Libraries and Society

1st Edition

Role, Responsibility and Future in an Age of Change

Editors: Wendy Evans David Baker
Paperback ISBN: 9781843341314
eBook ISBN: 9781780632636
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 30th April 2011
Page Count: 472
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Table of Contents




List of abbreviations

List of figures, tables and case studies

About the authors

Chapter 1: Libraries, society and social responsibility


Future environment

Technology push

Equity and equality of access

Education and digital literacy

Library as physical space

Value and impact

Re-thinking the library

Re-thinking librarianship


Chapter 2: I wouldn’t start from here … provision and use of UK libraries


Library provision

Library use

Trends over time

The wider world

The wider context


Chapter 3: From people flows to knowledge flows

Introduction: a brief review of People Flows

The People Flows conclusions

Today’s learning context

Working out alternatives

Collaboration for access

Knowledge flows – the lifelong library

Library evolution in uncertain times

Conclusion: how might this happen?

Chapter 4: Scholarly communication and access to research outputs


Journal prices

Academic library journal provision

Electronic information

Issues of access

Library access for external users

Open access

Open access journals


Mandated deposit

Impact on libraries


Chapter 5: Free and equal access: a conundrum for the information society


Free libraries – for those who can afford them

The price of free goods

Freedom of access: rights and limits

Access: equity and equality


Chapter 6: The more they change, the more they stay the same: public libraries and social inclusion


What problem?

What has c


This book reviews both the historical and future roles that public, private, academic and special libraries have in supporting and shaping society at local, regional, national and international levels. Globalisation, economic turmoil, political and ethnic tensions, rapid technology development, global warming and other key environmental factors are all combining in myriad and complex ways to affect everyone, both individually and collectively. Fundamental questions are being asked about the future of society and the bedrock organisations that underpin it. Libraries and Society considers the key aspects of library provision and the major challenges that libraries – however defined, managed, developed and provided – now face, and will continue to face in the future. It also focuses on the emerging chapter in cultural, economic and social history and the library’s role in serving diverse communities within this new era.

Key Features

  • Looks at all types of library in a period of major and discontinuous change, tackling the fundamental questions of the future of libraries in the context of major societal, political and environmental issues
  • Poses important questions for the profession and policy development
  • Fills a major gap in literature (recent discourse and debate on the future of democracy, for example, the library is rarely included)


Practitioners and students of Library and Information Science


No. of pages:
© Chandos Publishing 2011
Chandos Publishing
eBook ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:


It is a must read for thinking librarians, library scholars and policy makers., The Library Herald

About the Editors

Wendy Evans Editor

Wendy Evans is the Head of Library at the University of St. Mark and St John, UK. She has published and lectured in the field of electronic journal and database usage, access versus ownership of journals, and has already co-edited and co-authored four books with David Baker.

Affiliations and Expertise

Head of Library, University of St Mark & St John, UK

David Baker Editor

Professor David Baker has published widely in the field of Library and Information Studies, with eighteen monographs and over 100 articles to his credit. He has spoken worldwide at numerous conferences, led workshops and seminars. His other key professional interest and expertise has been in the field of human resources, where he has also been active in major national projects.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor of Strategic Information Management, University of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, Devon, UK