Cover image for Letting go of legacy services : library case studies
Letting go of legacy services : library case studies
Evangeliste, Mary, editor.
Publication Information:
Chicago : ALA Editions, An imprint of the American Library Association, 2014.
Physical Description:
xiv, 159 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
Adding new services is done as new needs arise. But taking away existing services-- the "legacy services" of the title-- makes many librarians uncomfortable-- even if these services are no longer relevant to the community. This collection of essays is designed to help you discover ways to identify services, activities, and practices that can be let go, so that staff can focus on valuable, mission-critical work.
Lafayette College -- Interview with David Consiglio -- Cumberland County Library System -- University of Arizona Libraries-- Oregon State University -- University of California-Santa Cruz -- University of North Carolina-Charlotte -- American University -- Interview with Valerie Diggs -- Rosenberg Library -- University of West Florida.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
Z678 .L43 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The last few years have proven beyond any doubt that libraries cannot afford to coast along with the status quo. Just as important as proposing and adding new services is the sometimes unpleasant process of critically examining existing realities and letting go of obsolete or less useful programs. But instead of panicking about budgetary and staffing challenges, libraries can choose a measured, proactive response. The contributors to this practical guidebook take readers step-by-step through approaches they've used at their own institutions, offering models that can be adapted to a wide variety of settings. After reading this book, library directors and administrators will have insight into * How planned abandonment strategies grounded in assessment-based decision making can allow libraries to focus on what they do best * Commons sense solutions to "pressure points" common across many different libraries, such as difficulties in dealing with data, communicating to internal and external populations, and the ordinary day-to-day pressures of running a library * The first steps towards formulating a plan of action and then making evaluation a regular function

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Because we have always done it that way. Libraries do many things for many people. We frequently add new services and collections, but rarely do we stop any prior activities. We added chat, e-mail, and IM reference but did not stop doing in-person and telephone reference. We added e-books but continued to buy print books as well. We regularly load records for e-journals but still catalog individual print titles. Given the economic climate of today's libraries, we cannot continue to do everything for everyone. At some point, we need to put a stop to an activity and this new book from ALA Editions will help us do just that. Letting Go of Legacy Services presents nine case studies that detail how seven academic and two public libraries were able to cease some activities so that they could concentrate on others. The case studies document dramatic changes in libraries that were inspired by factors as varied as personnel changes, reorganizations, budgetary needs, and natural disasters. From eliminating print and electronic reserves (University of Arizona) to shifting from subscribing to journals to purchasing articles on demand (Lafayette College) to switching from in-person to web-based services (Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, Library System), this book informs all of us about how we can change our services and make them more responsive to our user communities. Each case study explains the changes made, the motivation for making the change, and, perhaps most important, the process used to make the change.This book will be an inspiration for many of us. Although the specific policy changes included will vary from our own local needs, the change processes will inspire many of us to look anew at our services and ask the question: Should we be doing this? When the honest answer is no, it will be time to transition from our old legacy services to newer and more relevant functions. Thanks, ALA, for taking the initiative to publish a book like this (and kudos to the authors) and thank you to the nine libraries that served as case studies for being willing to allow all of us to examine your decision making in detail. This is a gutsy work and one that the profession sorely needs.--Tyckoson, David Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Libraries are expected to be all things to all people, retaining all of their traditional services while adding makerspaces, learning commons, Starbucks, discovery services, laptops, community meeting rooms, streaming video, and all manner of new information formats. And they must do it all with fewer personnel, smaller budgets, and in an increasingly restricted physical space. The librarians in the nine case studies presented here have responded to new environmental factors with data-driven solutions, sometimes proactively and sometimes reactively but always in a thoughtful and receptive manner. Each study is accompanied by an introduction and an analysis by editors Evangeliste (Bite-Sized Marketing) and Furlong (librarian, Susquehanna Univ., PA). The types of issues the volume addresses include canceling journal subscriptions and moving to pay-per-view, abandoning physical and electronic reserves in favor of unlimited-access ebooks and electronic readings embedded in the campus content management system, eliminating traditional reference service in favor of research consultation by appointment, and reorganizing traditional library spaces in favor of users' current needs. VERDICT This timely work is essential reading for every librarian and library administrator. Margaret Sylvia, St. Mary's Univ. Academic Lib., San Antonio (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.