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Equalising Social Opportunities

Public libraries are more concerned with strategies to enhance the equalisation of social opportunities than academic libraries, and have been focusing on developing new services to assist underprivileged populations in their local communities. For instance, these may include improving access to information resources, literacy services for youth in low-income districts, language services for immigrants, and finding job opportunities for inmates in order to equalise social opportunities for citizens. For instance, the New York Public Library has been providing services to the incarcerated or immigrants, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Library joined the Library Support Group [Toshokan-Kaientai] in which library staff help the socially vulnerable. The use of these strategies necessitate the enhancement of subject-based and regional-based organisation structures.

Consultation Services

This involves providing services transcending the scale of mere reference services; responding to user needs, it often involves the library providing users with information literacy training, research support, and other related services. One result has been the appearance of what are referred to as liaison librarians and embedded librarians, who may visit university departments to personally assist student or faculty research projects with a wide range of library resources. This is part of consultation service strategies: in responding to changing users’ information behaviour, librarians have begun following users closely, providing them with customised services. This can be considered as a step away from lending books and towards providing personal service with an attention to detail. As librarians gain specialty knowledge in different fields, they create organisation structures for each subject. Accordingly, it is critical to boost their specialty knowledge. These consultation service strategies are particularly common at university libraries in the United States, for example at Columbia University Libraries, University of Arizona Libraries, and similar university libraries.

 
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