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Small scale study on linguistic diversity and public libraries in Croatia

Sanjica Faletar Tanackovic (Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, J.J. Strossmayer University, Osijek, Croatia)
Darko Lacovic (Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, J.J. Strossmayer University, Osijek, Croatia)
Snjezana Stanarevic (Department of Information Sciences, Faculty of Philosophy, J.J. Strossmayer University, Osijek, Croatia)

New Library World

ISSN: 0307-4803

Article publication date: 22 November 2011

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a small scale study the aim of which was to survey the information needs and library usage of major long‐established national minorities (Serbian, Hungarian and Slovak) in eastern Croatia (Osijek‐Baranya county); in particular in relation to the information and reading material in their native languages.

Design/methodology/approach

Owing to spatial limitations this paper focuses on the Serbian national minority. Data were gathered with the help of quantitative methodology. Self‐administered questionnaires were distributed through Serbian cultural associations (the snowball sampling method). In total, 140 valid and usable questionnaires were returned. Descriptive statistics and variant analysis were used to analyse the data.

Findings

The study indicated that respondents had the need for diverse information and reading material in their mother tongue and that for that purpose they used public libraries less often than some other information sources, such as TV, newspapers, internet and local Serbian cultural associations.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research are inherent in the methodology. The authors will, in the next phase of the project, carry out in‐depth interviews with respondents.

Practical implications

The importance of this research lies in its implications for the development of library services to multicultural communities in Croatia, as well as offering suggestions for improving collection building in Croatian public libraries. This study could encourage librarians in Croatia to systematically collect and analyse information about their local community minorities; especially their library and information needs.

Originality/value

This is the first investigation into the information needs and library usage of long‐established national minorities in Croatia.

Keywords

Citation

Faletar Tanackovic, S., Lacovic, D. and Stanarevic, S. (2011), "Small scale study on linguistic diversity and public libraries in Croatia", New Library World, Vol. 112 No. 11/12, pp. 513-531. https://doi.org/10.1108/03074801111190400

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited