Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Community Outreach

Community Outreach
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Author(s): Loriene Roy (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)and Antonia Frydman (The University of Texas at Austin, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 10
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Fourth Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch579


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As social institutions, libraries respond to the needs, pressures, and impacts of society. Community outreach is the development and promotion of services offered by information settings. Such services extend beyond physical collections and involve the development and provision of customized events in response to or in anticipation of community needs. Library outreach has its historical roots in the late nineteenth century public library movement that coincided with the Progressive Era, when library services were conveyed directly to community members' homes and places of employment. Contemporary expressions of community outreach include engagement of faculty and students with communities of need, academic preparation of new professionals to serve communities of need, crisis informatics, and digital equity. Efforts are challenged by sustainability, impacts or returns on investments, personal and professional motivations, and the emergence of expected and unexpected community needs.

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