Tripartite library

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Tripartite library (also: Three-part library , user-oriented library , New freehand ) is a presentation concept, especially for public libraries was created. The total stock is divided into a near, medium and long range.


The concept of the Tripartite library of Heinz Emunds , director of the city library Münster ( Münster developed) and presented 1976th This was based on the assumption that the demand of the users could be divided into three basic interests and had the intention of the inventory set up a library for these interests. According to Emunds, these interests are the title and the topic interest, and he also describes the so-called “third” interest. This is "floating freely", partly unconscious and not related to titles or topics. The needs of the users should be put above those of the employees. The first new building based on this organizational principle was the Gütersloh City Library (1984).

While the tripartite library today is often “only” considered a forerunner of the fractal library , the concept itself is still used very often in medium-sized and large public libraries.

The three areas

The close range

The local area essentially presents media on current key issues and interest groups as well as information material such as B. Flyers and posters for regional events, but also information literature such as encyclopedias , atlases or telephone books . In the immediate vicinity, Emunds' so-called “third” interest is to be satisfied. The media set up here are exchanged relatively frequently, but are intended to attract the attention of as many users as possible and are therefore usually set up near the entrance area.

The middle area

This area usually corresponds to the open stacks and usually takes up the largest part of the inventory. Here you will find books , magazine volumes and other media that are systematically arranged and freely accessible , separated into fiction and non-fiction. Regular maintenance is carried out in this area, i.e. outdated or used media are constantly being sorted out or replaced or supplemented with new acquisitions.

The far range

The remote area is set up in the magazine area of the library, so it is not easily accessible and often has the character of presence . Here are e.g. B. media are set up that are rarely in demand or are particularly valuable due to their old age.


  • Heinz Emunds: The library divided into three parts. Close, medium and long range in the strictly user-oriented inventory presentation; Experiences from Münster . In: Book and Library: BuB . tape 28 , 1976, p. 269-288 .
  • Sabine Heiser: The library divided into three parts: from conventional open access to user-oriented presentations; Instructions for librarians (=  work on library and documentation practice . Volume 13 ). Newest Edition. Koechert, Hanover [a. a.] (54 pp.).

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