Public Libraries and Their Communities: An Introduction provide an overview of public librarianship today.
It covers library organization, policy development, staffing, fiscal organization including funding sources and budgets, the legal framework, relationships with local and state governments, advocacy, services and service development for different age groups and for different groups of users, development of programming and outreach, collection development, promotion and marketing, and current issues and trends.
In addition to context and concepts, the book uses many examples from both large and small public libraries to bring principles to life. Examples include real library policies, case studies, strategic planning, organization charts and library budgets.
Many think that public libraries are not complicated to run.This book aims to show that public libraries are very complicated and require much skill on the part of the director, staff, and Board of Trustees to meet the needs of their local users.Advocacy and marketing have become important parts of the work of public libraries. Funding is always challenging so public libraries must constantly be making the local government and its citizens aware of the public library – its programs, collections, and services.
This book's focus is on how public libraries reach beyond the walls of their buildings and touch the lives of their citizens.Meeting community interests and needs is essential for 21st century public libraries.
For students the book offers discussion questions at the end of each chapter. These questions also provide discussion starters for public library staff development.
Kay Ann Cassell is adjunct professor at the Rutgers University Department of Library and Information Science where she teaches a variety of courses including reference and information services, collection development and public libraries. She has worked in public and academic libraries. She has been the director of the Bethlehem (NY) Public Library, the director of the Huntington (NY) Public Library, the director of the New School for Social Research library and the associate director for collections and services at the New York Public Library. As NYPL’s associate director of collections and services she oversaw the development of reference services, collections, programs and services for all branches. She has also worked as a coordinator for public library services at the New Jersey State Library and the Westchester Library System. Kay Ann Cassell is the coauthor of Reference and Information Services, an Introduction and the author of Managing Reference Today.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction and the History of U.S. Public Libraries
Chapter 2: Strategic Planning and the Public Library
Chapter 3: Library Establishment, Policies, and Governance
Chapter 4: Organization and Staffing
Chapter 5: Advocacy, Relationships with External Groups, State and Local Government
Chapter 6: Fiscal Organization of Public Libraries; Funding, Funding Sources and Budgets
Chapter 7: Community and Civic Engagement; Outreach Services
Chapter 8: Services to Children and Young Adults by Lisa Houde
Chapter 9: Services to Adults and Groups of Adults
Chapter 10: Collections and Collection Development
Chapter 11: Marketing and Promotion
Chapter 12: The Post Pandemic Public Library
Public Libraries and Their Communities offers a robust representation of the countless changing aspects of public libraries. Cassell provides a concise history of public libraries, the development of different services specific to the communities they serve, and the continued influence of public libraries in enhancing educational programs and life-long learning skills. It is a clearly written source that explores many of the components necessary for public libraries to operate efficiently. Areas examined include financial aspects and budgeting, staffing at all levels, services to designated age groups, collection development, and community involvement. A guide to understanding the meaning, organization, and resilience of public libraries, this book is for anyone interested in public librarianship, public librarians regardless of specialization (children, young adult, adult), clerical staff at branch libraries, and the services public libraries offer. Recommended. Graduate students, professionals, and general readers.
Professional first-aid for new and experienced public librarians seeking to provide quality service in a sometimes splintered America. A most useful text for a course in public librarianship.
As advocacy and constituency engagement are now more essential than ever in securing the future of public libraries, Cassell has provided a valuable primer for anyone needing a broad and contextual understanding of public libraries and the communities they serve.
Public Libraries and Their Communities: An Introduction, by Kay Ann Cassell, is a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to understanding how libraries build the services they provided for public library communities. The book is a great resource not just for professional librarians, but for all who care and invest in public libraries and want to learn the myriad of activities that go into building today’s public library.
Public Libraries and Their Communities provides a comprehensive introduction to public libraries and how they have evolved over time. Kay Cassell writes clearly and knowledgably about the various aspects of public library work, from governance to programming to strategic planning. This book should be required reading not only for students, but administrators, board members, and all who wish to develop a deeper understanding of our uniquely American institution.