This chapter introduces MPI features that support the development of parallel libraries. Parallel libraries are needed to encapsulate the distracting complications inherent in parallel implementations of key algorithms. They help to ensure consistent correctness of such procedures, and provide a ``higher level'' of portability than MPI itself can provide. As such, libraries prevent each programmer from repeating the work of defining consistent data structures, data layouts, and methods that implement key algorithms (such as matrix operations). Since the best libraries come with several variations on parallel systems (different data layouts, different strategies depending on the size of the system or problem, or type of floating point), this too needs to be hidden from the user.
We refer the reader to [(ref MPILIB)] and [(ref MPIPP)] for further information on writing libraries in MPI, using the features described in this chapter.