LIBR 531: Client-centred Services for Adults


MLIS and Dual MAS/MLIS: Completion of MLIS Core or permission of iSchool Graduate Advisor

MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the iSchool Graduate Advisor

GOAL: A basic precept of library service is that it be designed to serve the particular interests and needs of the community, institution or organization that created it. This course concentrates on how the interests and needs of particular adult client groups, or potential client groups, within a community can be identified and integrated into the ongoing operations of the public, university, college or special library.


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • The ability to identify and assess the diverse needs of identifiable client groups served by a library, in order to determine appropriate library services and collections
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to the special circumstances of particular client groups which make them either disadvantaged in our society, or create for them special needs and problems in accessing information and making full use of the library
  • the ability to plan services on a priority basis, and to evaluate them for their effectiveness in meeting the identified needs of client groups
  • The knowledge and ability to discuss the philosophical, professional, and practical issues related to serving specific client groups, and the role of the library in furthering societal goals, and empowering individuals and groups within the community
  • An understanding of the steps involved in program planning and presentation, and in marketing and evaluating programs
  • The ability to tailor a library’s collection to the specific needs of an identifiable group or community of users


  • Defining adult services: its history, current practice, special issues
  • The planning process in library services
  • Assessing clients’ needs and determining priorities
  • Planning, promoting, financing, implementing and evaluating programming in public libraries
  • Serving recent immigrants, international students and ethnic communities
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Information needs of First Nations communities and individuals
  • The role of libraries in promoting literacy
  • Serving people with disabilities
  • Reaching the poor and homeless
  • Library Services for older adults
  • Serving the homebound and institutionalized

Library services and collections for the gay and lesbian community

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