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Project Aurora, Elyria, Ohio

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Title: Project Aurora, Elyria, Ohio
Author(s): Sager, Donald J.
Subject(s): Libraries and community Social service --Information services Reference services (Libraries) Community information services
Abstract: Project Aurora was designed to test library service by caseload. Caseload is a word that has social work connotations, but the intent was only to employ a social work technique, not a social work philosophy, to library service. Funds for the project were provided by the State Library of Ohio under Title I of the Library Services and Construction Act. The test site was Elyria, Ohio, a city of 56,000 twentyfive miles west of Cleveland. A socio-economic cross section of this city was selected for the project including 1,000 families totaling approximately 3,600 to 4,000 people. The rest of the city functioned as a control group. A professional librarian, Joan Schmutzler, was hired as project director, together with a secretary and four fieldworkers. No money was allocated for rent or building and only a limited amount of office equipment was purchased; investment was in people instead. Each of the four fieldworkers, following their training period, was assigned 250 families to serve directly. The fieldworkers operated out of the main library as an interface between the library's professionals and their caseload. None of the fieldworkers were professional librarians. They had a variety of backgrounds and experience. Their main characteristics were an interest in people and a similarity to the people with whom they worked. In contrast to other outreach programs, they neither floated in a neighborhood nor were they assigned a fixed base of operations like a storefront or a community center. They were clientcentered in their service philosophy.
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: 111-114.
Series/Report: Allerton Park Institute (17th : 1971)
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/1587
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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