By Anushia Kandasivam ; NST
LIBRARIES have existed almost as long as civilisation. The first libraries in the world were archives, consisting of published public records - commercial transactions and inventories. Societies soon started keeping standardised practice texts for scribes, copies of religious teachings, records of discoveries in science, lists of words, and bilingual vocabularies.
A modern library contains books of history, literature, science, philosophy and everything in between, including fiction. A good one will contain public records, sound and video archives, and electronic documents. A great one will run reading and learning programmes for the public, helping to guide its members on their quest for knowledge.