Small Libraries, Big Impact
How to Better Serve Your Community in the Digital Age
by Yunfei Du
June 2016, 153pp, 7x10
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-4156-9
$55, £41, 46€, A79
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-4157-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Rural and smaller libraries with limited resources CAN serve diverse users, gain wider community support, and program events and technology learning. This book explains how.

This valuable book shows how to get your community behind your library by making it an essential part of community life and demonstrating its benefit to all members of the community.

Evolving technologies and the changing social landscape have put pressure on public libraries to shift their service values and methods in order to maintain funding opportunities. The challenge is substantial: library managers today must adopt a new mindset in order to perform a broad spectrum of activities and attract new users who are not traditional library patrons. Small Libraries, Big Impact: How to Better Serve Your Community in the Digital Age helps readers to meet the challenge of serving diverse users via a community-centered library.

Based on an intensive review of literature on serving library users in smaller libraries as well as the author’s own research findings gained from interviewing 55 library directors, this book provides conceptual and practical tools for serving 21st-century users, gaining wider community support, programming dynamic events, and planning rewarding technology learning. Beyond supplying actionable advice, the book will also review relevant concepts and theoretical frameworks, such as community outreach and partnership, social justice and social inclusion, technology and social transition, cultural diversity and the digital divide, entrepreneurship, outreach, best practices for marketing libraries, and library space design.


  • Helps smaller public libraries re-establish their relevance and value to their communities
  • Broadens possibilities for library service that will demonstrate how your library is an essential part of all community life and positively impacts all members of your community
  • Presents effective tools for collaboration, community outreach, and partnership
  • Offers an inclusive approach to library service that embraces diverse populations
Yunfei Du is associate professor at the University of North Texas (UNT), Denton, TX. He is the principal investigator of UNT's Promoting & Enhancing the Advancement of Rural Libraries (PEARL) project, an initiative for 104 rural libraries in Texas on their community outreach plans. He is the author of dozens of journal articles published in top LIS journals such as Library & Information Science Research and Journal of Education for Library and Information Science and is coauthor of a book on library community outreach. Du and his colleagues won a 2010 Cutting Edge Award for their paper at the 2010 Academy of Human Resource Development's International Research Conference in the Americas.
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