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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Alex Byrne

Libraries and research have a symbiotic relationship. Researchers depend on libraries and the collections and information services we curate and libraries depend on…

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries and research have a symbiotic relationship. Researchers depend on libraries and the collections and information services we curate and libraries depend on researchers and writers, and their publishers, to deliver the stuff that we make available. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports the author’s perspective as a librarian with nearly four decades in practice who has undertaken a variety of research throughout his career.

Findings

Identifies the need for a more systematic relationship that will encourage better practice in research and lead practitioners to draw on the findings of more reliable research to inform their practice, test possibilities and stimulate imagination.

Originality/value

Tracing the intertwining of research and practice through one career, the paper presents a uniquely detailed perspective.

Details

Library Management, vol. 38 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2003

Alex Byrne

Examines the roles of libraries and their development. Their part in fostering and supporting intellectuals in contemporary societies is discussed with particular emphasis…

1000

Abstract

Examines the roles of libraries and their development. Their part in fostering and supporting intellectuals in contemporary societies is discussed with particular emphasis on free access to information and freedom of expression. From the nineteenth century, libraries became recognised as necessary to society. In recent years, libraries have increasingly been seen as an instrument for the development and maintenance of a democratic society which offers the individual access to a wide and varied range or knowledge, ideas and opinions. The ubiquity of the Internet and other media and their promise of universal access to information “regardless of frontiers” have reinforced the democracy paradigm. In fulfilling a function of sustaining the discourse of concerned intellectuals, libraries demonstrate their importance to humanity.

Details

Library Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Alex Byrne

Libraries are frequently claimed to be essential to the functioning of a democratic society and to be symbols of intellectual freedom. The purpose of this paper is to…

1462

Abstract

Purpose

Libraries are frequently claimed to be essential to the functioning of a democratic society and to be symbols of intellectual freedom. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between libraries, public libraries in particular, and democracy.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from the Democracy Index produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions World Library Map are analysed to test the claimed symbiotic relationship between libraries and democracy.

Findings

The findings confirm that there is an identifiable symbiotic relationship between libraries and democracy as claimed, at least for public libraries, and considers some implications of that finding.

Originality/value

First analysis of worldwide data to test this hypothesis.

Details

Library Management, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1989

Alex Byrne

Online searchers in Australia were studied via a mailed questionnaire examining six sets of variables: backgrounds, experience, attitudes, behaviours, styles and…

Abstract

Online searchers in Australia were studied via a mailed questionnaire examining six sets of variables: backgrounds, experience, attitudes, behaviours, styles and satisfaction. They appeared to support preplanning, online interaction and relevance checks. In similar vein, they were mildly cost conscious and believed that their requesters were most satisfied with their performance. Those with greater experience tended to fit this description belter, as did those in special libraries.

Details

Online Review, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-314X

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2003

Alex Byrne

Unprecedented desktop access to scholarly information has been made possible by the introduction of digital libraries. The powerful combination of digital publications…

2384

Abstract

Unprecedented desktop access to scholarly information has been made possible by the introduction of digital libraries. The powerful combination of digital publications, specialist and generalist databases, sophisticated search systems and portals enables scholars and students to rapidly examine a great variety of the literature in their own disciplines and those new to them. Access is available globally 24 hours a day without geographical limitation. But that access is not without limitations. It is limited by the availability of reliable and affordable information and communication technologies. It is limited to those scholars and students who are affiliated with organisations which have the money and skills to provide access. It is limited to those who are literate, information‐literate and have a command of the major languages of commerce and scholarship (English in particular). In addition, contractual and other bounds imposed by vendors exclude many potential users. In combination, these limitations inhibit many scholars and students from using digital scholarly information and can increase the marginalisation of the already marginalised including, especially, indigenous peoples. This contradiction between access for some and marginalisation for many poses many challenges for libraries.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 29 April 1994

Abstract

Details

Using Subject Headings for Online Retrieval: Theory, Practice and Potential
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-12221-570-4

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Alex Byrne

Libraries are frequently described in such terms as the “cornerstones of liberty” and as a “democratic institution”. These descriptions offer lofty aspirations which have…

2193

Abstract

Libraries are frequently described in such terms as the “cornerstones of liberty” and as a “democratic institution”. These descriptions offer lofty aspirations which have considerable support among both many librarians and many library users. They are expressed in a number of international and national statements including the IFLA UNESCO Public Library Manifesto. But their fulfilment poses challenges for management. Through modelling the democratic ideal, and defending it in difficult times, libraries and their managers can make a major contribution to the promotion and strengthening of democracy.

Details

Library Management, vol. 25 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Jay Bhatt and Maitrayee Ghosh

Aims to report on the 26th IATUL Annual Conference.

561

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to report on the 26th IATUL Annual Conference.

Design/methodology/approach

The conference focused on three major themes: infrastructure, people and global innovation initiatives, which are summarised.

Findings

This conference addressed many important and relevant issues to science and technological universities worldwide. Collaboration, partnership and further discussion not only within IATUL membership but with members of other organizations such as IFLA can further enhance the mission information dissemination of technological libraries. The conference highlighted several important issues that the information professionals worldwide need to continue to think, reflect and develop strategies to practically implement them for the benefit to not only to the information producing and disseminating organizations but the society as a whole.

Originality/value

This conference provided ample opportunities to network with information experts in a variety of specialty areas such as Open Access Initiative, Scholarly communication, Digital Libraries and Information Literacy, etc. The networking opportunities provided further opportunities to collaborate and in the process create future opportunities to enhance mission of technological libraries to fulfill information needs of their researchers and scientists in the most efficient ways. The value gained is enormous and recommend future dialogs and interaction by IATUL with other organizations such as IFLA.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 22 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Lyn Robinson and David Bawden

This paper examines the role of libraries and information services, in promoting the ‘open society’ espoused by Karl Popper and George Soros. After a brief discussion of…

Abstract

This paper examines the role of libraries and information services, in promoting the ‘open society’ espoused by Karl Popper and George Soros. After a brief discussion of the nature of an ‘open society ’, the paper covers the role played by provision of knowledge and information, of new technology, particularly the Internet, and of critical thinking and digital literacy in the development of this form of society. Conclusions are drawn for the role of libraries and librarians, with seven general principles suggested.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 53 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Gabrielle Gardiner, Jemima McDonald, Alex Byrne and Kirsten Thorpe

This paper aims to demonstrate the work being done to develop a trusted digital archive for social sciences data relating to the indigenous peoples of Australia. It…

2349

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate the work being done to develop a trusted digital archive for social sciences data relating to the indigenous peoples of Australia. It explores the issues that arise through respectful engagement with both indigenous communities and research communities as well as the development of pragmatic and effective data management planning strategies for higher education researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

As a conceptual paper, the approach consists of a review of the current situation, a discussion of the work already undertaken by the project team, and an analysis of the challenges being faced and plans for ongoing development of the project.

Findings

There are major challenges in tackling a project with issues of such complexity but the project has great significance because its success could contribute enormously to the indigenous communities to which the research relates while building the capacity of researchers to design respectful and effective data management strategies.

Practical implications

This project is rapidly evolving and the strategies for managing it are dynamic as the layers of complexity are unfolded and the project team addresses issues arising from the materials and groups with which it is working.

Social implications

The impact of this project has already reaped dividends for the communities involved. Indigenous communities whose intellectual property or knowledge has seeded the research are having material returned to them in digital formats that are useful to them and which provide accurate portrayals of their knowledge, communities and culture. Researchers using the service provided by ATSIDA are confident that their material is being curated and reused appropriately. The work done by the ATSIDA team in building protocols and guidelines around research data will influence public policy, particularly in the work of collecting agencies and in their application to situations other than indigenous.

Originality/value

ATSIDA fills a gap in informed research management. There is no other project like it anywhere in the world. This paper is valuable to anyone working in or considering higher education research in an indigenous area and is applicable to other research dealing with identifiable and vulnerable communities.

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