Introduction To Library Resources

Library Resources

Library materials are the totality of information materials that form a library collection. The resources are acquired to satisfy the information needs of the library users and accomplish the objectives of the parent institution. There are two major types of library materials, namely: books and
non-book materials.

Book Materials

What is a Book?
To a layman, a book is simply a number of printed or written sheets fastened together within a cover so that the pages can be turned freely. Good as this definition may be, it says nothing about the purpose of putting the sheets together neither does it differentiate between books and other things which have the word book as part of their names. By this definition, items such as jotter, exercise book, bound magazines and journals may be regarded as books.

It can also be defined as a non-periodical printed publication of at least 49 pages. The information contents of books are usually printed on sheets of paper. This is limited to length.
It also excludes magazines and other periodicals.

A book may also be defined as a number of printed sheets fastened together within a cover so that the pages can be turned freely for the purpose of educating, informing or entertaining its reader. Any electronic book, to pass as one, should have all the major parts of a book.

Parts of a Book

Every book that should be describe as one ought to have all or most of the essential parts of a standard book. It should be noted that the absence of certain parts in a book, does not necessarily negate the fact that it is a book.

However, when a book lacks the most fundamental part, it may be regarded as sub-standard. In most standard books you will find the following parts:

1. Front cover title: the front cover of a book, as a literary component, is a display part on which the title of a book is artistically printed to produce a pleasing effect. Traditionally, only the title and the name of the author should appear on the cover.

But it is no longer strange to find endorsement on front
covers. It has also become fashionable to inscribe
on the cover the logo of the publisher, or brand
symbols such as the penguin, for penguin books.

2. Preliminary pages: The oriented pages that come
between the cover and the main body or actual text
of book are called preliminary pages. In most books,
the first is the title page which contains the title, name
of author, name of illustrator and publishers name
and colophon.

The reverse of the title page contains the copyright information and the imprint as required by law. It provides edition information, address of the printer. On this page,  information on text copyright and drawing copyright is also given sometimes, you may find the foreword, the preface or the dedication, the pages coming between this pages and the table of contents.

3. Text: The main body of a book, containing the chapters or parts within which the core information or message the book is intended to put across. Within the body come the introduction, the chapters and the illustrations.

References: It is an alphabetical list of materials consulted by the author(s) while writing the book. It appears at the end of the book. A bibliography on the other hand is a list of the materials which the author has consulted in writing the book. It appears alphabetically at the end of the book.

4. Appendix: This is the section that gives extra information at the end of a book. Usually the information given in the appendix is aimed at supporting facts presented in form of tables, pictures, other illustration, or copies of letters, agreements etc.

5. Glossary: This is a list of technical and unusual terms used in the book with accompanying definitions and explanations.

6. The index: An index is a list of names, topics or concepts referred to in a book with references to the exact page(s) of occurrence in the book. It is usually arranged in alphabetical order.

7. Blurb: Basically, this gives a short description of the content of the book with a view to valuing a prospective reader get attracted to the book. It also contains a biographical sketch about the author.

8. The cover: A book at any section of a bookstore will reveal a host of books varying in size, colour, cover and paper quality. Sometimes, it is observed that one title is published in both paperback and hard cover.

Once in a while, you also discover that the same title has a third cover option such as leather. All covers are primarily designed to protect and hold together the inner parts of the book. We have the front and the back covers. The material forming cover could be cloth, leather, fabric, paper vinyl.

9. The spine: In printing, the spine of a book is the backbone of the book, where the papers that form the book are fixed to the cover. The spine is usually created by the creasing and folding of the cover materials. It is separated from the cover here because some spines are made of materials different from the cover material.

Where the bulk of the book allows it, the title of the book and some other publication information are printed on the spine. The spine is very useful to libraries and bookshops for the purpose of the shelf display; it also helps the reader or buyers to easily locate a title on a shelf.

10. The Endpapers: Between the cover material and the body of the book, before the preliminary pages, there is a thick paper usually glued to the front and back covers on the one hand and the first and the last sheets on the other. They are hardly printed upon. It is part of the fastening materials used in binding because it holds together the cover materials and the bulk of the book.

11. Signatures: Signatures are folded press sheets grouped for binding convenience. They may consist of multiples of (4 or 8, 16, 24, 32, 48 or 64) pages. Whether they are below or above these numbers of pages, the number must be divisible by four. A book at a textbook or novel of reasonable volume
from top or bottom towards the spine edge may reveal the folds. These folds of sheets of printed paper make up the body of the book.

12. The Fasteners: For the signatures to be brought together into one unified book, some materials are needed to hold them together. The materials often used by binders to achieve this include staples, nails, coils of wire; glue is applicable more to paperback books than hardbound books.

13. Boards or Stiffeners: The cover materials mentioned here can hardly stand as covers without being stiffened with harder materials, especially in hardbound books. Board especially made for binding purposes is placed under the clot, paper impregnated fabric, a piece of heavy paper called back lining is used as stiffener.

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