The contribution of public libraries to society – ‘Public Libraries and Social Justice’ reviewed in the CILIP Update

Briony Birdi reviewed John Pateman and John Vincent’s book Public Libraries and Social Justice in the November 2011 issue of CILIP Update (subscription needed).

With the gulf between rich and poor wider now than for more than 40 years, and our local councils facing cuts of almost 10% to their core central government funding, the need to demonstrate the contribution of public libraries to society could not be more urgent. In this book Pateman and Vincent focus on the ever-critical issue of social exclusion and the extent to which the public library service contributes to social justice, and their analysis certainly pulls no punches.

… The three main themes of the book relate to the need for social justice to be at the heart of public libraries, the need for leadership and direction, and the consequent development of a service based on individual ‘need’.

… Pateman and Vincent have produced a well-researched and compelling account which should play an important role in the ongoing debate about the role and contribution of the public library service.

More about Public Libraries and Social Justice

About the Authors: John Pateman is Head of Libraries, Learning & Inclusion, Lincolnshire County Council, Lincoln, UK. John Vincent is the Networker for The Network – tackling social exclusion in libraries, museums, archives and galleries.

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