To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Public views on a new library project: a content analysis 2014–2019

Jingzhen Xie (University of Macau Library, University of Macau, Macao, China)
Lili Sun (Eastern Shores School Board, New Carlisle, Canada)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 16 February 2021

Issue publication date: 22 July 2021



This study aims to investigate how the local residents viewed a new public library project in Macao through the analysis of newspaper articles published in 2014–2019 and how these views have changed the decision-makers in selecting a different site for the new library.


Content analysis was used to analyze public views. 569 newspaper articles on the new library project published in local major newspapers from January 2014 to August 2019 were coded and analyzed. Percentage agreement for the two coders and Cohen's Kappa were used to calculate the inter-rater reliability.


The top 5 factors discussed in the newspaper articles were the general decision-making process (38.65%), location (18.20%), selection of the Old Court Building as the new library site (15.07%), budget (13.5%) and new library services (6.85%). The local residents tended to raise questions on the high cost, the appropriateness of the selected library site, the preservation of the local heritage buildings, and the role that the government should play in this project.

Research limitations/implications

This study only collected and analyzed the data from the articles published in the major newspapers in Macao. Other types of media from sources such as Facebook were not included in this study. Articles containing similar information but from different newspapers were all counted as individual entries for data collection. The voices/options were not divided by groups. For further analysis, the articles could be separated by voices from politicians, librarians and other special interest groups. The chosen categories in this study were based on Voyant Tools and the authors' interpretation/focus of the research question. The categories could be subdivided for further study. For example, the overall support of the project could be broken into full support, support with some minor reservations, support with major reservations, etc. And some articles currently in the neutral category with some degrees of support might fit into one of the above new sub-categories.


The case carries new references for any communities embarking on similar projects.



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments on how the paper might be improved.


Xie, J. and Sun, L. (2021), "Public views on a new library project: a content analysis 2014–2019", Library Management, Vol. 42 No. 6/7, pp. 395-408.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited