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loading library

is there a way to know if a library is already loaded.

You could just check if the variable exists:
if (!isset($this->some_lib)) $this->load->library('some_lib');
As a side note: it is not a problem to load the same library twice. CI will just ignore the second $this->load command.

Thanks mddd - I was going to ask that very question: what are the consequences (none? slight performance hit? serious performance hit?) of loading a model, library or helper more than once?

E.g. auto-loading it but then loading it again in the controller, or loading a helper in a controller and also in a library loaded by that same controller.

(Obviously in a perfect world you wouldn't load things twice. But my application isn't a perfect world. Not yet, anyway.)

From what you say, this isn't something I should worry about, right?

Correct. Don't worry about loading stuff twice.

You COULD look at whether you are loading stuff unneccesarily. If you are autoloading things that are only really used in some controllers/methods, you should consider moving the loading to the controller/method to reduce memory use. But that's a different problem.

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