Cover image for Model policies for small and medium public libraries
Model policies for small and medium public libraries
Larson, Jeanette.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers, [1998]

Physical Description:
xviii, 212 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z678 .L28 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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How should librarians handle collection challenges? Distruptive patrons? Unattended children? Having policies in place is critical, but developing sound and workable policies is often frustrating and time-consuming, particularly without guidelines and models to follow. This practical, time-saving guide is designed to keep librarians from reinventing the wheel, using a systematic approach to policy development and revision. The manual provides model policies which can be customized to suit any library. The authors also provide suggested schedules for writing, adopting and revising policies; a clear explanation of the background and issues; and advice on involving other staff, board members and volunteers. A wide range of policy areas are covered, including patron conduct, staff conduct, access and use of facilities, personnel and employment practices, intellectual freedom, access to library services, use of materials and collection development. Although primarily written for small- and medium-sized public libraries, these policies are also a useful resource for special, one-person libraries and library boards.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Developing policies for library operations can be a time-consuming, even difficult, operation, particularly in a smaller library. Larson and Totten bring together examples of the policies that a smaller library may need, concerned with everything from personnel and employment practices to staff conduct, collection development, access to library materials and services, and patron conduct. Larson and Totten do not cover sexual harassment because they believe most institutions already have policies for it. The Library Bill of Rights and several other ALA-adopted guidelines are appended. Although aimed at smaller libraries, the book could be a good starting place for any library needing to develop operations policies.

Library Journal Review

Explaining the importance of policies and how to develop them, Larson, director of the library development divison at the Texas State Library, and Totten, associate dean and professor of library science at the University of North Texas, give instructions for writing policies on personnel and employment practices, staff and patron conduct, collection development, materials use, reference service, and use of facilities. Each topical chapter is divided into sections discussing policy background, issues surrounding it, and a sample policy. In addition, each chapter cites specific references to other publications to help the policy writer learn more about specific topics and the wording of particular policies. Librarians will find many practical points to guide them through the tough job of policy writing. For example, when it comes to writing a policy on collection development, the authors caution about promising a balanced collection since that can imply the library will have an equal amount of information on any subject regardless of how far-fetched or inflammatory those viewpoints may be. Rounding out the volume are American Library Association policies and guidelines, along with public library role statements and a very useful bibliography. Directors of small and medium-sized libraries (from a staff of one up to libraries serving a population of 100,000) will welcome this volume. Highly recommended.‘Marie Bruni, Huntington Memorial Lib., Oneonta, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.