Give ‘Em What They Want!: Managing the Public’s Library
American Library Association
Submitter: This was not a bad choice for 1992. But holding on to it today is just sad. This was still being used at my local library. I think it’s time to update to this century.
Holly: This was great in the early 1990s! I even like the “give ’em what they want” philosophy for library management books for today. It is just too dated to be useful, though. The screen shots below (especially the Baker & Taylor ordering system) are just comical. Of course technology is still part of long-range planning, as indicated in the third image below (the one with the microfilm machine), but the way that is worded is soooo 1992. Or earlier.
The Book Finder: A Guide to Children’s Literature about the Needs and Problems of Youth Aged 2-15
Time to consider weeding those professional collections.
Submitter: My library is doing away with its reference collection; items will be re-integrated into the circulating collection or weeded. I found this particular book in the juvenile reference section, on a very dusty shelf that never gets touched. While I like the idea of being able to find a book on a particular topic when a child is asking for it, there are many, many other sources I would use before I would pick up this particular volume. It’s ridiculously dated, and most of the titles in this book aren’t even in our collection anymore. I could see it being a useful addition to a SLIS library or archive, but in a public library it’s just taking up valuable shelf space.
Holly: We have a new “book finder” these days. It’s called the online catalog.
More Book Finders:
Managing the Public Library
In honor of National Library Week, we have a few bonus posts to make sure you are also thinking about your professional collection. (When was that last weeded?)
This relic was published in 1984. I’m not sure what was updated or revised (or if it was updated or revised…) because the second edition still cites data from 1981-1982. (Really, really old data like per capita expenditures and revenues.)
There is barely a mention of computers, other than to say that computerization and automation could really help libraries improve the use of tax funds through “more effective use of personnel, and better control of resources” (p. xiii). Well, that’s certainly true – and has been for thirty-odd years.
The page on audiovisual services talks about how libraries often separate collections by format. You know, so that a patron who does not have access to a film projector won’t waste their time looking through film reels.
The marketing section focuses on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, flyers, and direct mail. Libraries may still use those venues in marketing today, but a more useful book on the topic would have to include e-newsletters, social media, mobile apps, and other techie techniques.