Ranganathan’s 5 Laws of Library

In Law 1, Dr. Ranganathan states that books are for the use of the public. Books were tied down with a chain to shelves in private libraries which made them impossible to use. Ranganathan promoted the use of books rather than them being tucked away in a collector’s private library. Public libraries were created for the public to use the books for research or private enjoyment and still continue the promotion of the use of books.

In Law 2 Ranganathan believed that people in all communities should be able to gather the materials to further their education. He believed that libraries should promote their wide collection of materials to appeal to all readers and that no person should be judged by what they choose to read. Libraries do still believe in Law 2 and continue to promote the nonjudgmental use of books.

Law 3 is very much like Law 2, whereas every book appeals to someone no matter how small the demographic. Libraries today don’t follow this as strictly as others. Weeding of books that are damaged, unable to read, or have never been checked out is common within public libraries.

Law 4 talks about how librarians should be the ones to work hard and show the path to curtain books that a reader would need to find. The people should be able to find the materials they need quickly and painlessly which, with a good library, still happens today.

In Law 5, Ranganathan speaks about how libraries are growing organisms and should always be changing and adjusting to the times. Books should be updated over time; new versions of books should always be available to the community. In most libraries they do update their content quite frequently and those who don’t need to consider doing so.

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Posted in Introduction to Libraries and Information Science

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