“If you are at all interested in the survival of public libraries you really must read this book”

Public libraries in the UK are under threat from budget cuts, and much discussion is taking place about their future and their continued value. An article on The Spectator Arts Blog today by David McMenemy looks at this issue, and the blog post references Bob Usherwood’s book Equity and Excellence in the Public Library.

Equity and Excellence in the Public Library considers the challenges involved in providing a library service that prioritizes equity and social inclusion while at the same time attempting to promote and maintain quality, excellence and ethical standards.

It’s a key book to read if you’re interested in the future of public libraries. Don’t take my word for it though! Here’s what others have had to say…

‘Set in the strategic context of the 21st Century Library Service, Usherwood captures the dilemma of our time. Every librarian in public libraries should read this.’    Pamela Tulloch, CILIP

If you are at all interested in the survival of public libraries you really must read this book – and engage with Bob Usherwood’s arguments. You may hate them, you may think they are spot on, but you certainly can’t ignore them. It’s opinionated, thought provoking and bound to stir up controversy. If you only read one professional text book a year make sure it is this.’    Richard Ward, Hampshire County Library Services, UK.

‘This is a powerful treatise on how the fashion of ignorance and dumbing down is putting at risk the future of public libraries. Usherwood passionately advocates for public libraries to rediscover their soul and regain their social mission as a result. It is an inspiring text for those who believe in the true values of public libraries and an essential read for those in the profession and in political life who have forgotten them’.    David McMenemy, University of Strathclyde, UK

‘This book is a wake up call. Usherwood’s ideals might sound old fashioned at times, but they are well founded and easily translated into modern public library service’    Library & Information Update

‘Bob has written a book which is educational, entertaining, inspirational and polemical. It has achieved its aim of promoting debate and helping formulate a vision for the future.’    CILIP Update

‘Regardless of whether one agrees with Usherwood, he has written an important book that demands to be read, discussed and acted upon.’    The Australian Library Journal

‘…I would urge anyone with an interest in the future of public library services to read Equity and Excellence.…it opens the debate and will challenge your thinking about the current and future direction of public libraries’    New Library World

‘Bob Usherwood is well known to many public librarians for his long commitment to researching the public library. That he should celebrate his recent retirement with this title is testimony to the some 30 years he spent on this commitment as an academic and researcher at the University of Sheffield, and his earlier years as a public librarian…This book is a wake up call.’    Library Management

More information about Equity and Excellence in the Public Library: Why ignorance is not our heritage

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