Innovation and the Library

The Adoption of New Ideas in Public Libraries

by Verna L. Pungitore


Argues that for libraries to respond effectively to a changing society, managerial information and innovation must be spread more effectively among librarians.

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Cover image for Innovation and the Library

July 1995


Pages 208
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Librarianship: Philosophy, Values, and Issues/General

Today's rapidly evolving information-based society demands that public libraries implement planned, proactive, and innovative change to meet patron needs. Rapid, widespread, and substantive change and innovation in public librarianship depends on the ability of public librarians to share in the exchange of new ideas, regardless of the size of their communities. This book explores how managerial innovations are generated and disseminated among public librarians.

To examine how new ideas are created and spread among public librarians, the volume focuses on the case of the dissemination of a particular innovation, a set of techniques developed and promoted by a national professional association, which allows public librarians to engage in user-oriented planning, community-specific role setting, and self-evaluation of library performance. This case study is placed within a larger context of classical models of the diffusion process and the literature on organizational change and innovation. Drawing on her findings, the author offers suggestions to facilitate public library change.

Table of Contents

PrefacePublic Libraries, Change, and InnovationPublic Libraries and Organizational Change: An OverviewDiffusion and Adoption of InnovationsEvolutionary Change in Public Libraries: 1920-1965Life History of a Public Library InnovationPrelude to Innovation: 1966-1979Development and Dissemination of the InnovationPLDP: The Modified InnovationToward a Model of Public Library InnovationDiffusion Among Smaller Libraries: 1980-1990Patterns of Implementation in Smaller LibrariesFitting the Public Library Experience to the ModelsFacilitating Innovation in Public LibrariesReferencesIndex



This book is worthwhile to library students and public libraries for its PLA history.— Journal of the American Society for Information Scienc

The primary purpose of this work is to use the planning process as an example to trace the development and diffusion of an innovation and to draw from this to develop a model for future dissemination of change...a substantial contribution to the profession.—Library & Information Science Research

The book's value lies in the lessons it provides about instituting change by persuasion: commitment on the part of key people, a complex web of linkages among them, a long-term commitment by PLA and its elected officers, the need to involve helpers such as the state library agencies, and the need for strong training and educational components to get community librarians involved. As PLA has now begine to reevaluate these innovations in preparation for a new or revisde set of techniques for the 21st century, the lessons learned about the diffusion of innovations as described in this book will prove highly useful.—Collection Management

This book is recommended for public library administrators, trustee leaders, and libraries where 'planning meets resistance.'—RQ

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