Public Libraries in the 21st Century presents a comprehensive analysis of the impact of recent policy initiatives directly targeted at public libraries along with broader developments in the public sector environment within which they operate. Key features include: ¢ An exploration of the context within which public libraries are operating and analysis of their role in local and national life; ¢ Examples of best practice in service delivery; ¢ Evaluation of the challenges and opportunities confronting public library managers; ¢ Wide ranging coverage, including information from published and unpublished sources, supplemented by interviews with key stakeholders in the public library sector. The book provides a unique and thorough guide to the contemporary discourses surrounding issues of identity, social purpose, value and strategy facing the public library service.
'Dr. Goulding's extensive review of the literature, and interviews with professionals and policy makers, have resulted in a comprehensive compendium of facts, ideas, and opinions. She outlines many of our current professional debates and has produced a readable text that may well provoke more. It is a work that is destined to be on student reading lists for many years to come and one that will find a welcome place on the bookshelves of those with more experience of the public library world.' Bob Usherwood, Emeritus Professor, University of Sheffield, UK '…books such as this - readable, relevant, comprehensive, informative, well produced and with a good index and bibliography - are always worth the investment. This one certainly is, for all public library senior and middle managers and library and information study programs.' -Aplis (Australian Public Libraries and Information Services) - Vol 19, no 3 , September 2006. 'Dr Goulding draws on a wealth of sources, both published and unpublished, and interviews with a wide range of individuals. She is also able to provide a valuable insight into the public library, making use of statistics and observations and commentary by practitioners and policy makers. This very useful overview of the more recent evolution of public libraries in the UK.' - Ayub Khan, Library & Information Update, February 2007 'Clearly this is a volume that every public librarian - and they form over a third of the active membership of CILIP - needs to read and discuss with their colleagues to see what they can do to improve the situation. It could be a good tool to revitalize services at a local level. The image of the service is important if people of the right calibre and personality are to be recruited, and the library schools have a role in devloping tomorrow's leaders. Look to other parts of the world and see the positive ways that are being used in the USA, Australia, Singapore etc. to tackle a similiar problem.' Library Review, Vol