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Implications of 4th Law of Library Science

1. Introduction: The fourth law of Library Science is “Save the Time of the Reader”. A user is supposed to be a busy person; so his / her time must be saved. Corollary of this law is “save the time of the staff”.  A reader coming to the library should get an exact and fast service; they should not be made to wait longer than necessary. Unnecessary delay may cause vexation and readers may be dissatisfied. Dissatisfied readers may cease to come to the library.

2. Location of the Library: The library must be centrally located so that it is conveniently accessible to the community being served. If the library is located near its user, then minimum distance need to be covered by the user in approaching the library and it will save their time.

3. Open Access: There are many advantages of introducing the open access. One of the major advantages of open access system is the subjective time decline which gives satisfaction to the readers. Open access will also help the reader to select alternative titles within minimum of time spent, in the event of the required title not being available in the library.

4. Centralized Classification and Cataloguing: In the library environment after acquiring the book, much time is spent in classifying and cataloguing the book. Cataloguing in press, cataloguing in publication, cataloguing with the aid of OCLC database will greatly reduce the time factor in making the book available to the user after its acquisition.

5. In-Depth Classification: Proper classification system which would bring together documents on a specific subject and also the related subject should be adopted. The in-depth classification will help the user in locating his/her document pin pointedly.

6. Shelf Arrangement: The arrangement of documents according to the degree of mutual relationship of subjects would lead to saving the time of the readers. It will save the time of the reader in approaching to his/her preferred title among a list of other titles.

7. Signage System: Stack room guide, bay guides, tier guides, gangway guides should be provided to save the time of the reader so that the user need not to move here and there in search of his/her book.

8. Reference Service: There will always be user who will find it difficult in locating an item within a library. So, the fourth law advocates the need of reference service to save the time of the user.

9. Information Technology: The uses of IT in libraries invariably speed up many activities. So to fulfil the fourth law the IT should be introduced in the issue method, charging and discharging and so on.

10. Conclusion: If the library staff will think like helping the user is going to be their one of the best things in their life then there cannot be any hindrance in fulfilling the 4th law of Library Science. The user education programme and the knowledge of the library staff about the resources that forms a part of their collection will also help in fulfilling the 4th law of Library Science.

How to Cite this Article?
APA Citation, 7th Ed.:  Barman, B. (2020). A comprehensive book on Library and Information Science. New Publications.
Chicago 16th Ed.:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. Guwahati: New Publications, 2020.
MLA Citation 8th Ed:  Barman, Badan. A Comprehensive Book on Library and Information Science. New Publications, 2020.

Badan BarmanDr. Badan Barman at present working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Library and Information Science, Gauhati University, Guwahati-781014, Assam, India. He is the creator of the LIS Links ( - India’s most popular social networking website for Library and Information Science professionals. He also created the Open Access Journals Search Engine (OAJSE) (, UGC NET Guide (, Assam Archive ( and LIS Study ( website.

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