Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies

Article excerpt

Letting Go of Legacy Services: Library Case Studies. Edited by Mary Evangeliste and Katherine Furlong. Chicago: ALA, 2014, 159 p. Paper $55 (ISBN: 978-0-8389-1220-1).

Drawing on the organizational theories of noted business thinker and management consultant Peter Drucker, the editors of this volume have gathered together case studies and interviews that illustrate his concept of planned abandonment at work in libraries. Defined as the systematic evaluation of products and services, planned abandonment in libraries means examining reference, instruction, and collection development and abandoning those services that are no longer relevant in the present context. The editors argue that this strategy is the hallmark of innovative organizations and the key to libraries' future longevity.

Contributions to this volume come from both public and academic librarians, who share how they have used data-driven decision making to implement change in their libraries. For example, in the opening case study, librarians from Lafayette College show how they combined quantitative and qualitative data (usage statistics and user feedback) to shift from an ownership model for journal subscriptions to an access-oriented, pay-per-view model for journal articles. They show how making this change not only cut down costs but also expanded their users' access to science and technology titles, resulting in improved user satisfaction. …

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