Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies

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  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the Authors
  • Reviews

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.


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

Mary Evangeliste

Mary Evangeliste has more than fifteen years of experience in the fine arts and in libraries. She has taught, lectured, and presented in the areas of art history, librarianship, and marketing for local and national groups including the State Department, the Maryland School of Art and Design, Prince George's Community College, the University of Pittsburgh, the Library Administration and Management Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the ALA. She is the cofounder of Fearless Future and the Director of User Services and Outreach at Musselman Library, Gettysburg College. She holds a BA in art history from Allegheny College and an MLIS in library and information science from the University of Pittsburgh. Mary has been honored with two national library marketing awards, 3M Check-It-Out Yourself Day and ACRL's 2005 Best Practices in Marketing Academic and Research Libraries @ your library Award.

Katherine Furlong

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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