The role of national libraries and their consequent building requirements in developing countries
This work was carried out to investigate the roles of national libraries generally in developing countries and the consequent building requirements. Since the work involves studies of current trends and problems in planning or designing national libraries and their services in the developing regions (South Asia, South-east Asia, South-west Asia, Africa, Latin America and. Oceania), background information on some of the countries in these regions, as well as information on the library services in general and the national libraries in particular, are given. For the purpose of this work, eleven functions which seemed to be important in influencing the design of national libraries were chosen for the questionnaire sent to the national libraries of the various regions: and these are tabled in this work. Concern for library architecture is a new phenomenon in developing countries. There is a lack of trained and skilled building technicians, a lack of experienced librarians and architects in the field, and a lack of research on building materials. Apart from these, there are various other socio-economic, climatic (e.g. monsoons, prevailing winds such as tornadoes and harmattan) and nonclimatic (e.g. earthquakes) problems which have been studied. In order to overcome these problems more efficiently, and bearing in mind the functions of national libraries, principles of building requirements for national libraries are proposed. These principles are intended as a guide to architects without imposing any restrictions to individuality of design.