Are service agencies, not profit-making firms
Purvey information, not tangible products or services
Perform functions both of supply and guidance (cf. medical services in doctor's office, hospital, pharmacy)
Provide professional service without, in most cases, having a personal, continuous client relationship
For all their general acceptance, are currently marked by ambiguous goals rather than clear-cut objectives
In their long history, have accumulated concepts of function and method that make for rigid structure and resistance to change
Respond both to resources and to clientele in a dual orientation Ð some staff are book-minded, others people-minded
Function as auxiliaries to larger organizations (universities, schools, municipalities, corporations), and not as independent entities
Because of their auxiliary role, are subject to external pressures from political bodies, faculties, and users.
(Lowell Martin 1984. The Organizational Structure of Libraries.)
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