John J. Boll (ed.) / Reader services in libraries : a day in honor of Margaret E. Monroe
Monroe, Margaret E.
Adult services: prediction and control, pp. 26-39 ff. PDF (5.2 MB)
varying publics, and provides the necessary feedback to the profes- sional librarian in adjusting the proposed service policy to the desired outcome. Let me comment on two important sources from which public librar- ians have drawn to anticipate or predict the outcome of service poli- cies: first adult learning principles, and second, the life task con- cept evolved in human development psychology. I shall illustrate first the librarian's use of adult learning principles. The early detailed descriptions of fine advisory and community group services provided in the 1920s and 1930s by Flexner, Tompkins, and Chancellor show them to have been guided by superb instincts and intuitions. As the adult education movement matured into the field of adult learning theory, concepts of learning emerged by which public librarians began to predict outcomes of service policies. Let me illustrate with three brief accounts from the experience of the Detroit Public Library. From the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s the Detroit Public Library's annual community co-sponsored Program Planning Institutes were based on several important learning principles. Two central principles were: (1) that the involvement of learners in planning their own learning led to more productive learning (hence the library invited collaborative planning with the very community organizations that wanted help in planning programs); (2) that new learning resources require new program methods, and program planners must be knowledge- able in the new methods as well as the new materials (hence, Detroit's Program Planning Institutes that introduced films as program materials also involved introduction of skills in film discussion). These were new concepts in the 1930s. Detroit's program planners' needs were truly well met by these one or two day institutes which were conducted annually over twenty
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