Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Public Libraries and Resilient Cities

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Public Libraries and Resilient Cities

Article excerpt

Public Libraries and Resilient Cities. Edited by Michael Dudley. Chicago: ALA, 2013. 192 p. Paper $65 (ISBN 978-0-8389-1136-5)

Michael Dudley, editor of Public Libraries and Resilient Cities, is an urban planning librarian and researcher at the University of Winnipeg's Institute of Urban Studies; he also teaches in the university's environmental studies program. He has edited this collection of fourteen contributed essays, including his own introductory "The Library and the City," with the stated intention of exploring "the roles that public libraries can play in the promotion of ecologically, economically, and socially resilient cities in challenging times" (ix). Dudley has done a commendable job of identifying diverse contributors from the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Africa, while primarily maintaining a reference context of the U.S.

Dudley's introduction reviews the growth of libraries since the first Carnegie libraries. He correlates the development and resilience of towns with their libraries' development and identifies ways for libraries to be key players in sustainable and ambitious downtown redevelopment through high design standards in architecture and landscaping. Biographies of the other thirteen contributors show a wide variety of expertise--library administration, library public services, urban planning, and nonprofit management are all represented. …

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