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What form of public library organization delivers the best library service? For many years library leaders have told us that “wider units of service” will produce better library services. This presentation examines some of the issues, using national data. Although far more study is needed, the national data suggest to the author that, in most cases, wider units of library service are, indeed, wiser. The comparisons will help library planners choose wisely. Hennen wrote an article entitled "Are Wider Units Wiser?"  that appeared in the June/July 2002 issue of American Libraries, the official publication of the American Library Association.  He explored the options related to library districts within the specific context of the KC Consensus study "Making Book," on library services in the Kansas City area.  "The Challenge of Wider Library Units," was published in Library Journal in September of 2004.

Only 20 states have enabling legislation for district libraries. The presentation can be designed for audiences in states with or without enabling laws.  In states without district legislation, he will explain how districts work and discuss his work as the chair of the Wisconsin Library Association's legislative committee in drafting district legislation for the state. In states with legislation in place he will cover the process for developing a district and provide comparative data on performance measures for libraries in districts as compared to those not in districts.

Type and Length of Presentation:  One to three hour lecture/discussion session. One day workshop for planners also available. See also Consulting page for information on engaging Hennen Library Consulting to lead your long range planning effort. 

Contact:  Thomas J. Hennen Jr. at thennen@haplr-index.com  

Room Setup details.

I will need a screen and projector that can connect with a computer using Microsoft Powerpoint.  I expect to be able to load the software and test the equipment at least a half an hour before the program.  I prefer a portable microphone as well as a podium.


Hennen Library Consulting
6014 Spring Street
Racine, WI  53406

Thomas J. Hennen Jr.

Voice: 262-886-1625
 Cell:    262-880-4210

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April 2010

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