This book is fairly short but it packs a lot of essential information about children’s services in public libraries into its pages. The author is a long-time children’s librarian in California who is now a professor teaching others to become children’s librarians.
The author provides a survey of the history of children’s services in public libraries in the U.S., as well as a consideration of the major issues in children’s library services over the years. Lastly, in the heart of the book, five aspects of being a child today are considered with respect to how they could impact library services for youth. I am sure there are other current aspects of childhood that could be considered other than these five – the child reader, the child of the information age, the child in the community, the global child, and the empowered child – but they seem to be well-chosen and vital topics.
The survey of the history and issues of children’s library services would be useful to anyone newly involved or interested in the field. The consideration of how library services to children should be changing to adapt to the new realities of being a child today and the new demands that society is placing on public libraries would be a valuable thought-provoker for anyone involved in children’s library services, from neophyte to veteran.
– Reviewed by Bob Sibert