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Information and Referral Services: A Short History and Some Recommendations

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Title: Information and Referral Services: A Short History and Some Recommendations
Author(s): Long, Nicholas
Subject(s): Libraries and community Social service --Information services Reference services (Libraries) Community information services
Abstract: During the past fifteen years a new kind of social service has blossomed on the American scene. This service has come to be known by a variety of names, the most popular of which is "information and referral (I&R)." Information and referral services are symptomatic of the complexity of the present mode for delivering human services, and reflect a relatively conventional response to the problems created by such complexity. It is suggested that I&R services represent a conventional response because they grew out of the tangle of human services and have evolved essentially as partners and perpetuators of the present complexity of human services. The suggestion that I&R services perpetuate the system which forced them into existence is not necessarily a condemnation of I&R services. The fact remains that human services remain largely inaccessible to a great number of people who need them. The barriers, such as poverty, ignorance, and prejudice, which prevent the utilization of services, are not easily overcome. The means for removing such barriers fall primarily in the human services area, so that the problem becomes circular: to obtain help in changing one's condition one must have an adequate income, education, and a means for combating discrimination. But if one does not have these resources, then the probability that help can be obtained to reach such resources is greatly diminished. What appears to be needed is a revolution in the delivery of human services, or the development of an entirely new approach to their delivery that lies completely outside the present structure.
Issue Date: 1971
Publisher: Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In C.L. Kronus and L. Crowe (eds). 1971. Libraries and neighborhood information centers; papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, October 24-27, 1971. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 1-14.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (17th : 1971)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1579
ISSN: 0536-4604
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1971.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-07-17
 

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