The purpose of this paper is to present the findings from the research carried out among the directors of Croatian public libraries about cooperation between public libraries and the academic community and about promotion of science in Croatian public libraries. Owing to their number, strategic position in society and the skills and knowledge of librarians, public libraries have an opportunity to cooperate more intensively with the scientific community, expand their holdings with science‐related content and to offer new services. Some already cooperate with the Croatian scientific community by participating in joint research projects and in promoting science. Although cooperation with the scientific community is not among their priorities, Croatian public libraries are enthusiastic to continue with this type of activity.
The first part of the paper offers an introduction followed by a short review of the current position of public libraries in society and possibilities for strengthening their position by cooperating with the scientific community (in the second part of the paper). The third part introduces the research among the directors of Croatian public libraries followed by the presentation of the findings of the same research. An online survey consisting of 19 closed questions was used as a method of research. An e‐mail invitation to participate in the research was sent to all public libraries in Croatia.
The outcome of the research may serve as an orientation to the members of the Croatian academic community when planning new cooperation with public libraries and vice versa. The findings of the research may also serve as an orientation to the directors of Croatian public libraries when considering expansions of their holdings with new material related to science and in the development of new offline and online services.
The strategic position of public libraries in society makes them of interest for promotion of results of developments in many areas of human endeavour, including science, by using their holdings, services and premises. According to the research findings, public libraries participate actively in popularisation of science by using their existing holdings and services. Public libraries in Croatia are promoting science actively and are participating in scientific projects led by scientific institutions. Their holdings contain popular science titles, and they offer services to facilitate access to scientific information. Public libraries included in the survey plan to continue with the promotion of science, as they believe that this activity is important for them.
The paper aims to advance understanding of the role of public libraries in Croatia and their role in promotion of science, and contributes to the growth of library and information science literature on topics related to public libraries.
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