Public Library Quarterly (PLQ)

Publication Profiles > LIS Scholarly Journals > Public Library Quarterly (PLQ)

Publication analysis

About the publication

TitlePublic Library Quarterly (PLQ)

ISSN: 0161-6846 (print), 1541-1540 (online)


Purpose, objective, or mission:Public Library Quarterly (PLQ) is addressed to leaders-directors, managers, staff, trustees, and friends who believe that change is imperative if public libraries are to fulfill their service missions in the twenty-first century.”1

Target audience: Library and information science (LIS) “leaders-directors, managers, staff, trustees, and friends,” especially those working in public libraries.2

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Peer reviewed? Yes, all articles undergo editorial screening and peer review.3

Type: LIS scholarly journal.

Medium: Print and online.

Content: PLQ focuses on how public library directors and operating officers affect change. It examines best practices and service improvement models, management case studies, library mythologies that impede development, planning and outcomes, marketing and fundraising, budget and financial management, new technology in practices, and programs for children.4 “Every issue of  Public Library Quarterly contains informative articles written by the directors and staffs of leading public libraries, news of current public library events, and book reviews covering issues of interest to those in public library work.”5

Frequency of publication: Four issues per year.6

About the publication’s submission guidelines

Location of submission guidelines: Instructions for authors.

Types of contributions accepted: PLQ publishes original research, scholarship, and analyses of current issues in public libraries, from theoretical and practical perspectives. The journal “addresses the major administrative challenges and opportunities that face public libraries, providing insight and assistance to all public library workers.” Furthermore, the journal publishes surveys “that can be developed and used as national benchmarks for such administrative concerns as salaries, usage standards, and budget breakdowns.”7

Submission and review process: Authors submit manuscripts online via Editorial Manager, a portal that manages the submission, revision, review, and publication process for authors, editors, and reviewers.8 Manuscripts undergo editorial screening and peer review.9

Editorial tone: Scholarly.

Style guide used: PLQ uses the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition).

Conclusion: Evaluation of publication’s potential for LIS authors

PLQ is a long-standing, high-quality LIS journal that publishes scholarship on all aspects of public libraries from around the world. As such, it is a a good fit for LIS authors whose scholarship is focused on public libraries or who study these libraries’ connections with other information organizations or in the realm of public policy. The journal is both practical and scholarly; many articles are written by public library directors or staff members, but the journal also looks to publish research and surveys in this domain. There is a sense that authors are highly experienced in the realm of public libraries, but this does not necessarily exclude graduate student authors with solid scholarship and novel approaches to the field.


Audience analysis

About the publication’s readers

Publication circulation: Data not available, but each article’s homepage lists number of views, citations, and Altmetric score.

Audience location and language or cultural considerations: PLQ is published in English for a worldwide audience. Editorial board members are from universities, libraries, and information organizations in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, and Taiwan.10 Authors should consider readers from around the globe and explain jargon or regional usages.

Reader characteristics: Readers are public library directors and managers, staff members, trustees, and friends, as well as LIS researchers, scholars, professionals, and graduate students.

Knowledge of LIS subject matter: Most readers will have a solid and practical understanding of LIS subject matter, but since this journal has a worldwide reach, authors should be careful to explain particular terms and practices.

Conclusion: Analysis of reader characteristics and their potential impact on authors

PLQ reaches a worldwide audience of public library directors, librarians, staff members, scholars, researchers, and graduate students. Readers are interested in how current events, policy, trends, and changes in the public library landscape will affect their institutions and how other libraries’ experiences and practices may inform their own practices. Readers look for evidence of positive leadership in and responses to a climate of change in the public library realm. Readers expect both theory- and practice-based articles, as well as larger scale surveys and research results.

Last updated: April 30, 2018


Show 10 footnotes

  1. “Aims and Scope,” Public Library Quarterly, accessed April 30, 2018,
  2. “Aims and Scope.”
  3. “Aims and Scope.”
  4. “Aims and Scope.”
  5. “Instructions for Authors,” Public Library Quarterly, accessed April 30, 2018, show=instructions&journalCode=wplq20.
  6. “Journal Information,” Public Library Quarterly, accessed April 30, 2018,
  7. “Instructions for Authors.”
  8. “Instructions for Authors.”
  9. “Aims and Scope.”
  10. “Editorial Board,” Public Library Quarterly, accessed April 30, 2018, show=editorialBoard&journalCode=wplq20.
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