Public lending libraries

A public library provides services to the general public and usually makes at least some of its books available for borrowing. Typically, libraries issue library cards to community members wishing to borrow books. Many public libraries also serve as community organizations that provide free services and events to the public, such as reading groups and toddler story time. The earliest example in England of a library to be endowed for the benefit of users who were not members of an institution such as a cathedral or college was the Francis Trigge Chained Library in Grantham, Lincolnshire, established in 1598. The library still exists and can justifiably claim to be the forerunner of later public library systems. The beginning of the modern, free, open access libraries really got its start in the U.K. in 1847. Parliament appointed a committee, led by William Ewart, on Public Libraries to consider the necessity of establishing libraries through the nation: In 1849 their report noted the poor condition of library service, it recommended the establishment of free public libraries all over the country, and it led to the Public Libraries Act in 1850, which allowed all cities with populations exceeding 10,000 to levy taxes for the support of public libraries. Another important act was the 1870 Public School Law, which increased literacy, thereby the demand for libraries, so by 1877, more than 75 cities had established free libraries, and by 1900 the number had reached 300.[37] This finally marks the start of the public library as we know it. And these acts influenced similar laws in other countries, most notably the U.S. The first tax

supported public library in the United States was Peterborough, New Hampshire (1833) first supported by state funds then an "Act Providing for the Establishment of Public Libraries" in 1849.[38] 1876 is a well known year in the history of librarianship in the United States. The American Library Association was formed, as well as The American Library Journal, Melvil Dewey published his decimal based system of classification, and the United States Bureau of Education published its report, "Public libraries in the United States of America; their history, condition, and management." During the post-Civil War years, there was a rise in the establishment of public libraries, a movement led chiefly by newly formed women's clubs. They contributed their own collections of books, conducted lengthy fund raising campaigns for buildings, and lobbied within their communities for financial support for libraries, as well as with legislatures and the Carnegie Library Endowment founded in the 20th century.[39] They led the establishment of 75–80 percent of the libraries in communities across the country. In 1979 and 1991 White House Conferences on Library and Information Services were held to demonstrate the key role libraries play in American Democracy.[41] The American Library Association (ALA) continues to play a major role in libraries to this day, with its public library focused division, the Public Library Association, establishing standards and planning guidelines.[42] Dewey's classification system, although under heavy criticism of late,[citation needed] still remains the prevailing method of classification used in the United States.