The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of public libraries in the context of Big Data.
A mixed method approach was used and had two main data collection phases. A survey of public libraries was used to generate an overview of which professional roles connect public libraries with Big Data. Eight roles were identified, namely, educator, marketer, data organiser, data container, advocator, advisor, developer and organisation server. Semi-structured interviews with library directors and managers were then conducted to gain a deeper understanding of these roles and how they connect to the library’s overall functions.
Results of the survey indicated that librarians lack a proper comprehension of and a pragmatic application of Big Data. Their opinions on the eight roles are slightly stronger than neutral. However, they do not demonstrate any strong agreement on these eight roles. In the interviews, the eight roles attained more clear support and are classified into two groups: service-oriented and system-oriented roles.
As an emerging research field, Big Data is not widely discussed in the library context, especially in public libraries. Therefore, this study fills a research gap between public libraries and Big Data. In addition, Big Data in public libraries could be well managed and readily approached by citizens in undertaking such roles, which entails that public libraries will eventually benefit from the Big Data era.
Information we receive from and create together with our social networks is becoming increasingly important. Social information has in many ways a great impact on our information behaviour and there are many possible angles and layers in studying social aspects in information science. This book presents some of these angles. This book is relevant for various actors in the library and information science field and will be useful for researchers, educators and practitioners while coordinating empirical research on social information and by providing an overview of some of the present research about social information.
The purpose of this book is to collect current research representing different aspects of social information with emphasis on the new innovations supporting contemporary information behavior. To begin with, we need to define what we mean by social information in general and in the area of information science in particular. It is interesting to notice that social information is a concept used and researched in many different disciplines. Besides information science, the concept of social information has been studied in biology, psychology, and sociology among other disciplines.
Marit Kristine Ådland is a Ph.D. student at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science. Her research interests and activity is within knowledge organization, information behavior, information retrieval, and information architecture. Her current research explores users’ tags and tagging behavior in the field of cancer information. She teaches classification and indexing to students training in librarianship.