Service Providers’ Use of Community Information in California:
Case Study of the Peninsula Library System (2001 - 2003)

The Peninsula Library System’s Community Information Program (CIP) project was part of our 2000-03 IMLS funded “How Libraries and Librarians Help” study series in which we developed a context-based, outcome evaluation approach for assessing how different stakeholders use community programs run by public libraries.

The Peninsula Library System (PLS), headquartered in San Mateo, CA, is a consortium of 34 public and community college libraries that serve multiple communities in the area. PLS’s 25 year-old Community Information Program provides accurate and up-to-date information to social service agencies and library staff through its database and a variety of publications. The database contains over 3,000 detailed profiles and contact information for nonprofit and government agencies in the county that provide direct services to the public.