A public library is a library which is accessible by the public and is often operated by civil servants and funded from public sources.
Public libraries exist in most nations of the world and are considered an essential part of having an educated and literate population.
In addition to books and periodicals, most public libraries today have a wide array of other media including CDss, software, video tapess, and DVDs and facilities to use internet.
Many public libraries around the world pay authors for having books in libraries. These are known as Public Lending Right programs.
See also Public space, List of libraries