Laws of Library Science


  • The five laws of library science is a theory that S. R. Ranganathan proposed in 1931 ,  These laws are: 
  1. Books are for use.
  2. Every reader his or her book.
  3. Every book its reader.
  4. Save the time of the reader.
  5. A library is a growing organism. 

Implications of Five Laws of Library Science



First Law:

Books Are For Use.

Second Law: Every Reader His/Her Book .

Third Law:

Every Book Its Reader. 

Fourth Law: Save The Time Of The Reader.

Fifth Law:

The Library Is A Growing Organism.


  • Library Location
  • Open Access.
  • Library Hours
  • Library Building
  • Library Furniture
  • Book Selection
  • Library Techniques
  • Library Staff
  • Reference Service
  • Publicity
  • Obligations of the State
  • Obligations of the Library Authority
  • Obligations of Library Staff
  • Obligations of the Reader


  • Catalogue
  • Reference Service
  • Publicity
  • Extension Service
  • Open Access
  • Book Selection
  • Shelf Arrangement
  • Easy Access
  • Display of books
  • Classified arrangement 
  • Catalogue Entry 
  • Open Access  
  • Reference Services 
  • Issue Method 
  • Stack Room Guides
  • Library Location






  • Growth in Size
  • Library Building
  • Growth of Readers
  • Growth of Staff



  • S.R. Ranganathan – replaced the terms ‘Books’, ‘Reader’, ‘Library’, by terms ‘Document’, ‘User’, ‘Information’ respectively.

Variants of the five laws of LIS


  • In 2004, librarian Alireza Noruzi recommended the application of Ranganathan's laws to the Web:
  1. Web resources are for use.
  2. Every user has his or her web resource.
  3. Every web resource its user.
  4. Save the time of the user.
  5. The Web is a growing organism.


  • In 1998, librarian Michael Gorman (past president of the American Library Association, 2005-2006), recommended the following laws in addition to Ranganathan’s five in his small book, “Our Singular Strengths”:
  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.