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What makes a joint use library a community library?


Although the majority of joint use libraries in educational establishments provide at least an adequate level of service for their school, college, or university users, the standard of service they provide for members of the public is more questionable in many cases. This article considers the benefits and problems of joint use libraries from the perspective of their public users, providing examples from the UK and elsewhere to demonstrate how these occur in practice. A number of success factors are identified that need to be considered if a joint use library is to be successful as a community library, perhaps the most important of these being the need to involve the local community in the development of the library from its earliest stage. Gaining the support and active involvement of the local community is crucial; only then can the true benefits of joint use libraries, as locations for intergenerational in·ter·gen·er·a·tion·al  
Being or occurring between generations: "These social-insurance programs are intergenerational and all
 activity and lifelong learning Lifelong learning is the concept that "It's never too soon or too late for learning", a philosophy that has taken root in a whole host of different organisations. Lifelong learning is attitudinal; that one can and should be open to new ideas, decisions, skills or behaviors. , be realized.


The guiding principle of joint use libraries should be that they provide a better standard of service than would otherwise be possible for all users and potential users; as Bromfield Bromfield could be
  • Bromfield, Cumbria
  • Bromfield, Shropshire
  • The Bromfield School (Harvard, MA)
  • Harry Bromfield (1932 – ), South African cricketeer
  • John Bromfield (1922 – 2005), American actor
 (2001) has put it, the joint use library should be "better than the sum of its parts." However, although most joint use public-school libraries function at least adequately as school libraries and provide an obviously higher level of service than would otherwise be available for students and teachers, the level of service they provide for local communities has been called into question.

Joint use libraries have been the source of heated disagreements within local communities. The controversy caused by the development of joint use libraries at San Jose San Jose, city, United States
San Jose (sănəzā`, săn hōzā`), city (1990 pop. 782,248), seat of Santa Clara co., W central Calif.; founded 1777, inc. 1850.
 in California California (kăl'ĭfôr`nyə), most populous state in the United States, located in the Far West; bordered by Oregon (N), Nevada and, across the Colorado River, Arizona (E), Mexico (S), and the Pacific Ocean (W).  and Visby Visby (vēs`bə) or Wisby (wĭz`bē), city (1990 pop. 20,990), capital of Gotland co., SE Sweden, on Gotland Island and on the Baltic Sea.  in Sweden Sweden, Swed. Sverige, officially Kingdom of Sweden, constitutional monarchy (2005 est. pop. 9,002,000), 173,648 sq mi (449,750 sq km), N Europe, occupying the eastern part of the Scandinavian peninsula.  has been well-documented (see, for example, Kauppila & Russell Russell, English noble family. It first appeared prominently in the reign of Henry VIII when

John Russell, 1st earl of Bedford, 1486?–1555, rose to military and diplomatic importance.
, 2003; Hansson, 2006), but there have been numerous less documented disputes, played out in the local media and council chambers, resulting from proposals to develop joint use school-public libraries. To give just one example, the planned joint use library at Portree Coordinates:

Portree (Gaelic: Port Rìgh, the King's port) is the largest town on Skye in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland.[2] It is situated 36 miles from the only road onto the island from the mainland, via the Skye Bridge.
 in the Scottish Highlands
This article pertains to the geographic region of the Scottish Highlands. See Highlands and Highlander for alternate meanings

The Scottish Highlands (A' Ghàidhealtachd
 is currently causing controversy; according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the local newspaper, "The inclusion of community facilities within the school--most notably the Portree public library--has proved an unpopular decision, with several community groups campaigning to retain the library within the centre of the village" (West Highland Free Press The West Highland Free Press was founded in 1972 as a left-wing weekly newspaper, but with the principal objective of providing its immediate circulation area with the service which a local paper is expected to provide. , 2004). The local community has expressed concern because the school site is not at the center of the village, where many believe the library should be located, and the local community believes the proposed plan allocates too small an area for an adequate community library. In addition, some concerns have been expressed about the security and safety issues of allowing public access to the school site (West Highland Free Press, 2004).

Nevertheless, it can be argued that one of the main strengths of joint use libraries is their strong community emphasis. For example, they can act as sites for intergenerational activities; actively demonstrate the concept of lifelong learning; and provide information, educational, and cultural opportunities that would not otherwise exist in communities. In the 1960s White (1963) identified the following as some of the benefits of joint use libraries: longer hours of operation, better use of the building, and a closer relationship between parents and librarians This is a list of people who have practised as a librarian and are well-known, either for their contributions to the library profession or primarily in some other field. . Most of the librarians working in joint use libraries surveyed by Jaffe Jaffe is a surname, and may refer to:
  • Al Jaffee, cartoonist
  • David Jaffe, a video game designer and director
  • Eliezer Jaffe, a professor
  • Harold Jaffe, U.S. author
  • Harold Jaffe, AIDS researcher
  • Jerome H.
 in the early 1980s noted the special contribution these libraries made to their communities (in Fitzgibbons, 2000). The advantages of joint use libraries identified by Bundy BUNDY But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet (Nursing)  in his survey of the literature include the following:

* Promoting greater community interaction by providing a community focal point focal point
See focus.

* Promoting greater access to information on community services

* Increasing the community's awareness and understanding of current education practice

* Promoting lifelong learning

* Bringing different community groups together on the governing board Noun 1. governing board - a board that manages the affairs of an institution
board - a committee having supervisory powers; "the board has seven members"

* Providing a social justice outcome for smaller communities that could not support separate services (Bundy, 2002)

Joint use libraries, therefore, have the potential to bring a number of both immediate and longer-term benefits to local communities.


The principle of joint use facilities has been advocated over a number of years by policymakers in various countries. As Bundy points out, "The pressure for public schools to demonstrate accountability through community access to underused school facilities has undoubtedly been one reason for proposals for joint-use libraries in several countries" (Bundy, 2002, p. 6). In Australia Australia (ôstrāl`yə), smallest continent, between the Indian and Pacific oceans. With the island state of Tasmania to the south, the continent makes up the Commonwealth of Australia, a federal parliamentary state (2005 est. pop. , Dwyer Dwyer may refer to: People with the Surname Dwyer
  • Alice Dwyer German Actress
  • Bernard Dwyer, rugby player
  • Bernard J. Dwyer, U.S. politician
  • Bil Dwyer, American comedian
  • Bill Dwyer, US gangster and prohibition bootlegger
 observed a trend to involve the community in schools in the 1970s; joint use libraries were, therefore, "an educationally fashionable thing to encourage" at this time (Bundy, 1998, p. 6). There has been particular support for joint use facilities in South Australia South Australia, state (1991 pop. 1,236,623), 380,070 sq mi (984,381 sq km), S central Australia. It is bounded on the S by the Indian Ocean. Kangaroo Island and many smaller islands off the south coast are included in the state. , where in 1974 a politically mandated decision was made that the only way to bring public library services rapidly to small rural populations was to do so on the back of federally funded school libraries (Bundy, 1998). In the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. , Aaron Aaron (âr`ən), in the Bible, the brother of Moses and his spokesman in Egypt, and the first high priest of the Hebrews. He is presented as the instrument of God in performing many signs, such as the turning of his rod into a serpent and  claimed that renewed interest in joint use libraries in Florida Florida, state, United States
Florida (flôr`ĭdə, flŏr`–), state in the extreme SE United States. A long, low peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean (E) and the Gulf of Mexico (W), Florida is bordered by Georgia and
 in the 1990s was, in part, a result of the "one-stop one-stop
Relating to or providing a comprehensive selection of goods or services at a single location: one-stop shopping; a one-stop health-care center.
 school" concept advocated by Governor Lawton Chiles Lawton Mainor Chiles, Jr. (April 3, 1930 – December 12, 1998) was an American politician from the U.S. state of Florida. In a career spanning four decades, Chiles, a Democrat who never lost an election, served in the Florida House of Representatives (1958-1966), the Florida , who supported the centralization cen·tral·ize  
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.

 of community services on the school site (Aaron & Hannigan, 1980).

In the UK, as early as 1970, local educational authorities were being encouraged to provide facilities within schools and colleges that could be used by the local community. Although joint use libraries were not explicitly advocated at this time, at least attention was drawn to the possibility of combined libraries (Jones, 1977). More than thirty years later, the potential community role of joint public and school libraries was highlighted in a number of UK government policy initiatives. It is, perhaps, for this reason that the number of joint use libraries in the UK appears to have increased significantly over the last five years. They are seen as a politically attractive option in response to current New Labour policy initiatives. For example, in the last few years there has been increased pressure on schools to become more heavily involved with their local communities through the introduction of extended schools, (1) which provide a range of services and activities for the community, such as adult education classes, childcare, and information and communication technology (ICT (1) (Information and Communications Technology) An umbrella term for the information technology field. See IT.

(2) (International Computers and Tabulators) See ICL.

1. (testing) ICT - In Circuit Test.
) facilities. At the same time, there has been a tendency to site public libraries with other community services, in particular, through the creation of "one-stop shops One-Stop Shop

A company or a location that offers a multitude of services to a client or a customer. The idea is to provide convenient and efficient service and also to create the opportunity for the company to sell more products to clients and customers.
" and "library learning centers." In 2000 Empowering the Learning Community recommended that public and educational libraries establish cooperative arrangements in order to improve services locally (LIC LIC Low Intensity Conflict
LIC License
LIC Licenciado (Spanish)
LIC Long Island City
LIC Life Insurance Corporation of India
LIC Licensed Internal Code
LIC Local Independent Charities of America
LIC Line Integral Convolution
, 2000). Two years later, the Audit Commission report, Building Better Library Services, identified "making better use of joint-use facilities" as an action for councils and library services (Audit Commission, 2002). These developments suggest that the potential role for joint use libraries could be explored further. Start with the Child (CILIP CILIP Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals , 2002) recently confirmed that joint use libraries are still being established, largely due to emphasis on Best Value (2) and the need to provide libraries in a wider range of locations. They are usually established because they are believed to be the most effective form of provision to meet the needs of a locality 1. locality - In sequential architectures programs tend to access data that has been accessed recently (temporal locality) or that is at an address near recently referenced data (spatial locality). This is the basis for the speed-up obtained with a cache memory.
 and serve small communities.


Joint use libraries offer a number of advantages for communities; amongst the most important are the following:

* Improved facilities: better local facilities, or possibly the provision of a library where none would be available otherwise; a new, purpose-built purpose-built

made to serve a specific purpose

Adj. 1. purpose-built - designed and constructed to serve a particular purpose
 library providing modern facilities and a pleasant environment; and longer hours of operation than other small branch libraries

* Convenience: opportunities to use the library when people are visiting the school for other purposes, for example, to collect children or to attend courses

* Lifelong learning: opportunities for all members of the community to participate in formal and informal learning

* Intergenerational interaction: opportunities for interaction between all sections of the community, in particular between adults and young people

These benefits are described in greater detail below with illustrations demonstrating how they can be transferred to practice.

Improved Facilities

In many cases, having a joint use library means that a library is provided where none would otherwise exist. The only feasible alternative for many communities is a mobile service that visits, perhaps, once a fortnight fort·night  
A period of 14 days; two weeks.

[Middle English fourtenight, alteration of fourtene night, fourteen nights : Old English f
. Having a joint use library means that a higher proportion of the local population has regular access to a static library service point close to their home. A joint use library offers a better environment, more resources, and longer opening hours opening hours open nplheures fpl d'ouverture

opening hours open nplÖffnungszeiten pl 
 than a mobile service.

Joint use libraries are often open for longer hours than other small branch libraries, (3) and they encourage greater use of school buildings beyond the school day, something the UK government is keen to promote. In a survey carried out in the UK in 2003, most joint use libraries opened for a time after school to allow use by the public in the early evening, and a number also had a "late night" when they remained open until around 7:30 p.m. They also allowed access during school holidays and, in some cases, on Saturday Saturday: see week; Sabbath.  mornings (McNicol, 2003). The Audit Commission acknowledged that joint use buildings shared with other services were one way in which public libraries could not only increase hours of operation but also raise awareness and promote the library as a focus for community activity (Audit Commission, 2002).

Many joint use libraries are housed in new, purpose-built facilities, well-suited for newer services such as ICT, which libraries now need to offer. New buildings are needed in many communities. The Audit Commission criticized older libraries for their intimidating in·tim·i·date  
tr.v. in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
1. To make timid; fill with fear.

2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.
 atmosphere and layout: "official looking" facades, imposing issue desks, formal layouts, and uncomfortable furniture (Audit Commission, 2002). The New Library Impact Study found that partnerships between libraries and other services could "work together to add value and achieve strategic aims for the authorities concerned" (Bryson Bryson is a common last name, also used as a first name or place name. The name Bryson comes from the English origin. In English The meaning of the name Bryson is "Noble's son". , Usherwood, & Proctor A person appointed to manage the affairs of another or to represent another in a judgment.

In English Law, the name formerly given to practitioners in ecclesiastical and admiralty 
, 2003, p. 6). Joining with educational establishments can also open up new sources of funding for new builds or refurbishments that would not otherwise be available to public libraries, for example, funding from the UK Department of Education and Skills or private finance initiatives.

Joint use libraries can also make additional facilities available within the community; this can be particularly important in more isolated areas. For example, Callington Library in Cornwall Cornwall, city, Canada
Cornwall, industrial city (1991 pop. 47,137), SE Ont., Canada, on the St. Lawrence River. It manufactures cotton and rayon textiles, paper, chemicals, furniture, and electronic equipment. The Canadian headquarters of the St.
 sells stamps, greetings greetings

an expression of friendly salutation
 cards, bus passes, books, and plants. These types of value-added services A value-added service (VAS) is a telecommunications industry term for non-core services or, in short, all services beyond standard voice calls and fax transmissions.  would obviously not be available if the town were only served by a mobile library. Furthermore, school book lairs are open to the public as well as the school, which is important as there is no bookshop in this small rural town. Like many joint use libraries, Callington is involved in local cultural events; the school acts as a venue for book festivals and author visits (Evidence Base, 2004).


In some instances, adults may be more likely to use a joint use library than they would be if they had to make a separate journey to a public library; they can visit when they are at the school for another purpose, for example, to collect children, use shared leisure facilities, or attend adult education courses. This means that library membership and issues may increase and new users are encouraged. In schools that make greater efforts to engage with the local community, people will have more reason to be visiting the school site for another purpose, thereby providing the library with "passing trade." In the UK the extended school concept is important in this respect as it means that a number of important community facilities are offered from the school site. At Bishops Park College in Essex, a new school that "epitomises the 'extended schools' ethos e·thos  
The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement: "They cultivated a subversive alternative ethos" Anthony Burgess.
," the public library service is relocating its local branch to the new community wing. As well as the library, this will include a cyber (1) From "cybernetics," it is a prefix attached to everyday words to add a computer, electronic or online connotation. The term is similar to "virtual," but the latter is used more frequently. See virtual.  cafe, refreshment facilities, health visitors, social services social services
Noun, pl

welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs

social services nplservicios mpl sociales 
, a credit union, an early years initiative, a nursery, and an older people's day center (Baker, 2005).

Lifelong Learning

Observing adults using the library for learning activities can help young people to realize that learning is not something that occurs only in school, but it can take place outside formal education and continue throughout life. Cassell (1985) viewed one of the advantages of a joint use library as the development of a community focal point where adults and children can learn together. Many joint use libraries have developed strong family learning programs. The same benefit has been argued to be true of joint university-public libraries. Referring to such developments in Sweden, Gomez Gomez or Gómez is a common Spanish surname. The Portuguese spelling is Gomes, while in Catalan it is rendered as Gomis. People
  • Alfonso Gomez (1980–), Mexican-American professional boxer
  • Andrés Gómez (1960–), Ecuadorian tennis player
 argued that "In a world characterised by life-long learning the combined library resources should give citizens, students and researchers a high-quality service" (Gomez, Hulthen, & Drehmer, 1998, 22). More specifically, Bundy refers to Senn Breivik's claim that a joint use library can offer opportunities for a whole community approach to information literacy Several conceptions and definitions of information literacy have become prevalent. For example, one conception defines information literacy in terms of a set of competencies that an informed citizen of an information society ought to possess to participate intelligently and  development; such opportunities are likely to be increasingly important as public libraries focus more attention on their information literacy role. As Bundy points out, however, the full potential of this has not yet been investigated (Bundy, 2002). A related benefit of joint use libraries is that they can promote a greater understanding of current educational practice within the community.

Many joint use libraries participate in national lifelong learning initiatives. In the UK, for example, many act as learndirect learndirect is the public-facing brand of Ufi Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation created in 1998 to take forward the UK Government's stated vision of a University for Industry in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  centers. (4) This allows access to a range of online courses and support. For isolated communities the library may be the only location where such an opportunity is available. This allows people to study a range of subjects, including languages, ICT, and business and life skills, and gain qualifications such as the European European

emanating from or pertaining to Europe.

European bat lyssavirus
see lyssavirus.

European beech tree

European blastomycosis
see cryptococcosis.
 Computer Driving Licence driving licence

an official document authorizing a person to drive a motor vehicle

Noun 1. driving licence - a license authorizing the bearer to drive a motor vehicle
 (ECDL ECDL European Computer Driving License (computer skills certification programme; European Computer Driving Licence Foundation Ltd.)
ECDL European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries
), Institute of Leadership and Management qualifications, and CLAIT CLAIT Computer Literacy And Information Technology . Callington Library in Cornwall works with the University of the First Age (5) to organize not only school but also community Super Learning Days. Approximately 170 people attended such an event in February 2004, completing activity sheets and entering competitions (Anique Skinner Skin·ner , B(urrhus) F(rederick) 1904-1990.

American psychologist. A leading behaviorist, Skinner influenced the fields of psychology and education with his theories of stimulus-response behavior.
, personal communication, May 12, 2005).

Intergenerational Interaction

As a library that has a significant proportion of younger people as its core users in addition to older, more traditional library users, a joint use library has tremendous potential to encourage interaction and improve relations between different generations. A number of library managers quoted in McNicol (2003) referred to good community interaction, which was frequently evident in a joint use library; it helped to maintain contact between older and younger members of the community. Activities such as Christmas concerts and book festivals brought the school and local community together. The atmosphere the library fostered was described as "buzzing" by one library manager; another referred to the "stimulating learning environment and 'can do' ethos." In one library the employment of relief library assistants drawn from the local community was seen as one way to get local people of all ages more actively involved in the work of the library. The library could also act as "a showcase for the school," encouraging the community to become more involved in, or simply more aware of, various aspects of school life. This might be through displays of pupils' work or simply by increased contact between pupils and local residents. One library manager pointed out the benefits of the public seeing "children doing something positive and 'educational.'" Conversely con·verse 1  
intr.v. con·versed, con·vers·ing, con·vers·es
1. To engage in a spoken exchange of thoughts, ideas, or feelings; talk. See Synonyms at speak.

, pupils gained from seeing the library being used well and valued by adults.

Although these examples give a flavor of the types of intergenerational activities that take place in joint use libraries, a more systematic approach is needed to ensure that their potential in this area is fully developed. For example, joint use libraries could offer ideal locations for reminiscence rem·i·nis·cence  
1. The act or process of recollecting past experiences or events.

2. An experience or event recollected: "Her mind seemed wholly taken up with reminiscences of past gaiety" 
 work or for local history projects.


Although joint use libraries have a number of advantages, they also bring their own difficulties. The most common include the following:

* Differences in ethos: joint use libraries can have a tendency to be too school-focused and fail to serve the broader social, cultural, and learning needs of the local community

* Accessibility: transport difficulties and limited opening times can be barriers to library use by the local community

* Reluctance to enter a school: in addition to practical barriers, some members of the local community may be reluctant to enter a school because they have bad memories of their own schooldays or because they are put off by the prospect of sharing the facility with a large number of teenagers

* Location: secondary schools in particular are often not located close to other community facilities

* Size of the building and collection: in many joint use libraries, both the building and collection are too small to adequately serve the needs of all potential users

Each of these issues is described in greater detail below.

Differences in Ethos

Tension is often evident in joint use libraries as they attempt to serve two quite diverse communities of users: the general public as well as pupils and teachers. Trying to meet the needs of all users, and potential users, effectively is one of the main challenges facing staff. The differences in ethos between public and school libraries--one being focused primarily on study and the other having a wider remit To transmit or send. To relinquish or surrender, such as in the case of a fine, punishment, or sentence.

An individual, for example, might remit money to pay bills.

TO REMIT. To annul a fine or forfeiture.
 and placing greater emphasis on recreational reading and information use--can be difficult to reconcile. One common example is the practice of insisting that students use the library for "study purposes" at least during the school day; while this supports the aims of the school, it can conflict with the public library's efforts to encourage reading for pleasure and promote wider cultural and recreational activities.

There is a danger that the joint use library can come to feel like a classroom if there are regular classes using the library. The teaching and learning styles used need to be suited to the library environment. Independent and resource-based learning obviously work well, but "chalk and talk" instruction is less appropriate. A library that feels like a classroom is a far cry from the more welcoming "bookshop feel" that almost all UK public libraries now aim to replicate rep·li·cate
1. To duplicate, copy, reproduce, or repeat.

2. To reproduce or make an exact copy or copies of genetic material, a cell, or an organism.

A repetition of an experiment or a procedure.

The collections themselves in a joint use library can also be too school-focused and not sufficiently diverse or balanced to meet the needs of the local community. How the stock is arranged can also have an impact. Although in most UK joint use libraries the school and public stock is intershelved, at Haywood City Learning Centre in Stoke-on-Trent, until recently, the public and school resources were separated. This meant that half of the library, the "school side," was seen as a "no go area" by members of the public (Janet Janet: see Clouet, Jean.

JANET - Joint Academic NETwork
 Thursfield, personal communication, May 4, 2005).


The majority of joint use libraries are attached to, or part of, a school, most often a secondary school. It is generally acknowledged that being attached to a school is beneficial in terms of encouraging pupils to use the library, but it is not so ideal for members of the public. They might experience a number of practical problems, for example, school buses that collect children after school blocking access to the library or parking problems. At Sneyd Community Library in Walsall in the West Midlands West Midlands, former metropolitan county, central England. Created in the 1974 local government reorganization, the county embraced the Birmingham conurbation and comprised seven metropolitan districts: Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell, Birmingham, Solihull, , for example, it is not easy for members of the public to access the library as they have to enter through the main school entrance. There is a lack of signage to the library both outside the school and when potential users enter the building. This means that many members of the public think it is a resource for the school alone. The location presents further problems in this respect; there is no regular bus service, so travelling to the library is difficult for users without their own means of transportation (McNicol, 2003). This is a widespread problem as public transport links to schools may be poor except at the beginning and end of the school day.

Limited opening hours can be a further problem. Although overall opening hours of joint use libraries are generally good compared to school libraries or small branches, there may be times when the library is closed to the public to allow classes to use the facilities. In some cases, opening hours are less than those of comparable libraries serving a single user group. For example, Lichfield Library in Staffordshire, which is a joint public, university, and further education library, opens the same hours as other branches in the county but less than would be expected for other university libraries (McNicol, 2004a).

Yet another issue is security. Security in schools has become much tighter over the last decade, and visitors are asked to sign in and display a badge indicating they have a bona fide [Latin, In good faith.] Honest; genuine; actual; authentic; acting without the intention of defrauding.

A bona fide purchaser is one who purchases property for a valuable consideration that is inducement for entering into a contract and without suspicion of being
 reason for being at the school. However, if a joint use library is sited in school grounds, or in some cases within the school, this can cause difficulties. Excessively bureaucratic bu·reau·crat  
1. An official of a bureaucracy.

2. An official who is rigidly devoted to the details of administrative procedure.

 or officious of·fi·cious  
1. Marked by excessive eagerness in offering unwanted services or advice to others: an officious host; officious attention.

2. Informal; unofficial.

 procedures are off-putting for public library users and are likely to deter the very people public libraries are working so hard to attract.

Reluctance to Enter a School

Although the familiar environment of a library on school premises might encourage greater use by pupils, this presents a barrier for some members of the public. A widespread problem is the fact that some members of the public, particularly older users and parents with toddlers, feel intimidated in·tim·i·date  
tr.v. in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
1. To make timid; fill with fear.

2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.
 entering a library where there may be large number of teenagers. Breaks and lunchtimes, when pupils use the library without teacher supervision, can be especially off-putting for some public library users. Even getting to the library entrance can be an ordeal ordeal, ancient legal custom whereby an accused person was required to perform a test, the outcome of which decided the person's guilt or innocence. By an ordeal, appeal was made to divine authority to decide the guilt or innocence of one accused of a crime or to  if it means passing through large, unsupervised groups of teenagers; many joint use libraries do not have separate entrances. Library staff sometimes have to work hard to maintain good relations between the school and the public library users.

Although joint use libraries have been popular in Norway for a number of years, in 2004 it was clear that, at least in the South Trondelag area, many joint use libraries (or kombinasjonsbibliotek) that had been established in the past were no longer meeting the needs of the local community. The main problem mentioned was the fact that adults, especially older people, did not generally like to visit a school because of unhappy associations with their own schooling or a fear of disruptive disruptive /dis·rup·tive/ (-tiv)
1. bursting apart; rending.

2. causing confusion or disorder.
 students (McNicol, 2004b). The former point is one that has been well-researched in relation to both educational establishments and libraries generally (Hull, 2000), but it perhaps needs to be more explicitly stated that the findings of these studies have particular significance for joint use libraries due to their location and, in some cases, their ethos. The latter points to a lack of understanding between some schools and the communities where they are located. Where there was a greater sense of community within the area, Norwegian Norwegian

associated in some way with Norway.

Norwegian buhund, Norwegian sheepdog
a medium-sized (26-40 lb), spitz-type dog with a short, dense coat in wheaten, black, red or sable, sometimes with black markings on the face, ears
 joint use libraries seemed to stand a higher chance of success (McNicol, 2004b).

Many joint use library staff in the UK have reported that some members of the public quickly become more comfortable once they become accustomed to the atmosphere. Alternatively, those who prefer a quieter environment adapt their patterns of library use and choose to visit at other times (McNicol, 2003). However, there is a danger that some members of the public can be permanently deterred from using the library if they are wary of teenagers; while some may opt to visit other local branches, for many this is not an option, and they become nonusers of the public library service.


Being located close to community services such as leisure centers, council service points, playgroups, car parks, and shopping areas can be a way to increase use of the public library; people are likely to be in the area for other reasons and might use the library at the same time. As White (1963) found, however, schools are often not located close to other community services. Although primary schools are usually situated close to the center of the communities they serve, this is rarely the case for secondary schools. In addition to the obvious geographical separation of many secondary schools from other community services, in recent years there has been a tendency for more children in the UK to attend secondary schools some distance from their homes. This might be because they live in a rural area, but it might also be due to a wish to attend a school run by a religious denomination For other senses of this word, see denomination.
A religious denomination (also simply denomination) is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity.
 or, increasingly, one that offers a specialization A career option pursued by some attorneys that entails the acquisition of detailed knowledge of, and proficiency in, a particular area of law.

As the law in the United States becomes increasingly complex and covers a greater number of subjects, more and more attorneys are
 such as languages, arts, or technology. (6) This means that the local population who would be expected to use the joint use public library may not be the same community that is served by the school, and this can create difficulties. Children from other schools may be reluctant to visit the library, and there will be fewer direct links between the school and the immediate local community.

Size of the Building and Collection

Too many joint use libraries are too small to adequately serve both the school and local community. In older libraries, this problem has been exacerbated by the introduction of ICT (Information and Communications Technology Noun 1. communications technology - the activity of designing and constructing and maintaining communication systems
engineering, technology - the practical application of science to commerce or industry
), which has demanded more and more space. Space needs may also change as a result of fluctuations in the local population, but lack of space is not just a problem that develops over time. In many instances, difficulties are apparent soon after the library opens. A desire to reduce building costs means that some newer joint use libraries have not been built to accommodate the current needs of the local population and even less consideration has been given to possible future expansion.

The fact that many joint use libraries lack separate areas for diverse, and often conflicting, activities, such as individual studying, reading, and whole class sessions, can prove problematic. Jaffe recommended that a joint use library should provide adequate space and separate areas for the school and public use (Jaffe, 1982, 100). Library staff interviewed by McNicol (2003) felt that, ideally, a joint use library would have a room for class use and a separate computer area, but this is rarely the case in practice.


There are a number of factors that need to be taken into account to ensure that a joint use library serves the local community as well as its school users. It is important that these are taken into account when decisions are being made as to the suitability of a proposed joint use library, and they should continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis. The key factors that need to be considered are

* demographic and geographical factors;

* publicity and marketing strategies;

* public consultation exercises;

* the ethos of the partners involved;

* the location of other community facilities;

* access.

Demographic and Geographical Factors

The nature and composition of the local community helps to explain why a joint use library was established in many areas. In McNicol (2003), several library managers referred to the isolated nature of the community they served, poor transport links, and the fact that the size of the local community was not large enough to justify a branch library. Fitzgibbons (2000) claims that the size of the community is the first consideration when deciding whether a joint use library is a viable option. Woolard (1980) recommended that the optimum environment would be communities with 5,000 or fewer residents, where there are usually not enough library resources and few trained staff. Bundy suggested the lower figure of 3,500 (Bundy, 2002). Woolard (1980) noted that it is also often the case that communication is easier in small communities, and they often have a large, stable percentage of residents involved in community life. In addition, it could be argued that there is less division and wariness between the young and old members of a smaller community because people are more familiar with each other and come into contact on a more regular basis than in a larger community, where it is possible for separate groups to form that have little or no contact with each other.


The correct marketing and promotional strategy is essential for a successful joint use library. In some cases, the library is promoted effectively within the school, but less attention is paid to publicity targeted at the local community. In addition to general public library service promotion, joint use publicity needs to make it abundantly a·bun·dant  
1. Occurring in or marked by abundance; plentiful. See Synonyms at plentiful.

2. Abounding with; rich: a region abundant in wildlife.
 clear that the library is not just a resource for the school but is open to, and welcomes, the entire community. This can be a difficult message to put across. Ideally, the library building should be visible from the roadside but, where this is not the case, it needs clear, prominent signage. Staff working in joint use libraries report adopting a plethora plethora /pleth·o·ra/ (pleth´ah-rah)
1. an excess of blood.

2. by extension, a red florid complexion.pletho´ric

 of promotional activities including open days, talks, leaflets, newspaper advertisements, attending local carnivals, talking to Noun 1. talking to - a lengthy rebuke; "a good lecture was my father's idea of discipline"; "the teacher gave him a talking to"
lecture, speech

rebuke, reprehension, reprimand, reproof, reproval - an act or expression of criticism and censure; "he had to
 residents in the community, and addressing residents' group meetings (Evidence Base, 2004). However, as Haywood City Learning Centre in Stoke-on-Trent found (Janet Thursfield, personal communication, May 4, 2005) there is no guarantee that even if all these methods are tried the library will be successful in attracting the local community if local people do not feel themselves to have ownership of, and active involvement in, the library. Therefore, it is crucial that the local community is consulted and involved in decisions regarding joint use facilities from the outset.

Public Consultation

In order to involve communities and hopefully gain their support for joint use facilities, a well-thought-out consultation process is needed that demonstrates a genuine respect for the community's views and concerns. This can help to prevent or overcome the types of problems described in the introduction to this article. Aaron and Hannigan (1980) developed a model for helping local communities make decisions about the appropriateness of a joint use library. As Bauer (1995) points out, community fit is important, and all communities are not suitable candidates for a joint use library. The local community needs to be involved in a feasibility study "A Feasibility Study" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 13 April, 1964, during the first season. It was remade in 1997 as part of the revived The Outer Limits series with a minor title change. . A joint use library is being planned in Upper Riccarton in Christchurch, New Zealand New Zealand (zē`lənd), island country (2005 est. pop. 4,035,000), 104,454 sq mi (270,534 sq km), in the S Pacific Ocean, over 1,000 mi (1,600 km) SE of Australia. The capital is Wellington; the largest city and leading port is Auckland. . Before the decision was taken to proceed with a joint facility, a detailed study of demographic information, transport patterns, and educational institutions and other facilities was carried out. There have also been a number of consultation exercises, culminating in the establishment of an "Ideas Bank An ideas bank is a website where people post, exchange, discuss, and polish new ideas. Some ideas banks are used for the purpose of developing new inventions or technologies. Many corporations have installed internal ideas banks to gather the input from their employees. " where teachers, students, and the local community can share ideas about what they would like to see in the new library (Christchurch City Libraries, 2005).

In Derby in the East Midlands The East Midlands is one of the regions of England and consists of most of the eastern half of the traditional region of the Midlands. It consists of the combined area of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Northampton­shire, Nottingham­shire and most of Lincolnshire. , a planned joint use library serving the public and workers at a healthy living center has made significant efforts to involve the local community from the earliest stages. Although this joint use library did not involve an educational establishment, the same principles apply. A library panel has been set up that it is hoped will become a permanent body with its own constitution; a youth forum has been involved in selecting stock; a survey has been sent to all local residents and schools; and a member of the library staff works with residents' groups to ensure their views are taken into consideration (Roberts, 2005).

The approach taken in Essex, where a new joint use library has recently opened at Bishop's Park College, was to ask customers of the existing branch, which was to be closed, what could be done to enable them to make use of the new facility. Objections were anticipated, but once the decision to go ahead with a joint use library was taken, demonstrating that the council would do whatever it could to help the community to adjust became a priority (Baker, 2005). Although this is quite rare, occasionally the impetus Impetus is a stimulus or impulse, a moving force that sparks momentum.

Impetus may also refer to:
  • Theory of impetus, an obsolete scientific theory on projectile motion, superseded by the modern theory of inertia
 for a new joint use library has actually been led by the local community. At Winnersh in Wokingham, the idea for a community library was suggested at a village focus group; there was demand from the local community and the idea was championed by a local councillor (McNicol, 2003).

Sometimes school pupils and the local community have been actively involved in the design of the library. At Ardnamurchan in the Scottish Highlands, for example, the community was involved in an art project to create a stained glass stained glass, in general, windows made of colored glass. To a large extent, the name is a misnomer, for staining is only one of the methods of coloring employed, and the best medieval glass made little use of it.  installation and projection in the library (McNicol, 2003). The library at The Campus at Weston-super-Mare has ceiling prints designed by pupils at the school (Kelly, 2005).

Some joint use libraries have used innovative forms of public consultation. For example, in Bolton arts-based consultation materials are being developed to engage members of the local ethnic minority community, as this group is often excluded by traditional consultation methods (Keane, 2005).

The Ethos of the Partners

A joint library needs to match the general ethos of both partners. Joint school-public facilities obviously work best in schools that see involvement with the local community as an essential aspect of their mission. In these schools, links are built up through other activities such as shared sports and ICT facilities and the involvement of students in community projects. In a school where fewer efforts are made to engage with the local community, it can be more difficult for a joint use library to establish its position in the community. It is important that the school recognizes that the library is not a classroom but has a wide-ranging social and cultural role.

As Bundy (2002) has suggested, it may be that joint public and community college libraries work better because of the maturity of the students, the design of the building, and the utility of the collection to the general public. In Norway joint use libraries appear to work slightly better in high schools, for sixteen to nineteen year olds, than in primary schools, which might place more restrictions on adult access to the school grounds. However, primary schools may have more potential as sites for joint use libraries than has yet been realized. Despite more security issues, they have a number of advantages over secondary schools, namely, no large groups of teenagers to deter more apprehensive library users; better links with the local community and local families; a more suitable location in the heart of residential areas; and less of a focus on examinations and traditional styles of studying.

Location of Other Community Facilities

Another factor that can improve links between the joint use library and the local community is siting the library in a complex with other community facilities such as leisure facilities, arts venues, or shops. A number of schools with joint use libraries are now offering other community facilities. One example is Ardnamurchan school and cultural center in the Scottish Highlands, which was described as "a nucleus nucleus, in physics
nucleus, in physics, the extremely dense central core of an atom. The Nature of the Nucleus
 for the whole community" when it was opened in 2003 (Scottish Executive, 2003). The library is part of the Sunart Centre (or Arainn Shuaineirt). Facilities offered include an outdoor games area; a games hall for badminton badminton (băd`mĭntən), game played by volleying a shuttlecock (called a "bird")—a small, cork hemisphere to which feathers are attached—over a net. Light, gut-strung rackets are used. , basketball, football, and tennis; a fitness suite equipped with rowing, running, and exercise machines, weights, and multigym equipment; an arts venue for concerts, theatre productions, exhibitions, and films; and an adult learning center from which Lochaber College offers a range of courses, including video conferencing See videoconferencing.

(communications) video conferencing - A discussion between two or more groups of people who are in different places but can see and hear each other using electronic communications.
 facilities. The idea of a community library fits well with the overall ethos of the school, which is intended as a building for the whole community (McNicol, 2003). On a larger scale, The Campus in Weston-super-Mare in Somerset Somerset, cities, United States

1 City (1990 pop. 10,733), seat of Pulaski co., S Ky., in a farm, coal, and limestone area of the Cumberland foothills; inc. 1810.
 includes meeting rooms, a learning center, a police post, indoor and outdoor sports facilities See:
  • List of Auto Racing tracks
  • List of indoor arenas
  • List of NASCAR race tracks
  • List of stadiums
  • Velodrome
  • List of tennis courts
, and a cafeteria cafeteria: see restaurant.  (Kelly, 2005).


Separate entrances to a joint use library mean that members of the public no longer need to compete with groups of teenagers just to get into the library. As well as addressing the school's concerns regarding security, different entrances for students and community users can help to overcome reluctance to enter the library. Transport links are another key factor in the success of a joint use library and need to be considered as part of an initial feasibility study The analysis of a problem to determine if it can be solved effectively. The operational (will it work?), economical (costs and benefits) and technical (can it be built?) aspects are part of the study. Results of the study determine whether the solution should be implemented. . Separate parking facilities are also important.


It is surprising, perhaps, that despite the emphasis on joined-up (7) working and greater community cohesion Community cohesion refers to the aspect of togetherness exhibited by members of a community. Characterised by similar cultures, lifestyes, family lineage or relations, neighbourhood or any other bonding factors of human living, togetherness in communities is a very cherished trait  to be found in many UK government initiatives, joint use libraries are rarely given serious consideration by policymakers, as has been the case in other areas of the world, such as South Australia. McNicol (2003) found that, providing people are flexible and prepared to compromise, joint use libraries can work extremely well and have the potential to be an integral part of the local community. In many areas, they enable a better standard of library service to be provided than would have been possible otherwise.

Beyond the strictly practical advantages, joint use libraries offer greater opportunities than are often realized for intergenerational activities and lifelong learning and information skills provision. Amey (quoted in Fitzgibbons, 2000) has stated: "Some of the most vibrant, most community-orientated, most enthusiastically supported libraries that I have encountered have been school-housed public libraries." This type of positive endorsement is often overlooked as more attention is paid to the well-documented practical difficulties such as space, access, and location. These are, of course, all issues that need to be seriously considered before a decision to build a new joint use library is taken. Beyond such practical concerns, however, it is essential that the local community is consulted at the initial planning stage. One of the success factors identified by Fitzgibbons was "a community vision and attitude of commitment to shared services shared services, the administrative, clinical, or other service functions that are common to two or more hospitals or their health care facilities and used jointly or cooperatively by them.
." She argues that "The total community needs to be involved in making the decision, carefully weighing the pros and cons pros and cons
Noun, pl

the advantages and disadvantages of a situation [Latin pro for + con(tra) against]
, and determining a joint vision of library needs that can be met through shared services" (Fitzgibbons, 2000). If there is strong resistance within the local community to the idea of a joint use library, its chances of success are severely limited. The importance of gaining public support and community involvement cannot be overestimated. Where joint use libraries benefit from strong local support--for example, Ardnamurchan in the Scottish Highlands--they stand a good chance of working, but where there is limited support or local opposition for example, Haywood Library in Stoke-on-Trent--it can be a demoralizing de·mor·al·ize  
tr.v. de·mor·al·ized, de·mor·al·iz·ing, de·mor·al·iz·es
1. To undermine the confidence or morale of; dishearten: an inconsistent policy that demoralized the staff.
 experience for staff struggling to make a joint use library work under these circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
. If a joint use library is to truly be a community library, the voice of the local community needs to be heeded.


Aaron, S. L., & Hannigan J. A. (1980). A study of the combined school-public libraries. Chicago: ALA.

Audit Commission. (2002). Building better library services. Retrieved February 2, 2004, from -4c52-911267D520E7COAB/ACKLibrariesbr.pdf.

Baker, N. (2005). The journey begins here ... Presentation at Dual Use and Co-Located Libraries Mini-Conference at the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

Bauer, P. T. (1995). Factors affecting the operation of a combined school/public library: A qualitative study (public library). Unpublished doctoral dissertation dis·ser·ta·tion  
A lengthy, formal treatise, especially one written by a candidate for the doctoral degree at a university; a thesis.


, Florida State University Florida State University, at Tallahassee; coeducational; chartered 1851, opened 1857. Present name was adopted in 1947. Special research facilities include those in nuclear science and oceanography. .

Bromfield, V. (2001). Our intelligent island: The community library-Better than the sum of its parts. Retrieved November 14, 2003, from

Bryson, J., Usherwood, B., & Proctor, R. (2003). Libraries must also be buildings? New library impact study. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

Bundy, A. (1998). Widening client horizons: Joint use public libraries in the 1990s. APLIS 11(1), 4-16.

Bundy, A. (2002). Joint-use libraries-The ultimate form of cooperation. Retrieved April 30, 2004, from

Cassell, M. K. (1985). Combined school-public (community) libraries. A brief overview. ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED269 031.

Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) is a professional body representing librarians and other information professionals in the United Kingdom.  (CILIP). (2002). Start with the child. Retrieved 30 April 30, 2004, from sectors/youngpeople/startwiththechild.

Christchurch City Libraries. (2005). Upper Riccarton Library Ideas Bank. Retrieved April 14, 2005, from UpperRiccarton/Planning/IdeasBank.asp.

Evidence Base. (2004). Featured library, Callington Library, Cornwall. Retrieved April 7, 2005, from

Fitzgibbons, S. A. (2000). School and public library relationships: Essential ingredients in implementing educational reforms and improving student learning. School Library Media Research, 3. Retrieved January 16, 2003, from

Gomez, E., Hulthen, E., & Drehmer, U. (1998). A joint library project in Harnosand, Sweden. Scandinavian Public Library Quarterly, 31(4), 22-24.

Hansson, J. (2006). Just collaboration Working together on a project. See collaborative software.  or really something else?-On joint-use libraries and normative nor·ma·tive  
Of, relating to, or prescribing a norm or standard: normative grammar.

 institutional change with two examples from Sweden. Library Trends, 53(4).

Hull, B. (2000). Barriers discouraging dis·cour·age  
tr.v. dis·cour·aged, dis·cour·ag·ing, dis·cour·ag·es
1. To deprive of confidence, hope, or spirit.

2. To hamper by discouraging; deter.

 access to libraries as agents of lifelong learning. London: Library and Information Commission.

Jaffe, L. L. (1982). The combined school/public library in Pennsylvania Pennsylvania (pĕnsəlvā`nyə), one of the Middle Atlantic states of the United States. It is bordered by New Jersey, across the Delaware River (E), Delaware (SE), Maryland (S), West Virginia (SW), Ohio (W), and Lake Erie and New York . Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

Jones, A. (1977). Dual purpose libraries: Some experience in England. School Librarian (1) A person who works in the data library and keeps track of the tapes and disks that are stored and logged out for use. Also known as a "file librarian" or "media librarian." See data library.

(2) See CA-Librarian.
, 25(4), 311-318.

Kauppila, P., & Russell, S. (2003). Economies of scale in the library world: The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library in San Jose, California San Jose (IPA: /ˌsænhoʊˈzeɪ/) is the third-largest city in California, and the tenth-largest in the United States. It is the county seat of Santa Clara County. . New Library World, 104(7/8), 255-266.

Keane, M. (2005). Searching for the ideal solution. Presentation at Dual Use and Co-Located Libraries Mini-Conference at the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

Kelly, N. (2005). The creation and development of The Campus. Presentation at Dual Use and Co-Located Libraries Mini-Conference at the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

Library and Information Commission (LIC). (2000). Empowering the Learning Community. London: LIC.

McNicol, S. (2003). Dual use public and school libraries in the UK. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from Dual_use libraries_supplementary_report.doc.

McNicol, S. (2004a). Lichfield joint use library: A case study of a joint HE, FE and public library. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

McNicol, S. (2004b). Schools, public libraries and dual use libraries in Norway. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

National Audit Office. (1999). Modernising government. Retrieved February 17, 2006, from

Roberts, B. (2005). New deal, new library. Presentation at Dual Use and Co-Located Libraries Mini-Conference at the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from

Scottish Executive. (2003). School opens in Ardnamurchan. Retrieved April 5, 2004, from

Teachernet. (2005). Extended schools guidance-Overview. Retrieved April 14, 2005, from detailedguidance/overview.

West Highland Free Press. (2004). Revised plans for Portree High meet with mixed response. West Highland Free Press, November 19, p. 10.

White, R. M. (1963). The school housed public library: A survey. Chicago: ALA.

Woolard, W. (1980). Combined school/public libraries: A survey with conclusions and recommendations. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Scarecrow

goes to Wizard of Oz to get brains. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz]

See : Ignorance


can’t live up to his name. [Am. Lit.: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Am.


(1.) An extended school is one that provides a range of activities and services, often beyond the school day, to meet the needs of pupils, their families, and the wider community. Examples of extended services include ICT facilities, adult education, study support, and community sports programs (Teachernet, 2005).

(2.) Best Value Performance Indicators are measures of performance set by the departments in central government (see

(3.) For example, Callington joint use library in Cornwall is open until 7:00 p.m. on two evenings each week, whereas the library in the county town of Truro closes at 6:00 p.m. each day.

(4.) See

(5.) See

(6.) See what_are/?version=l.

(7.) For an explanation on joined-up government, see and National Audit Office (1999).

Sarah McNicol is a researcher at evidence base Research & Evaluation Services at the University of Central England in Birmingham, UK. She has worked as lead researcher on a variety of research projects, mainly in the areas of school libraries, learning and young people's use of libraries and information. This led her to develop a particular interest in joint use libraries. She carried out one of the first research projects into this topic for a number of years in 2003 and has since been on a study visit to joint use libraries in Norway; organised a UK conference on joint use and co-located libraries; and established an online community of practice intended for library staff, policymakers and researchers involved in joint use libraries.
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Title Annotation:factor contributing to the success
Author:McNicol, Sarah
Publication:Library Trends
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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