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Jay-Niles Memorial Library, Jay ME
Public Libraries
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Public libraries exist in most nations of the world and are often considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Public libraries are distinct from research libraries, school libraries, or other special libraries  in that their mandate is to serve the public's information needs generally (rather than serve a particular school, institution, or research population), as well as offering materials for general entertainment and leisure purposes. Public libraries typically are lending libraries, allowing users to take books and other materials off the premises temporarily; they also have non-circulating reference collections. Public libraries typically focus on popular materials such as popular fiction  and movies, as well as educational and nonfiction materials of interest to the general public; computer and internet access is also often offered.

In addition to print books and periodicals, most public libraries today have a wide array of other media including music CDs, movies on video tape and DVD, as well as facilities to access the Internet and inter-library reservations. Readers' advisory is a fundamental public library service that involves suggesting fiction and nonfiction titles (often called "readalikes"). Public libraries may also provide other services, such as community meeting rooms, storytelling for infants, toddlers, and children, or after-school programs. In person and on-line programs for reader development, ...
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