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Title:Identifying the Library's Public and Community
Author(s):McCormick, Peter J.
Subject(s):Reference services (Libraries)
Abstract:A community has been described as "a constellation of institutions, organizations, and associations held together by their relationship with each other." To that, should be added "for the purposes of affording opportunities for individual development and expression, while promoting the common good. " This institute is concerned with the library's role in this constellation, and particularly with its role as the community in- - formation center. As B.R. Berelson has noted in The Li - brary's Public, the library has many publics in the sense of distinctive groups making distinctive demands or having particular library needs. * This is also true of its reference services. The purpose here is to identify some of these publics that have need of the library as the community information center. In discussing the library's publics there is a tendency to think of statistical aggregates, each mutually exclusive and with definite and rigid characteristics. But these groups are composed of individuals and these individuals are often members of different groups in their use of library services. Moreover, the interests and needs of these individuals vary in intensity both in point of time and as compared with other members of their groups. For example, many people have mutual enthusiasms, some interests in common but of varying intensities, and some completely different. A good community information center will not only anticipate these wide and varying needs but will also gear its reference skills and resources so as to effectively satisfy specific individual requests. It will be able to provide simple factual information with dispatch and will be equally prepared to marshall its complete resources and skills for the person who wishes to pursue a subject in depth. Moreover, it will have knowledge of and access toother resources that will supplement its own.
Issue Date:1957
Publisher:Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In R.B.Phelps and J.Phillips (eds). 1957. The library as a community information center; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Library School, September 29-October 2, 1957. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 12-17.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (4th : 1957)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois 1957.
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-13

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