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The public library

McMenemy, D. (2007) The public library. Facet Publishing. ISBN 1856046168

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Abstract

Public Libraries have changed beyond anyone's predictions in the past ten years and are at a vital stage in their historical development. This timely book is the first stand-alone text to examine the role and services of the UK public library in the 21st century context. The book discusses the nature and functions of the modern public library service, from its beginnings as the street-corner university, through its delivery of state-of-the-art services and beyond. At the heart of the book is a passionate argument for the professional and public significance of the public library service in the UK. The chapters include: introduction - the public library: the modern context; history of the public library in the UK; the traditional role of the public librarian; the promotion of reading; the promotion of other literacies (information and ICT literacies); special services (including disability services, ethnic services and other specialist operations); the coming of the people's network; measuring value and performance; marketing and branding; ethical issues; and, the future of the public library. Of interest to students and researchers of library and information science, as well professionals in public libraries, this book is an advocacy tool for an essential service consistently under pressure.