This important volume by one of the leading scholars in the field examines and discusses how library professionals can meet the demands of policy makers to open up the public library system without destroying its values. Based on a critical literature review, a survey of library professionals and consultations with other stakeholders, the book discusses the challenges involved in providing a service that prioritizes equity and social inclusion while at the same time attempting to promote and maintain quality, excellence and ethical standards. In assessing how those responsible for public libraries around the world go about this task the author advocates a service that is sensitive to difference and seeks to provide access to the best.
'Set in the strategic context of the 21st Century Library Service, Usherwood captures the dilemma of our time. Every librarian in public libraries should read this.' Pamela Tulloch, CILIP 'If you are at all interested in the survival of public libraries you really must read this book - and engage with Bob Usherwood's arguments. You may hate them, you may think they are spot on, but you certainly can't ignore them. It's opinionated, thought provoking and bound to stir up controversy. If you only read one professional text book a year make sure it is this.' Richard Ward, Hampshire County Library Services, UK. 'This is a powerful treatise on how the fashion of ignorance and dumbing down is putting at risk the future of public libraries. Usherwood passionately advocates for public libraries to rediscover their soul and regain their social mission as a result. It is an inspiring text for those who believe in the true values of public libraries and an essential read for those in the profession and in political life who have forgotten them'. David McMenemy, University of Strathclyde, UK 'This book is a wake up call. Usherwood's ideals might sound old fashioned at times, but they are well founded and easily translated into modern public library service' Library & Information Update, Vol 7 June 2008 'Bob has written a book which is educational, entertaining, inspirational and polemical. It has achieved its aim of promoting debate and helping formulate a vision for the future.' CILIP Update, 2008 'Regardless of whether one agrees with Usherwood, he has written an important book that demands to be read, discussed and acted upon.' The Australian Library Journal, November 2008 '…I would urge anyone with an interest in the future of public library services to read Equity and Excellence….it opens the debate and will challenge your thinking about the current and future direction of public libraries New Library World, 2008 'Bob Usherwood is well known to many public l