First Principles

The Five Laws of Library Science, proposed by University of Madras librarian S.R. Ranganathan in 1931:

  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every person his or her book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. Library is a growing organism.

In 1998 Michael Gorman, past president of the American Library Association, added five modern tenets:

  1. Libraries serve humanity.
  2. Respect all forms by which knowledge is communicated.
  3. Use technology intelligently to enhance service.
  4. Protect free access to knowledge.
  5. Honor the past and create the future.

“If you have a garden and a library,” wrote Cicero, “you have everything you need.”