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Staff's Perceptions of Public Library Goals: A Case Study of an Australian Public Library

Ida Vincent
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 54, No. 4 (Oct., 1984), pp. 396-411
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4307778
Page Count: 16
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Staff's Perceptions of Public Library Goals: A Case Study of an Australian Public Library
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Abstract

Staff at the Bankstown, Australia, public library were found to hold generally conservative views of public library purpose and to prefer goals which were print-based and directly related to reading. Goals implying response to expressed needs were preferred to active intervention, especially in relation to adults. Nonprofessional staff displayed less awareness of the philosophical basis of public librarianship than did professionals, but they also appeared more willing to adopt innovative new goals. Among recipients of library service, respondents believed that the library placed higher priority on institutions and lower priority on disadvantaged individuals than they themselves would. The most significant influences on perceptions of library goals appeared to be local practice and practical considerations. Enrollment in library education programs, political and managerial expediency, and social needs in the community appeared to be less significant. The implications of the study for the implementation of change in public library goals are discussed.

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