The Special Library And Archive

1251 Words Nov 7th, 2016 6 Pages
The Special Library and Archive A special library has a special purpose and is usually associated with a larger parent organization such as a government agency, nonprofit, corporation, museum or university. A public, school or academic library is not a special library. However, there can be a specialized collection or subject departments within those libraries that operate with a sense of autonomy. Special libraries can be quite varied in subject and size. The largest special library lies in the shadow of large public and academic libraries. Special libraries tend to have a small staff, maybe even just one person. Special librarians mostly work in physical isolation from others that share their expertise so collaboration and networking is especially important. Similar to public and academic libraries, the unique concerns of special library professionals has created related associations such as the Medical Library Association (MLA) founded in 1898, the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) in 1906 and the Special Libraries Association (SLA) in 1909. Though special libraries are unique, they have similar characteristics and concerns of the more common libraries, namely survival. They are sometimes viewed as not necessary and at times must be rallied for by their administrators in financial terms. For-profit corporate libraries can sometimes be as unpredictable as the business world itself, changing focus or location, continually evolving to serve the parent…
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