Library Trends 13 (3) Winter 1965: Regional Public Library Systems


Library Trends 13 (3) Winter 1965: Regional Public Library Systems. Edited by Hannis S. Smith.

One of the real phenomena of public library development in America in the past decade has been the expansion of the concept of the regional library. In all but nine states some form, or combination of forms, of regional libraries has been put into operation. Twenty-four states have one or more multi-county regional libraries. Four of these plus five others are employing the demonstration method for the establishment of new multi-county regions. In fourteen states there are more than forty branches of the state library extension agency, with two states having both multi-county libraries and state agency branches.

In the pages that follow are contributions by a number of people who are doers of the word and not preachers only. The multi-county library is not a status symbol. It is an attempt, in line with the concept of systems in the ALA standards, to achieve a viable administrative library unit which has some hope of achieving quality library service. It is a means to an end, not an end in itself. With the flexibility which these papers reflect so clearly and with the political and social acumen which recent successes demonstrate, it is apparent that the nagging problems of multi-governmental library cooperation can be solved, and that the multi-county regional library in one of a variety of incarnations can and will be the public library organization of the future.

Some day someone may know enough about the subject to write a book about it. It is the intent of both the editor and the contributors to this issue to provide some steps in that direction.

Library Trends (ISSN 0024-2594) is an essential tool for librarians and educators alike. Each issue thoroughly explores a current topic of interest in professional librarianship and includes practical applications, thorough analyses, and literature reviews. The journal is published quarterly for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science by The Johns Hopkins University Press. For subscription information, call 800-548-1784 (410-516-6987 outside the U.S. and Canada), email jlorder [at], or visit

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