exists in this system, it continues to grow, not necessarily in physical dimension but in alignment and realignment with its components. A library never ceases to grow. Its growth is determined by the stock it builds, the readers it serves, the new techniques and technologies in operating its services and the changing demands of the environment.

Books : A packaged carrier of information and knowledge
Growing Organism: A biological phenomenon indicating growth, not necessarily indicated externally.
Information : A recorded message, irrespective of physical form or content.
Information Society : A society in which the central instrument of change, force and direction is information and knowledge.
Knowledge : Organised information irrespective of the form physical Reader/ User A person using the resources of a library; a customer of information and information institutions
Source: IGNOU Study Material

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