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One of the library’s most enduring roles has been information provision. It remains especially important today as libraries transition from passive storehouses of books…
One of the library’s most enduring roles has been information provision. It remains especially important today as libraries transition from passive storehouses of books into active community living rooms that offer not just information but a variety of different user experiences. Some libraries have responded by implementing new approaches to information provision that appear to fit this new vision. One such approach is roving information service. Using portable forms of information technology for assistance, librarians now roam the library floor, meeting users where they are rather than the other way around. Its advocates laud its flexibility and user-centeredness. But do roving models support this new, user-centered vision of the library? The answer lies in a deeper understanding of the library floor as a social space and how roving models of service affect perceptions of “centeredness” within it. This report reviews the results of an exploratory, qualitative study involving three libraries: two that use a hybrid model of roving service and one library that uses a fully roving model. The study’s findings indicate that indeed roving service can help create user-centered forms of library space, but a library’s method of implementation will matter.
This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library…
This exploratory study, a Ph.D. dissertation completed at the University of Western Ontario in 2013, examines the materially embedded relations of power between library users and staff in public libraries and how building design regulates spatial behavior according to organizational objectives. It considers three public library buildings as organization spaces (Dale & Burrell, 2008) and determines the extent to which their spatial organizations reproduce the relations of power between the library and its public that originated with the modern public library building type ca. 1900. Adopting a multicase study design, I conducted site visits to three, purposefully selected public library buildings of similar size but various ages. Site visits included: blueprint analysis; organizational document analysis; in-depth, semi-structured interviews with library users and library staff; cognitive mapping exercises; observations; and photography.
Despite newer approaches to designing public library buildings, the use of newer information technologies, and the emergence of newer paradigms of library service delivery (e.g., the user-centered model), findings strongly suggest that the library as an organization still relies on many of the same socio-spatial models of control as it did one century ago when public library design first became standardized. The three public libraries examined show spatial organizations that were designed primarily with the librarian, library materials, and library operations in mind far more than the library user or the user’s many needs. This not only calls into question the public library’s progressiveness over the last century but also hints at its ability to survive in the new century.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Social capital, understood as intangible community values available through a network of connections, is a factor in the development of societies and improving quality of…
Social capital, understood as intangible community values available through a network of connections, is a factor in the development of societies and improving quality of life. It helps to remove economic inequalities and prevent poverty and social exclusion, stimulate social and regional development, civic attitudes and social engagement and build a civic society as well as local and regional identity. Many of these tasks may be implemented by libraries, which, apart from providing access to information, may also offer a number of services associated with social needs. The purpose of this paper is to present the roles and functions that libraries may serve in local communities in terms of assistance, integration and development based on classical social capital theories.
The paper reviews the classical concepts of social capital in the context of libraries. It analyses the findings of Pierre-Félix Bourdieu, James Coleman, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Putnam, Nan Lin, Ronald Stuart Burt, Wayne Baker and Alejandro Portes. Based on their respective concepts, the paper analyses the role of the contemporary library in the social life of local communities. In particular, it focuses on the possible new functions that public libraries may serve.
A critical review of the concept of social capital revealed certain dependencies between libraries and their neighbourhoods. With new services that respond to the actual social needs, libraries may serve as a keystone, namely they may integrate, animate and engage local communities. This, however, requires a certain approach to be adopted by the personnel and governing authorities as well as infrastructure and tangible resources.
The social engagement of libraries is usually described from the practical perspective (reports on the services provided) or in the context of research on the impact of respective projects on specific groups of users (research reports). A broader approach, based on original social theories, is rarely encountered. The paper draws on classical concepts of social capital and is a contribution to the discussion on possible uses of those concepts based on an analysis of the role of libraries in social life and in strengthening the social capital of local communities.
The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the activities that nascent firms undertake to improve customer attractiveness and gain collaborative commitment…
The purpose of this paper is to empirically investigate the activities that nascent firms undertake to improve customer attractiveness and gain collaborative commitment from strategic suppliers.
Data from a grounded theory study consisting of 26 participants from 15 firms and a review of extant literature were used to develop a theoretical model that explains how a nascent firm increases its customer attractiveness to elicit commitment and collaboration from strategic suppliers.
The authors find that social capital, born of close social ties and social history, enhances the effectiveness of a nascent firm's relationship-building practices. This counteracts a supplier's collaborative risk and consequently increases the nascent firm's customer attractiveness, thus enabling it to obtain strategic supplier collaborative commitment.
This research helps managers by providing direction on what practices nascent firms pursue to gain strategic supplier resources and collaboration. Given the reality of resource constraints in nascent firms, it is suggested that this insight is essential to obtaining crucial external resources needed to survive and grow.
Extant research on buyer–supplier collaboration is mostly confined to the context of mature firms and does not account for the unique inter-organizational relational challenges faced by nascent firms. This research uncovers the idiosyncrasies of supplier management in nascent firms, and elucidates on the actions that nascent firm managers take to gain supplier collaborative commitment.