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Wanting it all: the relationship between expectations and the public’s perceptions of public library services

Emma Lilley (Emma Lilley is Strategy Co‐ordinator, Somerset TEC, Taunton, Somerset, UK.)
Bob Usherwood (Bob Usherwood is Professor of Librarianship, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 1 February 2000

Abstract

Discusses research that examines the relationship between user perceptions and expectations of the public library service. Emphasis is not on what expectations and perceptions of the library service are, but rather how they are formed, what influences them, and how they interact. Making use of data from the 1995 ASLIB study, and drawing on research from a variety of disciplines, it was found that the library experience had a significant impact on the perceptions and expectations that are created of the service. The “snapshot” that a user forms during the service experience was found to be crucial to the perception created and the subsequent expectation held. Similarly it was noted that internal and external factors ranging from family influence to the media also have an impact on the way an individual experiences the library. Developments in information technology have resulted in some confused perceptions of the public library service. Some areas of conflict were noted between perceptions of a traditional role, and a potential role making use of IT. Concludes that a knowledge of user expectations and perceptions is vital to the effective management of public library services.

Keywords

Citation

Lilley, E. and Usherwood, B. (2000), "Wanting it all: the relationship between expectations and the public’s perceptions of public library services", Library Management, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 13-24. https://doi.org/10.1108/01435120010305591

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited