Assessing Information Needs
Managing Transformative Library Services
by Robert J. Grover, Roger C. Greer, and John Agada
June 2010, 212pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59158-797-2
$60, £45, 50€, A86
eBook Available: 978-1-59158-798-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

When libraries are transformational in the lives of individuals and communities, they are much more likely to be recognized as integral organizations and sustained by their communities. The thought seems basic enough, but how can a library understand a community’s needs and use that information to design targeted services?

Based on a tested model for community analysis, this book offers a guide to the management of client-centered transformative information services that can be applied in any type of library or information agency.

Knowing a community enables library and information professionals to prioritize the community’s information needs and design appropriate services for them. Assessing Information Needs: Managing Transformative Library Services was written to provide the rationale for community analysis, a model for gathering community data, and a process for analyzing data and applying it to the management of an information agency.

The book explains why information professionals should customize services, as well as the “how to” of collecting data. A model for gathering community information is described, applied, and demonstrated through a case study. The book then shows how such information is interpreted and used to plan information services that are transformative for individuals and groups in the case-study community, providing lessons that readers can use with their own institutions. Rooted in a philosophy of customer service, the method presented here is perfect for public, school, academic, and special libraries or other types of information agencies.


  • A case study of a community analysis for a county library system, illustrating how the model can be applied
  • 13 tables presenting information collected from the case study
  • Several graphic models, presented and described
  • References at the end of each chapter
  • A bibliography at the end of the book
Robert J. Grover, PhD, is retired associate vice president for academic affairs at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS, and former dean and professor in the School of Library and Information Management. His PhD in library and information science is from Indiana University. Dr. Grover coedited The Handy 5: Planning and Assessing Integrated Information Skills and Instruction and coauthored Introduction to the Library and Information Professions. His awards include Association for Library and Information Science Education Outstanding Teaching award, the American Library Association Beta Phi Mu International Library and Information Science Honorary Society, Pi Lambda Theta Education Honorary Society, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma.

Roger C. Greer, PhD, is dean emeritus of the School of Library and Information Management, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, and professor emeritus at Emporia State University, Emporia, KS. He is former dean and professor at Syracuse University. His PhD in library and information science was earned at Rutgers University. His PhD in library and information science was earned at Rutgers University. Dr. Greer recently coauthored Introduction to the Library and Information Professions with Robert Grover and Susan Fowler. He has conducted more than 120 workshops on community analysis. Among his awards are Rutgers University School of Communication, Information and Library Science Alumnus of the Year Award, 1987 and Emporia State University Roe Cross Distinguished Professor.

John Agada, PhD, is director of the Department of Library, Information, and Media Studies (LIMS), Chicago State University, Chicago, IL. Previously, he was on the faculties at Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Emporia State University. He earned his BLS and MEd from Ahmadu Bello University and his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Agada's research has focused on psychology of information use and attributes of library and information professionals. An accomplished scholar with numerous publications to his credit, Dr. Agada has also designed and managed several grant-funded projects on community analysis and information services design for under-served populations and the education of minority and international LIS professionals. A frequent visitor to Africa, where he consults for several LIS institutions and organizations, Dr. Agada resides in Chicago with his family.


"The title was written with all types of libraries in mind but will be more useful for library administrators, or library school/information studies students . . ."—VOYA, October 1, 2010

"A how-to manual suitable for library managers."—Booklist Online, September 20, 2010
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