ERIC Number: ED184746
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Community Development: The Role of the Rural Librarian.
Hershey, Dale R.
Librarians tend to view themselves as agents, advocates, or promoters of educational and cultural processes, and these functions are important; but rural librarians can and should play a broader role in the community, including a role in community development activities. As information specialists, librarians have access to critical resources for agencies, government officials, and community groups involved in decision making and problem solving on behalf of the community. It is important for librarians to stay informed of the community development activities in their areas and to offer relevant information (census data, research publications, audio video materials, newspapers, funding sources) rather than assume that community members necessarily know what resources are available. The rural librarian's position, a public and influential one, can be used in numerous ways to support and advocate community improvement. The library can feature displays on local history, industry, and other topics of local concern and can sponsor workshops on community issues; the librarian can serve on local government or agency advisory boards. Finally, the librarian should conduct needs assessments to find out what the rural community, with its growing population of urban to rural migrants, wants and expects from its library. (JH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the conference, "Public Awareness of Rural Library Service: How To Do It Creatively" (Clarion, PA, September 23, 1978).