Public Libraries and Resilient Cities

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

Public libraries are keystone public institutions for any thriving community, and as such can be leaders in making cities better places to work, play, and live. In this important book, noted urban planner and librarian Dudley shows how public libraries can contribute to "placemaking," or the creation and nurturing of vital and unique communities for their residents. Using case studies and other information from the field, the author

  • Shows how public libraries can address pressing urban and environmental sustainability issues through smart urban design practices, making contributions to economic regeneration, and a commitment to social equity
  • Provides examples of innovation in public library design, management, collaboration and public services
  • Offers librarians, library administrators, and even urban planners the practical knowledge, tools, and vocabulary to overcome professional and disciplinary barriers

From the economic renewal potential of library development projects, to the provision of public space in a privatizing world, from services for the homeless to crisis management during urban disasters, Public Libraries and Resilient Cities explores the vital role that public libraries can play in the promotion of ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable communities in challenging times.

1. The Library and the City
Michael Dudley
2. Exploring Public Library Contributions to Urban Resiliency
Dr. Glen Holt
3. Finding Room for Everyone: Libraries Confront Social Exclusion
Jennifer Hoyer
4. Baltimore's Equalizer: Lessons in Social Equity from the Enoch Pratt Free Library
Vanessa N. Francis
5. Queens Library's Literacy Zone Welcome Center at Long Island City
Deborah Olley Murphy and Denise Clark
6. From Outreach to Community Development: Making Socially Sustainable Choices at Winnipeg Public Library
Monique Woroniak
7. Summer Foods, Libraries, and Resiliency: Creative Problem Solving and Community Partnerships in Massachusetts
Melissa S. Rauseo and Julie Biando Edwards
8. Public Library Gardens: Playing a Role in Ecologically Sustainable Communities
Mary Wilkins Jordan
9. Partners for the Future: Public Libraries and Local Governments Creating Sustainable Communities
Urban Libraries Council
10. A "People's Palace": Public Libraries and Placemaking
Maija Berndtson
11. In the Wake of Hurricane Ike: The Houston Public Library Responds
Meller Langford and Roosevelt Weeks with Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson
12. Public Libraries, Peak Oil, and Climate Change
Matthew Havens and Michael Dudley
13. Collaborative Community Library Planning and Economic Crisis: The Case of Harare, Zimbabwe
Innocent Chirisa
14. Engaging Communities, Making a Difference: Edmonton Public Library's Community-Led Service Philosophy
Pilar Martinez

Michael Dudley

Michael Dudley is an urban planning librarian and researcher with the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg, where he engages in community-based, public interest research and teaches in the university's environmental studies program. He is the editorial board chair for Plan Canada magazine, the official publication of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

"Case studies on the various projects were written by library staff, all of whom have recognised experience and impressive experiences to share. Other contributors include a lecturer in economics and social studies, a fund-raising manager and a research associate in urban studies, all of whom offer valuable insights and fresh perspectives … The information presented is both practical and wide reaching, covering the issues as well as specific projects that address local concerns."
--Australian Library Journal