The Western Library System recognizes the four types of libraries as established and supported by the Nebraska Library Commission. They are as follows:

Academic Libraries

Universities, colleges and other post secondary educational institutions are generally classified as academic libraries.  The WLS has five institutions that fall within this category.

Public Libraries

Public libraries are those institutions that are often created, supported and governed by municipalities. More often than not, the municipalities defer governance to an advisory boards which ultimately reports to the city council. Financial support is primarily provided through taxpayer dollars as collected by cities and the state.

School Libraries

School libraries are found in public educational institutions that provide primary and secondary education. As is common, school libraries receive their funding though school budgets and are governed by standard school hierarchy and school boards.

Special Libraries

All other institutions that fall outside of the standard library categories as previously mentioned and, who maintain a collection of books and other material for reference are within this category. i.e…Museum Archives, Medical Libraries, Law Libraries, Research Libraries, etc.