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Libraries and Society - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781843341314, 9781780632636

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 changed?

What has influenced libraries?

An international perspective

A strategy of urgent relevance

Systemic and cultural change

Political change

Conclusion: or is it all a conspiracy …?

Chapter 7: Widening access to information: the haves and the have-nots?


The digital divide

Digital divide initiatives

Technological infrastructure

Uptake and use of ICT

E-accessibility and design for all

Education and training


Chapter 8: Tackling inequalities around the globe: the challenge for libraries


The inequalities of information

Overlooking libraries

Bridging the divide: why information matters

New opportunities – but also new challenges

The technology gap

Managing, maintaining and keeping up

Access and use

Skilling users and skilling staff


Chapter 9: Islands in the cloud: libraries and the social life of information


A world of experience

Taking apart architecture

Making Creative Cities flow

The social life of information

100-mile information diets

Islands in the cloud


Chapter 10: From the passive library to the learning library – it’s an emotional journey


Change is needed

A new focus integrated with current facilities

It’s subtle and it’s emotional

It’s not optional: whatever space we create has emotional effects

Conclusion: some useful types and metaphors


Chapter 11: The modern academic library


The new agenda: a focus on learning

The exploitation of technology

A new model for service delivery


Chapter 12: Libraries and distance education


Distance learning: an African context

Providing library services for distance education

Developments in telecommunications

Libraries and information literacy

What is ‘information literacy’?

The implications of information literacy


Chapter 13: Syllabus independence and the library


The United Kingdom Open University

Syllabus independence

Course design – why academics need libraries


Chapter 14: Libraries in the information society: cooperation and identity


The Dutch library system

The need for cooperation

Towards a digital library of the Netherlands

Conclusion: changing roles in a network of organisations

Chapter 15: Children’s reading habits and attitudes


Children’s reading habits and attitudes

The involvement of parents in children’s reading

Preferences for reading materials

Effect of new technologies

Role of children’s librarians


Chapter 16: The user of tomorrow: young people and the future of library provision


Reading and literacy

Children’s reading and early literacy

Libraries for children and young people

Professional children’s and schools librarians

New libraries for children


Chapter 17: Redefining the librarian


The library profession: a historical perspective

Promoting the profession

Redefining the librarian

Looking forward


Chapter 18: Redefining librarianship



The present day

Professional status and membership

Reviewing the profession

Four dimensions of future professional practice

Advocacy, leadership and representation

Social analysis and the evidence base

Context and environment


Chapter 19: The future of librarians in the workforce: a US perspective


Projections of supply and demand for librarians

IMLS-sponsored study on the future of librarians in the workforce

Demand for librarians

Reasons for librarians leaving the library workforce

Supply of librarians

Age of graduating librarians

Increased competition for librarians

US librarians and libraries during recessions

Attitudes towards library and information science (LIS) education

Attitudes towards work-related issues

Attitudes toward librarianship

Trends in librarian competencies


Chapter 20: The value of libraries: the relationship between change, evaluation and role


What is evaluation and why is it important?

Recent key trends and frameworks

Value as a key measure

Values and value: a possible resolution

Conclusion: value, values and transcendence

Chapter 21: The future of and for library and information services: a public library view


Future roles and challenges



Digital library, digital exclusion, and Digital Britain

Supporting democratic living

Lifelong learning

Twenty-first-century space

Twenty-first-century customers

The death of the public library?



Chapter 22: The future of public libraries and their services: a Danish perspective


The death and rebirth of libraries

Re-inventing the public library

The Danish situation

Policies for the new library

Library space

Developments and examples

Why invest in libraries now?

Local self-service libraries

New partnerships and reaching out

Conclusion: marketing a must

Chapter 23: Library landscapes: digital developments


Societal change

Different communities, different responses

Digital content

Matching user support to user needs

Student use of libraries

Libraries and an online presence

Aggregation of content

Libraries as place

Virtual libraries


Chapter 24: Towards Library 2.0: building the library of the future


The context for change

A changing education and research landscape

Changes in university libraries

Current technical and social trends

Planning for Library 2.0

Working across university services and functions

An institution-wide approach to planning systems

Other trends: new models for delivery of services

What does this mean for libraries?

The changing role of the librarian


End-note: engagement with national and international debate

Chapter 25: Library 2050


If libraries did not exist, would someone invent them?

Turbulent times

Playing consequences: all for one or free for all?

This is your future: towards Library 2050




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
30th April 2011
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:


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

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Wendy Evans

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

David Baker has published widely in the field of Library and Information Studies, with 20 monographs and over 100 articles to his credit. He has spoken worldwide at numerous conferences and 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. He has held senior positions at several institutions, including as Principal and Chief Executive of Plymouth Marjon University, and Emeritus Professor of Strategic Information Management. He has also been Deputy Chair of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). Until recently, he was a member of the Board of Governors of the Universities of Northampton and South Wales. He is Chair of the Board of the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. He is a leader in the field of Library and Information Science.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor Emeritus, Plymouth Marjon University, Plymouth, United Kingdom; Director, David Baker Consulting, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom