Pungitore's timely and important exploration of many of the critical issues affecting public libraries renders a significant service to public library decision makers. By exploring current national trends and views of advocates and detractors concerning the various issues discussed, the author provides assistance to public librarians who, faced with dilemmas created by social, cultural, economic, and technological change' must make many difficult choices that often involve compromise and accommodation'. . . . In addition to assisting public librarians and board members, themany issues addressed in this very worthy and much-needed work provide an introduction to numerous term paper and discussion topics for our public librarians of the future.
Although the various models of public library management that have been advocated are undoubtedly useful, Pungitore argues that reliance on any single model as the best approach to running a library fails to take account of the diversity and individual character of these institutions. Her book suggests a basis for assessing the suitability of different options to specific situations. Presenting an impartial survey of current trends and issues in the field, this book focuses on the central challenge facing today's public library: how to survive and grow in an environment shaped by continuing social, economic, and technological change. In addition to topics directly associated with changing conditions, Pungitore covers philosophical, administrative and service-related issues.
In addition to topics directly associated with changing conditions, Pungitore covers philosophical, administrative, and service-related issues, devoting several chapters to each area. Each chapter summarizes a specific topic and discusses differing viewpoints and side issues relating to it. Aspects of public librarianship addressed include historical foundations; the fundamental mission of the public library; and institutional planning, organization, and governance. Pungitore explores problematic and controversial issues such as how public libraries should be funded, what services should be provided and to whom and by what means, and how libraries need to change in order to survive and continue to fill their functions in the community. Developed as an introduction to the major concerns of public librarians and administrators, this work offers library science students a thoughtful and balanced overview of the field.