ERIC Number: ED351029
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Oct
Massachusetts Libraries: An Alliance for the Future. [Final Report and Executive Summary] for the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Griffiths, Jose-Marie; King, Donald W.
A comprehensive study of the current state of library services and library cooperative activities in Massachusetts found that the state's 2,796 public, academic, school, institutional and special libraries make a significant contribution to lifelong learning, to the economy, and to the quality of life. The libraries have a combined collection of over 72 million volumes, and they are visited about once a month per resident. Because of funding cuts, however, library services are eroding, and libraries are increasingly unable to comply with standards set by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The outlook is particularly bleak for public libraries, publicly-funded academic libraries, and school libraries. The five types of resource sharing currently in use in Massachusetts are not well coordinated, many services are redundant, and many libraries are excluded by virtue of their size or community served. Improved resource sharing could be accomplished by replacing the state's three Regional Public Library Systems with six to 12 library cooperatives serving smaller geographic areas. The cooperatives would offer a full range of resource sharing services to all libraries in their regions. Resource sharing can also be enhanced through the appropriate application of new information technologies and by expanding the role of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. The Board could also address funding for all types of libraries. It is concluded that the Board, networks and library cooperatives, and local libraries all need to adopt new strategies to achieve a multitype resource sharing structure for Massachusetts. An Appendix contains an 18-item bibliography, glossary of 27 terms, and 24 statistical tables that provide information about 2,796 academic, public school, institutional, and special libraries in Massachusetts, by type of library. Information contained in the tables includes: holdings; periodicals; patron visits; circulation; expenditures; use of automation; reference services; and interlibrary lending. (KRN)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Change Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Financial Support, Higher Education, Income, Institutional Libraries, Library Automation, Library Cooperation, Library Expenditures, Library Networks, Library Research, Library Services, Library Statistics, Public Libraries, School Libraries, Shared Library Resources, Special Libraries
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Massachusetts State Board of Library Commissioners, Boston.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: King Research, Inc., Knoxville, TN.
Note: For associated "Technical Report" containing detailed study data, see IR 054 223.