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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of public libraries as institutions underpinning a democratic public sphere as reasons legitimizing libraries compared to reasons that are more traditional and the actual use of libraries as public sphere arenas.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of representative samples of the adult population in six countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland – was undertaken.

Findings

Legitimations related to the libraries role as a meeting place and arena for public debate are ranked as the 3 least important out of 12 possible legitimations for upholding a public library service. Libraries are, however, used extensively by the users to access citizenship information and to participate in public sphere relevant meetings.

Originality/value

Few studies have empirically analyzed the role of libraries in upholding a democratic and sustainable public sphere. This study contributes in filling that gap.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

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Article

Maja Dorota Wojciechowska

The purpose of the paper is to present the latest scholarly trends in the field of social capital in libraries, to review research concepts published by LIS professionals…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to present the latest scholarly trends in the field of social capital in libraries, to review research concepts published by LIS professionals and to suggest further research possibilities in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a review and critical analysis of literature associated with research on social capital in libraries to highlight its importance for the development of LIS and its impact on the functioning of environments linked with various types of libraries. The goal of literature analysis was to determine the current condition of research on social capital in libraries. The main trends were identified and the need for further qualitative analyses, which are missing at the moment, was confirmed.

Findings

It was determined that, so far, LIS professionals have focussed mainly on the role of municipal libraries in developing social capital, the problem of building trust, especially in immigrant circles and the impact of libraries on promoting a civil society. Academic libraries, rural libraries, organisational capital in libraries and individual social capital of librarians were a much less frequent subject of research. The role of libraries in developing social capital in educational (primary and secondary education) and professional (non-university professionals) circles is practically non-existent in research, and it will require in-depth studies and analyses in the coming years.

Originality/value

This paper constitutes a synthetic review of the latest research concepts concerning social capital in libraries. It identifies the most important research trends and areas that so far have not been explored and suggests research methods to help LIS professionals design future research in this area more effectively.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

Keywords

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Article

Sunniva Evjen and Ragnar Audunson

The purpose of this paper is to discusses people's images of public libraries, and whether or not they constitute a barrier to institutional change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discusses people's images of public libraries, and whether or not they constitute a barrier to institutional change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on two studies carried out in two Norwegian cities, Drammen and Oslo, where this is a current topic. Focus is on discerning conservative and liberal attitudes of what a library is, and how such attitudes affect people's perception of change. How the library's social role is viewed by the informants is also considered. In total, nine focus groups were interviewed. In Drammen, two user groups and two non‐user groups with younger (18‐39) and older (40+) participants. The same was the case in Oslo, with one additional expert group. Each group contained 6 participants, giving a total of 54 respondents.

Findings

The informants had many thoughts regarding what a library is and should be, and drew a picture of the public library as a complex institution with many tasks. They had many ideas for library developments, especially regarding social activities. The non‐users had a slightly more conservative view of what a public library is, while the users were more informed about new developments and facilities. It seemed important to all groups that the public libraries are updated and inviting, but they expressed that recognisability was important.

Practical implications

Both liberal and conservative attitudes were found among the respondents, but interestingly enough, there was little negativity towards change. On the contrary, it seems change is perceived as a requirement for public libraries to stay relevant. Their role as meeting places is one of the areas both users and non‐users expressed great interest in, and certainly an area worth investigating further.

Originality/value

There is not much research analysing the relationship and possible conflicts between different stakeholders. The research undertaken is likely to be of importance both to the academic community and the field of practice.

Details

New Library World, vol. 110 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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Article

Jay Marlowe

This research project examined resettled refugees’ perspectives on the Canterbury Earthquakes to better understand the organisational implications for disaster…

Abstract

Purpose

This research project examined resettled refugees’ perspectives on the Canterbury Earthquakes to better understand the organisational implications for disaster preparedness and response with culturally and linguistically diverse groups.

Design/methodology/approach

The method of data collection for this exploratory pilot study involved conducting semi-structured focus group discussions during January 2012 with the Bhutanese, Afghani and Ethiopian communities. The project was conducted in partnership with Refugee Services Aotearoa which is New Zealand's primary refugee resettlement organisation.

Findings

The participant comments identify the importance of local ethnic community responses to a natural disaster. The need for a pre-established meeting centre(s) and community liaisons with key support organisations was highlighted as vital. Central to recovery is how organisations can work alongside refugee communities in disaster preparedness and response opportunities.

Originality/value

The paper offers insight into the additional considerations of disaster risk reduction strategies with refugee background communities – a group that is relatively under-researched in disaster contexts.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article

K.G.B. Bakewell

Some libraries and information services are quite definitely user‐centred; some think they are but are not always; some seem to be designed for librarians rather than…

Abstract

Some libraries and information services are quite definitely user‐centred; some think they are but are not always; some seem to be designed for librarians rather than users. The purpose of this monograph is to encourage the development of libraries to meet the perceived needs of users — I hope it will be found useful by librarians and information workers as well as by students.

Details

Library Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Abstract

If our school closes, we lose our community. (Opunake & Coastal News, 2002, p. 1)

Details

Welfare Reform in Rural Places: Comparative Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-919-0

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Article

Duane Pennebaker and Rosina Vogels

An audit on quality and service effectiveness at a community mens’ meeting place located in Kwinana, Western Australia, was undertaken using the tools for reviewing mental…

Abstract

An audit on quality and service effectiveness at a community mens’ meeting place located in Kwinana, Western Australia, was undertaken using the tools for reviewing mental health services, in accordance with the 1997 National Standards for Mental Health Services. A psychologist collected data, throughout a six‐week period, using client and chart assessment. A total of 36 consumers, four counsellors and the coordinator were interviewed, both formally and informally. The questions asked reflected the specific criteria related to each standard. Following a review of the results a detailed follow‐up and feedback plan was developed, with the suggestion to implement and review organisation specific policies and practices using the 360‐degree cycle of monitoring, assessing, taking action, follow‐up and feedback.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article

Kate Brennan

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the management and development of Federation Square, one of Melbourne's most important public spaces.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the management and development of Federation Square, one of Melbourne's most important public spaces.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive approach was taken which looks at the strategic management that has guided the evolution of Federation Square from initial inception to its realisation as a key public space in Melbourne.

Findings

Federation Square has become a place for residents and visitors alike. It is now a place where community gathers, and enormous attention is given to staying in touch with the sentiment of the community. This has been achieved through effective strategic management, which has encouraged the community to play the part of creative leaders through the use of a number of key tactics.

Originality/value

Federation Square has become a successful place thanks to the involvement of the community – the management of the square presents a model which other similar schemes could replicate/take pointers from.

Details

Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8335

Keywords

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Article

Anna Marie Johnson, Claudene Sproles and Robert Detmering

– The purpose of this paper is to provide a selected bibliography of recent resources on library instruction and information literacy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a selected bibliography of recent resources on library instruction and information literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

Introduces and annotates periodical articles, monographs, and audiovisual material examining library instruction and information literacy.

Findings

Provides information about each source, discusses the characteristics of current scholarship, and describes sources that contain unique scholarly contributions and quality reproductions.

Originality/value

The information may be used by librarians and interested parties as a quick reference to literature on library instruction and information literacy.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 41 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Keywords

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Article

John Mullins and Margaret Linehan

The purpose of this paper is to explore senior public librarians' views on medium‐term and long‐term plans for the provision of library services. The paper also aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore senior public librarians' views on medium‐term and long‐term plans for the provision of library services. The paper also aims to extend work in the literature of public librarianship studies, which up to recently has largely been an under‐researched area.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 30 in‐depth interviews were conducted with senior public librarians in Ireland, the UK and the USA. A semi‐structured interview format was used, and the grounded theory approach was used to analyse the data.

Findings

Half of the contributors to the current study articulated that their five‐year vision would include the maintenance and development of the core services in which they were already engaged together with introducing innovative expansion of services. Of the respondents, 90 per cent expressed optimism for the survival of public library services through the middle of the twenty‐first century.

Practical implications

The librarians repeatedly made the case that they are very different from managers in the private sector and from other public sector managers. They believe that they are managers of institutions that are fundamentally making a difference to the lives of people. They also believe that they and their libraries are major catalysts of change in the social environments.

Originality/value

By locating this study in a transnational context, the study contributes in an innovative way to an under‐researched topic. The primary domain to which this study contributes is librarianship. Within the domain of librarianship, the specific focus is on senior management, addressing an acknowledged gap in that field, as the literature on librarianship has traditionally shown very little attention to management within librarianship.

Details

New Library World, vol. 107 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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