chapter  2
37 Pages

Housing the User

WithWilliam S. Pierce

Today, when library service is so actively promoted, it is hard to realize that the concept of making libraries serve reader needs is a very recent one. Until recently, the housing of collections was the primary reason for a library's existence and user requests were serviced only grudgingly. Even today, only public libraries and most academic libraries cater actively to reader needs, while national and most specialized libraries limit direct access to their collections as much as possible.