Some Alternatives for the Public Library

  • Edward C. Banfield


The public library has more users and more money today than ever before, but it lacks a purpose. It is trying to do some things that it probably cannot do, and it is doing others that it probably should not do. At the same time, it is neglecting what may be its real opportunities. What the library needs is, first, a purpose that is both in accord with the realities of present-day city life and implied by some general principles and, second, a program that is imaginatively designed to carry its purpose into effect.


Lower Class Public Library Library Service Public Purpose Library User 
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  1. 2.
    Richard Musgrave,The Theory of Public Finance(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959), Chapter 1.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    David B. Tyack,George Tichnor and the Boston Brahmins(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 208–211.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward C. Banfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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