Access Services in Libraries

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In the current information environment, public and academic libraries are recognizing that providing access to materials is a complex multi-dimensional phenomenon. To meet the changing needs of their patrons, libraries are reorganizing their service structures and developing organizational units called “access services.” Even though access services fall within the realm of public services, technical services, or library circulations, they are driven by an entirely new mentality. There has been an extreme paucity of information on access services available for libraries struggling to meet the challenges of the electronic age. Access Services in Libraries is the first book to establish a theoretical base for access services while also suggesting connections between theory and practice. Anyone involved in access services or considering adoption of this new organizational unit will benefit from the information in this groundbreaking volume.

Access Services in Libraries provides fresh thinking that reexamines previous writings in this area, presents new experimental designs and results, creates contemporary organizational solutions, and adopts innovative techniques for increasing users’access to library materials within constrained budgets. Access services librarians, circulation department librarians, and library managers, especially those who are considering a reorganization that will include access services, will benefit from the philosophical and theoretical articles as well as practical advice on the design, delivery, and evaluation of responsive library services. Chapters in this invaluable book fill the gap in the literature about access services including theoretical descriptions of access services, current developing trends in access services, the historical development of the access services concept, practical studies related to common access services issues, and projections of future challenges. As Peter Watson-Boone states in his preface, “This volume is notable for charting a new current of thinking and practice that is moving quickly into the mainstream. It substantially documents the state of the art, and should bring increased clarity and focus to the debate now proceeding in many libraries about how we are to honor a commitment to the 'access’concept in the era when it will challenge the 'ownership’concept as never before.”

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Editorial Reviews

Develops a theoretical foundation for the growing phenomenon of "access services" in public and academic libraries: an approach to the increasingly complex problem of making materials available to patrons. Among the topics are the shift from circulation to access services, management challenges, the electronic library, accessing material in remote storage, networks, and evaluating reshelving. No index. Published simultaneously as Collection Management, v.17, nos.1-2. Paper edition (unseen), $35.95. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560244172
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Series: Collection Management Series
  • Pages: 245
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Access: The Key to Public Service 1
From Circulation to Access Services: The Shift in Academic Library Organization 23
Management Challenges and Issues in Access Services Administration 37
Quality Access Services: Maximizing and Managing 63
Information Delivery in the Evolving Electronic Library: Traditional Resources and Technological Access 77
Access to Library Materials in Remote Storage 93
The Impact of Networked Information on Access Services 105
The Role of the Access Services Manager in Policy Formation 119
Changing Circulation Policies at an ARL Library: The Impact of Peer Institution Survey Data on the Process 133
Traditional Access to the Library via Telephone Service: A Case Study 149
Planning for Success: Documenting Workflow in the Circulation Department 167
A Library Shelver's Performance Evaluation as It Relates to Reshelving Accuracy 177
Measuring and Managing Circulation Activity Using Circulation Rates 193
Triage Assessment and Management Measures for Access Services 217
Access Services: The Development of a Holistic Approach to Convenience Information Services: An Editorial Essay on the Future of Access Services 237
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