The Practice of Outreach Services in Chinese Special Libraries

The Practice of Outreach Services in Chinese Special Libraries

Xiaoping Xin, Xinnian Wu
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0550-1.ch005
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Outreach services are defined as those based on traditional library services. Libraries utilize resources, improve social education, expand service range, and enrich service content and methods, not only providing the public with diverse and customized services, but also deepening the scope and depth of outreach services. Library outreach services refers to the extension of service ideas, content, space, time, object, and range. Different libraries have distinct meanings and forms of outreach services. Based on the example of the documentation and information system in the Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), this chapter briefly states how Chinese research-oriented libraries implement outreach services for various levels of needs in different user groups through persistent innovation. This will provide meaningful guidance and implications for future research on the outreach service practices of special libraries.
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Outreach Services In Libraries

The origin of outreach services in the library can be traced back to the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. Various libraries were breaking through traditional boundaries as well as expanding new services in content and form. The American Library Service Act was published in 1956 in the United States, promoting the service of public libraries in the nation’s rural areas. Therefore, outreach services were on the cutting edge of practice (Fry et al., 1975). In the 1960s, American scholars Westbrook and Waldman defined outreach services as a whole of library service except reference and consultations which are the main parts of libraries. (Boff et al., 2006). In 1993, they redefined this term as all of the services provided outside of libraries. According to confirmed stipulation from ALA and OLOS, the mission of this organization is to care for vulnerable groups who can’t enjoy regular services, including illiterate and disabled individuals, people who live in rural areas, people with low incomes, and groups discriminated against due to race, language, age, and sexual orientation (American Library Association, 2012).

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