Libraries have traditionally been allied with their collected works, and even more directly with their collected works of books. The term “library” derives from the Latin word liber (book), and terms for “library” in many languages are pedestal on their relationship to books. The library can be the collected works, the building housing that collected works, or the association as an entire, but a lot of people only the first definition matters; the other senses of library are subservient to the collected works. As libraries have evolved, the definition of collected works has expanded to encompass other types of material; educational libraries are currently as much concerning digital resources of all types as they are about printed volumes. Though a small amount of educational would conflict with this more unreserved description, for many the library is still fundamentally about the collected works. Yet libraries have in use on a range of functions to manage those collected works and the services and tools that libraries have built to make available access to content have develop to the point that they may become just as important to the institutional mission as the collected works itself.

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