Reinvention of the Public Library for the 21st Century

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9781563086281: Reinvention of the Public Library for the 21st Century
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Challenges faced by public libraries as they approach the next century are addressed in this collection. Using recent literature and interviews with distinguished library directors, articles cover strategic and technological issues, such as fund-raising, pursuit of a community-based mission, combination of old and new media, application of appropriate technology, and collaboration with other libraries and community agencies. Each chapter includes a list of additional readings and questions for discussion. Written by graduate students in the author's public library course, this book can serve as a discussion guide for library and information science students and as a comprehensive and informative resource for all public library administrators, staff, boards, Friends, and funding agencies.

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WILLIAM L. WHITESIDES, SR., is Adjunct Instructor, School of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and President of Colleagues on Call.

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Unable to find an adequate textbook for the course he was teaching, Whitesides decided to have the class create one that emphasized the public library as it enters the twenty-first century. It starts with a chapter on previous public library history and continues with others that provide starting points for discussing situations and problems facing the public library as it enters the next century. Particular topics include relating the values of the past to the present, the public library as "place," library people (i.e., librarians, paraprofessionals, trustees, and volunteers), support for the public library, the role of technology, and service to special populations. An appendix considers the outlook for 13 U.S. public libraries. Textbook it may be, but any public librarian who will be part of the "reinvention" of the twenty-first-century public library may find it valuable. Edward Swanson

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