Library Services for Adults in the 21st Century
by Elsie A. Rogers Halliday Okobi
December 2013, 242pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59158-705-7
$65, £50, 57€, A90
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.

“Lifelong learning” isn’t just a pleasant catch phrase used in community college advertisements; it’s a reality that we all need to continue our education and acquire new skills well past our formative years. For the economically disadvantaged members of our communities, the public library is often the only avenue to the technology and information they need.

Develop the competencies needed to provide effective adult services in modern public libraries with this comprehensive guidebook.

Public librarians are directly responsible for providing a large proportion of the American population with access to the Internet and guidance in obtaining important government information. Effectively servicing today’s adult library users is already a pressing need, and will only become a larger priority as the nation’s population ages.

Library Services for Adults in the 21st Century is for library science students interested in working with adults in public libraries. As the first text dedicated to adult library services to be published since 1991, this title has been sorely needed and much anticipated. This book will provide a model for training public librarians for the specific challenges of providing adult services. Part I provides a survey of the history and development of adult services. Part II addresses planning and tools for service development. Part III examines the different types of services for adults and best practices, while Part IV presents training methods.


  • 12 separate bibliographies—one following each chapter
  • An index enables direct reference to information by topic
  • Resources for additional information, Internet resources referenced in the book, and best practices
Elsie A. Rogers Halliday Okobi, MLS, MSIS, EdD, is associate professor of library and information science at the Department of Information and Library Sciences, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT. She has developed and presented workshops on virtual reference and database searching techniques. Her research interests include international librarianship and bridging the digital divide.


"[T]his book will help the 21st-century public librarian in developing and implementing adult services that address the composition, diversity, and needs of today’s adults. Created in response to the need for a textbook for a course in materials and services for adults in a course taught by the author, this book is written for the novice librarian, but can also be used by the experienced librarian who wishes to revise their knowledge of adult services in today’s changing world." —ARBA, August 1, 2014

"Much needed and highly anticipated. . . . A mixture of theoretical knowledge, real-world examples, and much practical information make this book valuable as both a library and information textbook and a compendium of useful information for practitioners. . . . [T]his work [is] a very valuable purchase for public libraries and schools of library and information studies."—Public Libraries, September 15, 2015

"As a textbook for library and information professionals, Library Services for Adults in the 21st Century is thorough and clearly organized. Okobi draws well on the existing literature, and library school students will be grateful that the author makes sure throughout to point the reader toward other relevant and authoritative resources. The book includes excellent bibliographies and indices."—College & Research Libraries, September 15, 2015
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