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Should public libraries be networked with the parent service or not

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Abstract:

The National and University Library performs the role of the parent service for all types of libraries, that is also for public libraries. According to the Act on Librarianship, public libraries perform some tasks of the parent service on the horizontal level for alllibraries in a certain area. The analysis of the performance of public libraries in the last decade, carried out at the national parent service shows that the majority of advisory work was aimed at better working conditions in public libraries which are, by themselves, the platform enabling the performance of parent tasks. The analysis reveals that in the last decade, the primary aim of public libraries was their own functioning and development of their network, and to a much lesser extent concem for other libraries in their respective areas.Social changes also endangered the organization of libraries in a network, and it was not always the founders who initiated changes, doubt and despair showed up also in the libraries themselves. On the other hand, quick social changes, development of technology, diminished interest in reading and endeavours for free information access advocate networking of libaries and the maintenance of that network by parent service. The existent endeavours of the parent service for the development of libraries can serve for the reassessmentof the preservation and reinforcementoflinks among libraries in a network following modemized organization. The formation of an advisory body of representatives of public libraries should reinforce the power of advisory service for public libraries in its endeavours for better working conditions and professiona1ization of their performance.

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