ABSTRACT

This chapter identifies three main areas that the library service contributed to 'self improvement': information and communications technology (ICT), adult education, general ambitions. From library community, Black and Crann go further and suggest that the idea of the public library as an agency for self-improvement is something of a myth. As Block suggests, 'when we help individuals improve their skills and their lives, we make the entire community richer and healthier'. When public libraries promote complex culture, they contribute to the public good. Their stock and activities should be designed to enrich individuals and communities. A good public library is one that provides opportunities for people to hear, read and learn about a diverse range of cultures. In such a town, in such a state, public libraries will become victims of the commercial imperative and will find it much more difficult, if not impossible, to provide materials and services that contribute to self-improvement, complex culture, or the public good.