Asserts that public libraries are now busier than ever and are facing higher public expectations of the services on offer. Explores some of the possible reasons for this. Government initiatives including the Citizens′ Charter, as well as fundamental changes in all areas of the education systems, are highlighted as being major contributors to the changes in usage. The introduction of the National Curriculum, the impact of open learning courses and reduced personal and institutional spending power within academic libraries have prompted both teachers and students to turn in increasing numbers to the public reference library. Discusses some of the implications for the management of these services and outlines some possible strategies for the future.
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