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A library is a collection of low-level algorithms that can be used, by those with programming experience, either directly or as pieces upon which end-user software applications can be built. These toolkits serve a critical role by allowing new approaches to be rapidly and flexibly tested before incorporation into end-user software. They tend to be modular and enable addition of functionality to end-user applications. Although some commercial image-oriented libraries exist, such as the Image Processing toolbox in Matlab, the majority of bioimaging libraries are free and open-source.
(Eliceiri et al., 2012) Biological imaging software tools. Nat Methods.