Kathleen de la Peña McCook

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Seminar in Public Libraries


Course Description:

Critical examination of public and institutional library administration, services, resources, and facilities at the municipal, county, and regional levels.  Role of state and federal governments in library development.
(Prerequisite:  LIS 6409 or consent of instructor)

Course Summary:

The Seminar in Public Libraries explores  history, current practice and leadership in public library service. The focus is on community involvement, understanding of the political environment and knowledge required in an era of transformation.
Required/Suggested Texts | Course Topics & Links | Instructor Information

Required Text:

McCook, Kathleen de la Peña. (2004). Introduction to public librarianship. New York: Neal-Schuman.

Suggested Texts:

Nelson, S. (2008). Strategic Planning for Results. Chicago: American Library Association.

D'Angelo, E. (2006). Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library: How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens
Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good
. Library Juice Press, LLC.

Course Topics and Links:

WEEK 1: Why Become a Public Librarian?
Scope-Statistical Data on Public Libraries

Reading(s): The landscape of public libraries at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Introduction to public librarianship, pp.1-11. (Chapter 1)


WEEK 2: U.S. Public Library History
Brahmins, Bequests, and Determined Women: The Beginnings to 1918.

Reading(s): Brahmins, bequests, and determined women: The beginnings to 1918. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 13-59, 308-314. (Chapter 2)

Optional readings:

McCrossen, A. (2006). "One cathedral more" or "Mere lounging places for bummers"? The cultural politics of leisure and the public library in Gilded Age America. Libraries & culture, 41(2), 169-88.

Anderson, D. (2003). William Bradford's books: Of Plimmoth Plantation and the printed word. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


WEEK 3: U.S. Public Library History
Public Library Growth and Values: 1918–2004

Reading(s): Public library growth and values: 1918-2004. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 61-81, 310-315. (Chapter 3)

Other Readings:

D'Angelo, E. (2006). Barbarians at the Gates of the Public Library: How Postmodern Consumer Capitalism Threatens Democracy, Civil Education and the Public Good. Library Juice Press, LLC.

Robbins, L. S. (2005). Changing the geography of reading in a southern border state: The Rosenwald Fund and the WPA in Oklahoma. Libraries and culture, 40(3), 353-367.

Graham, P. T. (2002). A Right to read: Segregation and civil rights in Alabama's public libraries, 1900-1965. Tuscaloosa, Ala.: University of Alabama Press.

Jasper, C. & McCook, K. (1998). The Florida library history project. U.S.: Florida. [Available through USF Libraries' ERIC database].

United States Supreme Court. Brown v. Louisiana, 383 U.S. 131 (1966). Washington, D.C.


WEEK 4: Community Building: A Librarian at Every Table

Reading(s): McCook, K.(2000). A place at the table. Chicago: American Library Association.

Other Reading(s):

Drueke, J. (2006). Researching local organizations: Simple strategies for building social capital. Reference & user services quarterly, 45(4), 327-333.

Berry III, J. N. (2003). Library support is local. Library journal, 128(15), 8. (Original work published 1976).

McCabe, R. B. (2001). Civic leadership: Renewing the social mission of the public library. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.

McCook, K. (2000). Librarians and comprehensive community initiatives. Reference and user services quarterly, 40, 20-22.

McCook, K. (2000). Service integration and libraries. Reference and user services quarterly, 40, 22-25.

Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. New York: Simon and Schuster.


WEEK 5: Library Governance visits

Reading(s): Divelko, J. & Mason, M. (March/April 2000). Why you should read the papers: Improving reference service in public libraries. Public Libraries, 39(2), 85-97.

Other Reading(s):

Bertot, J. C., et. al. (2006). Public access computing and internet access in public libraries: The role of public libraries in e-government and emergency situations. First Monday (Online), 11(9).

Durrani, S., et. al. (2006). The Professional is political: Redefining the social role of public libraries. Progressive librarian, 27, 3-22.


WEEK 6: Statistics, Standards, Planning, and Results

Reading(s): Statistics, standards, planning and results. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 83-106, 315-320, 371-380. (Chapter 4)

Nelson, S. (2001). The NEW planning for results: A streamlined approach. Chicago: American Library Association.

Other Reading(s):

Matthews, J. R. (2004). Measuring for results: The dimension of public library effectiveness. Westport, Conn.: Libraries Unlimited.

McCook, K. (2001). Authentic discourse as a means of connection between public library service responses and community building initiatives. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 41(2), 127-133.


WEEK 7: Organization, Law, Funding, and Politics
Administration and Staffing.

Reading(s): Organization, law, funding, and politics. Introduction to public libraries, pp. 107-134, 320-323. (Chapter 5)

Administration and staffing. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 135-161, 323-328. (Chapter 6)

Other Reading(s):


WEEK 8: Adult Services

Reading(s): Adult services. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 183-210, 331-341. (Chapter 8)

Other Reading(s):

Stephens, A. K. (2006). Twenty-first century public library adult services. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 45(3), 223-235.

Moyer, J. E. (2005). Adult fiction reading: A literature review of readers' advisory services, adult fiction librarianship, and fiction readers. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 44(3), 220-226, 229-231.

Saricks, J. G. (2005). Readers' advisory services in the public library. (3rd ed.). Chicago: American Library Association.


WEEK 9: Youth Services

Reading(s): Youth services. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 211-240, 342-356. (Chapter 9)

Other Reading(s):

Sullivan, Michael. (2005). Fundamentals of children's services. Chicago: American Library Association.

Fasick, A. M. (1998). Managing children's services in the public library. (2nd ed.). Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.


WEEK 10: Structure and Infrastructure

Reading(s): Structure and Infrastructure. Introduction to public librarianship, pp. 163-182, 328-331. (Chapter 7)

Other Reading(s):

Casey, M. E. & Savastinuk, L. C. (2006). Library 2.0. Library Journal, 131(14), 40-42.

Hoffert, B. (2002). Book report 2002: The Amazon effect [public library acquisitions survey]. Library Journal, 127(3), 38-40.

Salakari, S. (2002). Technical services processes in the digital environment. Colorado libraries, 28(2), 42-43.

Hughes, J. E. (2001). Access, access, access! The new OPAC mantra. American libraries, 32(5), 62-64.


WEEK 11: Connections: Associations, State Library Agencies, Standards, Rankings and Quality of Life

Reading(s): Connections: Associations, state library agencies, standards, rankings and quality of life. Introduction to public librarianship, 214-264, 356-359. (Chapter 10)

Other Reading(s):

Albanese, A., et. al. (April 1, 2003). Florida librarians protest Bush plan. Library journal, 128, 17.

Colvin, G., et. al. (2003). Reprieve for the state library of Florida. American Libraries, 34, 30-32.

Moorman, J. A. (1997). Standards for public libraries: A study in quantitative measures of library performance as found in state public library documents. Public libraries, 36, 32-39.


WEEK 12: Global Perspectives on Public Libraries

Reading(s): Global perspectives on public libraries. Introduction to public librarianship, 265-292, 359-362. (Chapter 11)


WEEK 13: Community Participation

Other Reading(s):

Osborne, R., Ed. (2004). From outreach to equity: Innovative models of library policy and practice. [Office for Literacy and Outreach Services]. Chicago: American Library Association


WEEK 14: Twenty-First Century Trends in Public Librarianship

Reading(s): Twenty-first century trends in public librarianship. Introduction to public librarianship, 293-306, 363-370. (Chapter 12)

Other Reading(s):



Kathleen de la Peña McCook, Distinguished University Professor
School of Library and Information Science
University of South Florida
Telephone:  (813) 974-9182
Fax:  (813) 974-6840
E-mail: kmccook@tampabay.rr.com

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