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Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies
Edited by Mary Evangeliste and Katherine Furlong
Item Number: 978-0-8389-1220-1
Publisher: ALA Editions
Price: $49.00
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176 pages
7" x 10"
ISBN-13: 978-0-8389-1220-1
Year Published: 2014
AP Categories: A, C, I

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The last few years have proven beyond any doubt that libraries cannot afford to coast along with the status quo. Just as important as proposing and adding new services is the sometimes unpleasant process of critically examining existing realities and letting go of obsolete or less useful programs. But instead of panicking about budgetary and staffing challenges, libraries can choose a measured, proactive response. The contributors in this practical guidebook take readers step-by-step through approaches they've used at their own institutions, offering models that can be adapted to a wide variety of settings. After reading this book library directors and administrators will have insights into

  • How planned abandonment strategies grounded in assessment-based decision making can allow libraries to focus on what they do best
  • Common sense solutions to "pressure points" common across many different libraries, such as difficulties in dealing with data, communicating to internal and external populations, and the ordinary day-to-day pressures of running a library
  • The first steps towards formulating a plan of action, and ways to make evaluation of services a regular part of organizational culture
  • Analysis of each case study, and suggestions for further exploration

Through examination of these case studies, librarians can develop a framework that helps lead to more structured thinking about what is vitally important for their own library's future.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Lafayette College

Cutting Costs, Increasing Access: Pay-Per-View Periodicals at Lafayette College Libraries, Michael Hanson and Terese Heidenwolf
Lafayette Bookend
Interview with David Consiglio
Chapter 2: Cumberland County Library System
Moving to Web-Based Services: How Smart Planning and Staff Training Factored into a Complete Website Overhaul—and Improved Community Outreach, Carolyn Blatchley
Cumberland County Bookend
Chapter 3: University of Arizona
Being Relevant in the 21st Century: Elimination of Physical and Electronic Reserve Services, Robyn Huff-Eibl and Jeanne F. Voyles
University of Arizona Bookend
Chapter 4: Oregon State University
Magical Thinking: Moving Beyond Natural Bias to Examine Core Services, Cheryl Middleton
Oregon State University Bookend
Chapter 5: University of California-Santa Cruz
A Good Crisis: Reinventing Critical Services, Greg Careaga, M. Elizabeth Cowell, Nicole Lawson, Lucia Orlando, and Sarah Troy
UC-Santa Cruz Bookend
Chapter 6: University of North Carolina-Charlotte
UNC-Charlotte: A New Way to Think, Lisa T. Nickel and Elizabeth H. Ladner
UNC-Charlotte Bookend
Chapter 7: American University
A Focus on Buy-in: Facilitating the Shift to Electronic Resources through Collaborative Strategic Planning, Anne C. Elguindi
American University Bookend
Interview with Valerie Diggs
Chapter 8: Rosenberg Library
Reimagining Technical Services in Turbulent Times, Maurine Sweeney
Rosenberg Bookend
Chapter 9: University of West Florida
The Great Good Place at the University of West Florida, Melissa Finley Gonzalez and Amanda Westley Ziegler
University of West Florida Bookend
About the Authors and the Contributors

About the Editors

Mary Evangeliste is the owner of Fearless Future, a marketing and design company that works primarily with nonprofits. She is the coauthor of the best-selling ALA title Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian. Before devoting herself full-time to Fearless Future, Mary worked for over 20 years in libraries and museums. She has held positions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, the American University Library, and the University of Arizona Libraries. Mary currently serves on the advisory board of First Book-Tucson and resides in Tucson, Arizona.

Katherine Furlong is Director, Blough-Weis Library, and University Librarian at Susquehanna University. Previously she was Director, Access and Technical Services, at Lafayette College, where she also served as project manager for Lafayette’s $22 million expansion and renovation of Skillman Library. She has participated in the Frye Leadership Institute (2011), the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute (2006) and the Institute for Information Literacy. She has written and presented extensively on library administration, management and instruction. She has served as president of the Delaware Valley chapter of the ACRL and is presently the president of the board of the Pennsylvania Interlibrary Delivery Service.


”From eliminating print and electronic reserves (University of Arizona) to shifting from subscribing to journals to purchasing articles on demand (Lafayette College) to switching from in-person to web-based services (Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Library System), this book informs all of us about how we can change our services and make them more responsive to our user communities … This is a gutsy work—and one that the profession sorely needs."
— Booklist

”Each case study is a testament of how important self-evaluation and careful planning are to achieving success … If you take one thing away from this book, I hope it will be that while change is necessary, it does not have to be overwhelming. With adequate communication and proper planning, great things are within your reach."
— Serials Review

”If you are seeking ideas for innovative practice, this thought-provoking volume might just contain the answers, or at the least remind you to think critically about your practice, as well as thinking about how you think."
— Australian Library Journal

”A refreshing take on how libraries can achieve win – win solutions in a time of decreasing budgets and uncertain usage statistics and would make a welcome addition to any library or reader’s shelves, especially those who are holding the tightest to legacy services."
— Technical Services Quarterly

”An excellent book that addresses problems and possible solutions that can be used by any library."
— Against the Grain

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