Library Trends 44 (3) Winter 1996: Perspectives on Quality in Libraries


Library Trends 44 (3) Winter 1996: Perspectives on Quality in Libraries. Edited by Thomas W. Shaughnessy.

As many of the contributors to this issue of Library Trends will agree, writing on quality in libraries is a very challenging assignment. This is not because quality is lacking in libraries or because it is unknown or unknowable owing to its metaphysical nature, but because it has been so difficult to describe and measure. Peter Senge, in his public addresses, will sometimes ask the question: “What do fish talk about?” His answer is that we will never know, but one can be fairly certain that it is not water. Perhaps there is an analogy between libraries and quality: quality services, collections, and programs are a given; quality is a basic value of our profession; libraries strive to deliver the highest quality service even though they may sometimes fall short of this goal. In the final analysis, quality is what libraries are all about.

The articles published in this issue represent an extraordinary set of perspectives on quality. Although the literature on quality in libraries is not large, there is very little duplication in themes or treatment among the articles. One conclusion that can easily be drawn is that quality has been, and will continue to be, an issue of strategic importance to librarianship and information science.

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

Recent AdditionsRSS feed

Collection Statistics