This important book examines the potential for a new community led service model in public libraries. Using theoretical approaches to working with socially excluded community members, with a direct application of those approaches in Canadian public libraries, the authors offer a powerful and persuasive case for adopting the community led approach in libraries worldwide. The book showcases good practice and outlines the challenges to community development work. With public libraries facing budget cuts, this book offers an alternative way forward based on a community led approach to developing needs based library services. This book makes a unique contribution to public library thinking and policy, synthesising the outcomes of research and best practice at the cutting edge of library service delivery, and will be essential reading for all those researching and working in the public library sector.
’Now, more than ever, public libraries must remain relevant and responsive to the ever-changing needs of our communities. Using the community-led approaches explained in this book, libraries can respond holistically and inclusively to community needs.’ Jennifer Peterson, WebJunction Community Manager, OCLC, USA 'Pateman and Williment bring direct experience as well as years of research to this essential guide. The community-led public library development approach they describe is neither an added service nor a boilerplate substitute for tradition; instead, it is a service position and attitude that recreates the essential civic contract between librarians and the public. Every facet of concern requiring exploration is addressed here, with copious examples provided from across England and Canada. Repairing the worlds of the socially excluded in our communities is public library engagement at its best.' Francisca Goldsmith, formerly Director of Branch Services, Halifax Regional Library, Nova Scotia, Canada '... provides a blueprint and practical roadmap for library teams and library schools everywhere... It is a clear challenge but also a guideline on how to reinvigorate our role as an agent of social change and social justice... Well-written by respected practitioners, clear and sound evidence-based with excellent bibliographic references it is a must read for those floundering with an elevator pitch or strategy for the future of their library services. It should open a dialogue with library schools and be compulsory reading for library students... An invaluable resource, a thought-provoking book for public library leaders and staff, students of library and information science and indeed politicians. The book reads easily, an excellent bibliography prompts further reading and a useful index concludes the book. It is undoubtedly a step forward in outlining effective public library policy.' Liz McGettigan, Head of Libraries and Information Services, The City of