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2011 Awards for Excellence
Article Type:2011 Awards for ExcellenceFrom: New Library World, Volume 113, Issue 1/2
The following article was selected for this year's Outstanding Paper Award for New Library World
"Public libraries as impartial spaces in a consumer society: possible, plausible, desirable?''
Christine Rooney-BrowneDavid McMenemyDepartment of Computer and Information Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to question whether, in an increasingly commercialised ``24/7'' information and entertainment society, public libraries are finding it progressively more difficult to provide access to trusted, impartial public spaces free from commercial influence.Design/methodology/approach - The paper reflects on the secondary literature related to public library as an impartial space, considers the modern commercial factors impacting on this role, and provides a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis examining whether the role as impartial space is under threat.Findings - The paper addresses whether public libraries should conform to a more commercial model in order to survive in a predominantly consumer society or retain their values and continue to provide ``\ldots alternatives and alternative spaces in a culture dominated by information capitalism and media image and spectacle''. Concerns are expressed regarding the influence of commercialism in public library services, especially around the marketing of specific brands within a public library environment.Social implications - The paper focuses on public libraries in ``real world'' and ``virtual'' communities and addresses pertinent issues related to their place in twenty-first century society.Originality/value - The paper considers the important issue of the impartiality of the public space occupied by the library and whether this role is in danger due to commercial influences. As such it offers value for theorists and practitioners involved in library and information science, as well as those interested in public services and the impact of consumerism.Keywords Consumers, Information society, Public libraries, Public sector organizations
This article originally appeared in Volume 111 Number 11/12, 2010, pp. 455-67, New Library World
The following articles were selected for this year's Highly Commended Award
"Emerging patterns and trends in utilizing electronic resources in a higher education environment: an empirical analysis''
This article originally appeared in Volume 111 Number 3/4, 2010, New Library World
"Citizen services and public libraries: an analysis of a new service in Danish public libraries''
Niels Ole Pors
This article originally appeared in Volume 111 Number 7/8, 2010, New Library World
"Social networking in academic libraries: the possibilities and the concerns''
Andrea DicksonRobert P. Holley
This article originally appeared in Volume 111 Number 11/12, 2010, New Library World