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1.03 Role Statements

Logan Library
Approved: 21 August 2001

Role statements are profiles of what a public library chooses to emphasize in providing services to the community. Role statements are useful in planning what the library is trying to do, who the library is trying to serve, and what resources will be needed to achieve these desired results.

The Logan Library Board selected and approved the following role statements for the Logan Library. They are listed in priority order as determined by the Board.

  1. Popular Materials Library
  2. Reference Library
  3. Preschoolers' Door to Learning
  4. Independent Learning Center
  5. Formal Education Support Center

1.03.01 Popular Materials Library

  1. Description. The library provides current topics and titles that help to fulfill community residents' need for information about popular cultural and social trends and their requests for recreational information and experiences. The library actively promotes and encourages the use of its collection.

    Special booklists may be distributed or materials gathered together to encourage circulation in connection with a library program or display.

  2. Benefits. A wide variety of popular materials for reading, listening, and viewing are available to library patrons. Since some individuals purchase these materials, the library returns an economic benefit to those who borrow, rather than buy, such items. This role enhances and supplements the offerings of community bookstores, theaters, video outlets, and media. The library's support for cultural and leisure activities makes the community an inviting place to live in and visit. Providing popular materials contributes to a high circulation rate. This, in turn, leads to a high visibility for the library in the community.

  3. Critical resources. The collection includes current and popular materials in a variety of formats, with sufficient duplication to meet demand. A significant percentage of the collection has been published within the last five years.

    The staff is knowledgeable about current popular interests and anticipates publishing trends and "hot" titles.

    The facility promotes browsing, has attractive displays and good signage. The building has adequate and easily accessible shelf space, provides casual seating, is an easily accessible site, and has ample parking.

1.03.02 Reference Library

  1. Description. The library provides timely, accurate, and useful information for the community. The library promotes on-site telephone and electronic reference/information services to aid users in locating needed information. Information provided may range from answering a variety of directional questions to specialized research. The library participates in interlibrary loan and cooperative reference services to meet patron needs for information not available.

  2. Benefits. Convenient, timely access to reference service and information is available to library users. Users can find out about almost any subject and obtain materials not generally available elsewhere.

  3. Critical resources. The collection emphasizes informational materials to support individual, business, government, and community interests. Reference materials are available in adult and juvenile formats. The reference collection is extensive and includes such materials as indexes, atlases, encyclopedias, handbooks, and directories. The library makes use of electronic databases and maintains an Internet home page. It has a large current periodicals collection, a local community organizations file, and local statistical database. The library maintains subscriptions to special indexing and abstracting services. Development of local history archives and collecting local documents, memorabilia, and photographs is also emphasized.

    The staff is approachable and skilled in using reference tools and reference interviewing techniques. Collectively, the staff has strong subject backgrounds in the library's areas of subject strength.

    The facility has a clearly identified and visible location for reference and information services that is staffed during all hours of operation. Telephone reference, online reference, and online database searching is available.

1.03.03 Preschoolers' Door to Learning

  1. Description. The library encourages young children to develop an interest in reading and learning. It provides a diverse collection of materials to encourage lifelong learning, reading, literacy, and love of knowledge for preschoolers and their parents. The library strives to work with children, parents, and childcare providers to stimulate young children's interests in a broad range of subjects.

  2. Benefits. The library provides a place for preschoolers to satisfy their curiosity, stimulate new interests, and find information. They can become familiar with library materials in a variety of formats and develop reading, listening, viewing, and thinking skills. Parents can obtain resources and services to support their efforts to develop their children's interests, experience, knowledge, and life skills.

  3. Critical Resources . The collection has a variety of materials for preschoolers and for adults working with young children. Parents and other caregivers can locate materials on reading readiness, parenting, childcare, and child development. For children, the library provides materials in a wide variety of print and non-print formats to help children expand their imagination and develop motor and sensory skills.

    The staff is knowledgeable about early childhood development and children's literature, and is able to guide children's choices of books and other materials. They present a variety of programs and story hours to encourage children to enjoy visiting the library and to help them develop reading and listening skills.

1.03.04 Independent Learning Center

  1. Description. The library supports individuals of all ages pursuing a sustained program of learning independent of any educational provider. These individuals set their own learning objectives to meet such concerns as citizen education, self-improvement, job-related development, hobbies, and cultural interests. Library staff helps learners identify appropriate learning paths, identify needed resources, and obtain resources from the library's collection or through interlibrary loan. Continuing staff involvement or counseling with individual learners is a distinguishing characteristic of this role.

    The library may function as an educational information center providing information relating to occupational needs. Other services may include a learning exchange, linking individuals with other services and organizations offering to teach a skill, or providing adult programs on high-interest learning topics, such as computer skills. Staff may assist children with interests outside the school curriculum, such as pets, rock or stamp collection, or dinosaurs. They may prepare "pathfinders," self-help research guides on selected topics, and help learners identify a customized sequence of study materials.

    The library may focus on specific subject areas or on special age groups.

  2. Benefits. Users can pursue self-determined and self-paced study on various subjects. Independent learners use the resources of the library to "get ahead," to do better in their work, to clarify their values, to learn something new, or to adjust to changes in life and work, such as moving to a new community or retiring. The library supports an educated, self-reliant, and productive citizenry, thus contributing to the stability, attractiveness, and economic well-being of the community. Citizens who use the library can be powerful allies.

  3. Critical Resources . The collection has a wide range of resources in a variety of formats that are geared to the interests and ability levels of the independent learner. The library may develop collections of audio-visual materials on popular self-help topics such as health issues, investment planning, home repair, foreign languages, or psychology.

    The staff is knowledgeable about learning theory, general educational principles, and local opportunities for educational and training programs. They are skilled in assisting independent learners and capable of developing self-guided materials for introducing learners to various subjects.

    The facility is easy to use with minimal staff assistance, has good signage, comfortable reading areas, and some space set aside for quiet study and for staff to counsel with learners. The library is conveniently located and open for a broad range of hours.

1.03.05 Formal Education Support Center

  1. Description. The library assists students of all ages in meeting educational objectives established during their formal courses of study. This may include students in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, community colleges, universities, or technical schools, as well as those involved in training programs, literacy, or adult courses. This emphasis on registration for formal instruction distinguishes the Formal Education Support Center from the Independent Learning Center.

    The library offers tours for classes and instructs students on using library tools. The library cooperates with local schools in identifying and in providing where possible materials needed to meet student assignments. The library provides testing resources and assists with formal testing when appropriate. The library also supports literacy activities and a literacy program.

  2. Benefits. Users find materials to supplement what is available in school or academic libraries, and can use the library to identify providers of education and training. The library is an alternative study site when school or academic libraries are crowded, inconvenient or unavailable. This role closely associates the library with education, and benefits taxpayers by supplementing, not duplicating, other educational collections. Since this role involves cooperation, the public library must exercise initiative in clarifying its role and initiating cooperative collection development with other institutions.

  3. Critical Resources . The collection contains materials in all formats and at levels appropriate to the educational levels supported by the library. Resources include reference materials, periodicals, abstracting and indexing services, databases, Internet access, and access to interlibrary loan.

    The staff is knowledgeable about educational programs in the community and work closely with local educators. Staff is knowledgeable about curriculum needs and educational principles.

    The facility is easily accessible and has ample parking. The building has quiet space and carrels for individual study as well as computer, microfilm, and photocopy equipment for general use. The library is open for a broad range of hours to meet student needs.

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