For immediate release | April 11, 2012

The joint-use college/public library

CHICAGO — The joint-use college/public library can be one solution to serving patrons while managing overextended resources. Published by ALA Editions, “Joint Libraries: Models That Work” scrutinizes the successes and failures of the joint-use model. Authors Claire B. Gunnels, Susan E. Green and Patricia M. Butler, three founding faculty librarians of a joint-use college/public library, discuss the factors that should go into evaluating when and where a joint library is suitable. Incorporating lessons learned from five case studies, the authors:

  • Include a short history of joint libraries, exploring how this model is a natural evolution from reciprocal borrowing, shared catalogs and interlibrary loan;
  • Explain how to manage all aspects of a joint-use library, including choices about the physical plant, decisions on contractual requirements, collection development, classification systems, cataloging and technical services issues, personnel and more;
  • Address emerging trends and best practices for serving students and the general public simultaneously;
  • Offer interviews with administrators and staff in successful joint-use libraries.

Gunnels is founding faculty and assistant director of the Lone Star College-CyFair Branch Library, a joint library with Harris County Public Library in Houston, Texas. She is the author of "LIFE in the Library: Events to Build Community" and writes occasionally for Community & Junior College Libraries.

Green came to Lone Star College-CyFair Branch Library as founding faculty. Previously, she served as branch manager for the Maud Marks branch of Harris County Public Library. She has written for Community & Junior College Libraries and Inquiry.

Butler started her professional career as an archivist for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. She later served as a librarian for the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a reference/instruction librarian at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, and from 2002 until 2009, as a reference librarian at the Lone Star College-Tomball Community Library.

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