Public Librarianship [ELIS Classic]

Authored by: Kathleen de la Peña McCook , Katharine J. Phenix

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Public librarians are the community’s cultural support as providers of lifelong learning, reading, information provision, and a vibrant public sphere for people of all ages. Public librarians provide access to books and all varieties of media to meet the needs of people for education, information, and personal development. This entry focuses on public librarianship as it is practiced in the United States with a brief history of the field’s development in two parts: beginnings to 1966 when the field used a national service model and 1966 to the present with a community-based focus. The education, certification, and working conditions of public librarians are reviewed. The philosophical and ethical worldview of practice with a human rights ethos is described. Finally, current (2009) issues in public librarianship are stated.

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