Joan C. Durrance is Professor and Coordinator in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A leading authority on community information research, she is also the author of several books including Meeting Community Needs through Job and Career Centers and Armed for Action. She received ALA's Isadore Gilbert Mudge-R.R. Bowker Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship. Durrance earned her master's degree in library science from the University of North Carolina and her doctorate from the University of Michigan.
- Table of Contents
- About the Authors
Librarians are key players in bringing communities together. With the help of the Internet, they are in a position to revolutionize the way users access information and come together as a result. Indeed, libraries can function as both hubs to circulate local, national, and global information and as networks of local agencies, nonprofits, community activities, resources, events, and contacts.
Building from detailed research, this forward-looking new book addresses the ways that libraries can harness the power of the Internet to provide digitized community information to local audiences. Using its proven methods, hands-on tools, and best practices developed in libraries across the country, any library can design and build a dynamic and unifying community information site. Featuring three of the nation's leading community network sites (Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Free-Net, Suburban Chicago's NorthStarNet, and Portland, Oregon's CascadeLink), expert author team Durrance and Pettigrew outline innovative ways to present information for and about your community.
Featured are 23 examples of best practices from libraries around the country that help you approach:
- Access issues and the digital divide
- Community information services
- Specialized content
- Local government agency content
- Civic partnerships
And 14 ways to improve your Community Information site, such as:
- Providing users with greater specificity in searches
- Following interface design principles to address information overload
- Indicating sources, credentials, and date of entry
This well-researched, instructional guide will help you to truly create a nexus of information at your library and thereby amplify its visibility, prominence, and place in the community.
Chapter 1: How the Public Uses Networked Community Information
Chapter 2: From Vertical Files to the Web
The Impact of Digital CI on Public Library Information Services
Chapter 3: Public Library Participation in Community Networking
Chapter 4: Benefits of Access to Community Information and Community Networks
Chapter 5: Best Practice
Public Libraries, Community Information, and Community Networking
Chapter 6: The Evaluation Challenge
Chapter 7: Learning from Best Practice
Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations
A Literature Review
"...especially recommended for librarians who want their academic, community corporate, or governmental library to be the best it can be in this modern information age of cyberspace, computerized data banks, and the World Wide Web."
—Midwest Book Review
"...addresses the ways that libraries can harness the power of the Internet to provide digitized community information to local audiences. Using proven methods, hands-on tools, and best practices developed in libraries across the country, a library can design and build a dynamic and unifying community information site."
—Computers in Libraries
"An exciting an excellent guide for any public library developing its community information resources."
"...a solid, thorough job."
"...a useful and relevant book for all librarians involved in community librarianship."
— New Library World
"For public librarians who are interested in developing or improving their CI networks, Online Community Information is a good place to start¡¬the best practices presented here can serve as inspiration to create your own CI services."
— Information Today