Social inclusion

Volume 40 NO. 3 2007

The public service concept doesn’t reach everyone.
Public library services are intended for everyone, commonly; perhaps too commonly in a world where the target communities are scattered.
Libraries have equally offered the same master keys to the world of information and adventure irrespective of one’s background, needs or abilities. These keys have been supplemented with face-to-face information services at the counter.
The public service concept appropriates everyone fairly well, but not very well for anyone and very badly for some.
Those with little education have always used libraries less than others. Moreover, offering services that are too universal does not satisfy those who wish to delve deeply into a topic or who are searching for a certain perspective on a topic related to their subculture.
Libraries have identified just two clear target groups; mainly children, the sick and the disabled have been served according to their own needs. The public service perspective
has inhibited libraries from identifying target groups and creating services for them, for example for automobile hobbyists or hiphoppers. How much has this affected the decrease in the use of libraries?

Seppo Verho

Translation: Turun Täyskäännös

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Managing Editor, Kirjasto-lehti