Natl Lib Wk 2015 – Planning and Role Setting for Public Libraries

Planning and Role Setting for Public LibrariesPlanning and Role Setting for Public Libraries: A Manual of Operations and Procedures
McClure, Owen, Zweizig, Lynch, and Van House

My library hired a new Director when our previous Director retired a while ago. As she read all the various manuals and documents left behind, she came upon a small collection of books in her new office. Since she has a great sense of humor and appreciates ALB, she bestowed some of the worst books she found upon us.

What we have here, my friends, is a very well-written, informative little tome on strategic planning for public libraries. At least, in the late 80s it was. When I saw the cover of this book I  knew ALB had to have it. That hair! That outfit! The complete lack of anything technological in that office!

And then there’s what’s on the inside. The first picture (below) shows a woman pointing to a completely blank flip chart, smiling like she’s so proud of her fake presentation. (Maybe it just didn’t show up in the grainy black and white photos and there’s actually something on that white board?) Picture #2 shows a woman using a sweet old-school phone. The text on that page talks about how libraries have extensive  vertical files. True, some libraries may still have vertical files, but many, many more have moved to web links or digitization. Picture #3 shows what looks like a computer, but is clearly old, old, old. Not a great representation of libraries today.

The text is dated in places, but surprisingly has a lot of pretty good advice too! But alas, I would have to weed it in favor of something completely current. Half-relevant doesn’t cut it upstairs in the Admin office.


Planning to Plan

Community Information Center

Formal Education Support Center


  1. I worked in Library Development at the Library of Michigan in ’84-’95, and this book was one of our favorite resources back then! Too funny to see it on ALB. 🙂

  2. I think picture #3 shows a microfiche reader. I don’t think you could find a CRT monitor that size in 1987 (and certainly not with a flat screen).

  3. I’m fairly sure that the “computer” on page 34 is actually an oldschool microfilm/microfiche reader… (Glare/privacy filters for CRT monitors back then were placed over the screen like sunglasses, while the micro-readers had a light-colored ‘shade’ around their outer edges.)

  4. [zooms in on picture, sees reel handles]
    Yep. microfilm reader. Been there, done that.
    Yes, I’m old.

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