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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Sarah Knudson

The purpose of this paper is to build on limited understandings of how readers engage with non-fiction. Drawing from prior research and three recent case studies involving…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to build on limited understandings of how readers engage with non-fiction. Drawing from prior research and three recent case studies involving non-fiction reading, this paper considers heterogeneity in modes of reading and the central role of libraries in fostering non-fiction reading cultures.

Design/methodology/approach

Findings from three recent case studies of non-fiction reading about relationship advice; developmental disorders; and financial planning, based on qualitative interviews, participant observation and survey data, are used to assess and expand understandings of non-fiction reading and collections.

Findings

There is considerable heterogeneity in modes of non-fiction reading, and readers often appropriate non-fiction texts for purposes unintended by the authors. Both physical and online libraries function as sites where non-fiction reading can be used by a broad range of demographic groups to participate in individual or group-based resistance to structural and cultural sources of power and inequality.

Practical implications

This paper provides insight into the role and value of non-fiction collections.

Social implications

Findings speak to the value of robust funding for print and online non-fiction collections in communities and schools.

Originality/value

This paper offers new empirical and theoretical insight into how non-fiction collections are used by a range of demographic groups in community and school contexts. Sociological theories are introduced to highlight the role of non-fiction collections in facilitating social change at individual and group levels.

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Margaret Kristin Merga and Saiyidi Mat Roni

This paper aims to provide insights into the characteristics of avid non-fiction book readers, exploring their typical demographic characteristics in relation to reading…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into the characteristics of avid non-fiction book readers, exploring their typical demographic characteristics in relation to reading volume and frequency. It also investigates their comparative library usage in relation to avid fiction readers, as well as their motivation to read, and barriers to reading. Findings from the subset of self-identified avid non-fiction readers from the 2015 International Study of Avid Book Readers are interrogated to provide insights into this under-researched group.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have used a single-stage mixed-methods approach, using data from both qualitative and quantitative items in an international survey.

Findings

The quantitative data analysis of this study suggests that avid non-fiction book readers were more likely to be men and older than avid fiction readers, and that they also tended to read less frequently, though avid non-fiction readers tended to read a greater volume of books. Avid fiction readers reported greater library usage, and thus unsurprisingly were found to have a greater borrowing tendency than non-fiction readers. Our qualitative findings around reading motivation identified a range of recurrent themes. The authors also found three key barriers to reading: time, book access and concentration.

Originality/value

The findings of this study provide unique insights into the characteristics, preferences and motivation of avid non-fiction readers, with the relationship between pleasure and the reading of non-fiction of particular interest.

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Matthew Kelly

This paper aims to problematise the basis of the use of non-fiction as an explanatory category in libraries that have mandates to deliver information to civil society…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to problematise the basis of the use of non-fiction as an explanatory category in libraries that have mandates to deliver information to civil society users to initiate debate on its ongoing value.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of literature from the fields of information science, philosophy, literary studies and the sociology of knowledge was critically surveyed to uncover reasons for the use of the non-fiction concept when librarians are dealing with documentary knowledge. A process of thematisation of relevant material was then conducted using a methodology informed by historicist and hermeneutic-phenomenological approaches to social scientific inquiry.

Findings

The extreme simplicity of the concept of non-fiction masks a complex range of factors associated with common sense understanding of life and our conceptualisation of what constitutes knowledge in civil society information environments. By restricting the nature of questions associated with knowledge and documentary knowledge the non-fiction concept contributes to a far too narrow view of how these concepts interrelate.

Practical implications

Preliminary reasons are offered for why the non-fiction concept is problematic, and an alternative discursive formation is put forward which may enable more fruitful caretaking of documentary collections in school and public libraries.

Originality/value

This paper helps to open discussion among collection management theorists and practitioners regarding how the concept of documentary knowledge can be more usefully theorised so that it is better able to support the epistemic learning and socialisation goals of libraries characterised by their civil society setting.

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 19 December 2019

Reijo Savolainen

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to research on information sharing by drawing on the reader-response theory developed by Louise Rosenblatt. To this end…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to research on information sharing by drawing on the reader-response theory developed by Louise Rosenblatt. To this end, information sharing is approached by examining how bloggers communicate their reading experiences of fiction and non-fiction books.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual framework is based on the differentiation between efferent and aesthetic reading stances specified by Rosenblatt. The efferent stance directs attention to what is to be extracted from reading for instrumental purposes such as task performance. The aesthetic stance focuses on what is being lived through during the reading event. Rosenblatt’s framework was elaborated by specifying eight categories of efferent reading and six categories of aesthetic reading. The ways in which bloggers communicate their responses to such readings were examined by scrutinising a sample of 300 posts from two book blogs.

Findings

The bloggers mainly articulated responses to efferent reading by sharing information about the content of the reviewed books, as well as their strengths and weaknesses. Responses to aesthetic reading were mainly articulated by describing how the bloggers experienced the narrative, what kind immersive experiences they had and what kind of emotions were felt during the reading process.

Research limitations/implications

As the study is explorative in nature and focusses on a sample of blog posts, the findings cannot be generalised to depict how people share their responses to efferent and aesthetic reading in social media forums.

Originality/value

The paper pioneers by examining the potential of Rosenblatt’s theory in the study of sharing information about reading experiences in book blogs. The findings demonstrate that the categories of efferent and aesthetic reading can be elaborated further for the needs of information behaviour research.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 76 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2014

Paramjeet Kaur Walia and Nitu Sinha

The purpose of this study was to attempt to answer some plausible questions like what do teenagers prefer to read at leisure, how do they read and why do they read? With…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to attempt to answer some plausible questions like what do teenagers prefer to read at leisure, how do they read and why do they read? With the rapid changes in information technology, there is tremendous change in means of communication. Today, much more information is available from electronic and digital media as compared to traditional books. A paradigm shift in information delivery from just information to infotainment has also affected the preferences of the information seekers. Teenagers are a demographic group under transition and they are not untouched by these rapid changes in technology and their impact on their reading preferences.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, a survey among 223 school-going (public/convent and government-/aided) teenagers aged between 12 and 18 years was done using a semi-structured questionnaire.

Findings

The findings revealed a decline in sports and outdoor recreational activities during leisure, and only 20.6 per cent teenagers preferred reading during leisure. However, self-perception as an avid reader was expressed by majority (53.8 per cent). Fictions were liked by > 75 per cent teenagers; however, non-fictions were also liked by majority (61.8 per cent). The reading preferences of the children were found to be affected by their age, their gender and the type of schools they attended. A significant inverse relationship of television watching and movie-going was observed with reading time.

Research limitations/implications

The biggest limitation was inability to directly interact with the students and inability to gather data from more schools.

Practical implications

By knowing the current reading trends, leisure time habits and exposure to different means of information technology, the choice of medium for knowledge dispersal could be done. The study would help in providing a basis for a strategic change in the ratio of conventional books and other information media in the library.

Social implications

By identifying the media exposure time and popularity, proper steps may be taken in order to enrich the particular media and to ensure that quality of information available on the media can be directed for social benefit in large.

Originality/value

The impact of demographic and environmental variables on reading habits of teenagers has not been evaluated in this part of the world, especially in view of the paradigm shift in information technology and the growing influence of electronic media and social networking. An understanding of this mutual relationship would help in modifying the reading behaviour of the teenagers.

Details

Library Review, vol. 63 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 1925

EVERY time we have occasion to compare the work of different libraries or to obtain exact information about certain of their activities we wish once more that some…

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Abstract

EVERY time we have occasion to compare the work of different libraries or to obtain exact information about certain of their activities we wish once more that some standardised form and method could be generally adopted for statistics. We would like to see the Library Association take up this matter, which is at least as necessary as the Standardisation of Accounts. The L.A. Outline for Annual Statements is very useful, but it does not go far enough. Not only should it be decided what information should be presented; it should be laid down exactly what should be included under the different headings. The most necessary definition is what shall be embraced and excluded under the heading “fiction.” Some librarians, rightly or wrongly (personally we think wrongly, because it leads to confusion and ambiguity) classify (as literature, or according to subject matter) and count as “non fiction” a varying proportion of the novels issued. Consequently, they are able to boast of a large non‐fiction percentage. Probably the practice has the reverse effect to that intended, since once it is realised that any novels are included in the non‐fiction percentage doubt arises as to the amount of “real” non‐fiction issued. The librarian who openly asserted that his non‐fiction percentage was so and so, but that it did not include a single work of prose fiction, would surely be in a stronger position. A more serious objection, however, is that comparison is impossible, and misleading. The librarian who keeps strictly to the old practice of calling a spade a spade is placed in a very unpleasant position if he is asked why another town, where he knows the non‐fiction issues to be on a par with his own, records a much higher non‐fiction percentage. Few reports, again, show what part of the juvenile issues are of non‐fiction. In fact, in every part of our statistical work we all follow our own methods and so make comparative studies impossible.

Details

New Library World, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Derek Matravers

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of recent philosophical argument concerning the distinction between fiction and non-fiction.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of recent philosophical argument concerning the distinction between fiction and non-fiction.

Design/methodology/approach

A critical view of the literature.

Findings

A consensus that had emerged that defined fiction in terms of the imagination, and imagination in terms of its functional role, has recently been questioned.

Research limitations/implications

The overview was written by a contributor to the field, and so may be considered partial.

Practical implications

There might be some implications regarding the ways books are classified.

Originality/value

The paper is not original, in that it puts forward points made elsewhere, however it is a completely up-to-date review of the field.

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Shelley Woods and Kathleen Cummins

Christine Bruce (2008, Preface) has written extensively about informed learning. Informed learning is “using information, creatively and reflectively, in order to learn.”…

Abstract

Christine Bruce (2008, Preface) has written extensively about informed learning. Informed learning is “using information, creatively and reflectively, in order to learn.” Bruce writes about informed learning as it relates to information literacy. Librarians, working collaboratively with professors, often develop research guides to teach information literacy skills, and to organize and present program, course, assignment, or topic-specific resources. Research is essential to documentary filmmaking. This chapter is a case study that describes how the History of Non-fiction Film Research Guide that we created aligns with the three principles and seven faces of informed learning.

Details

Informed Learning Applications: Insights from Research and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-062-2

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Matthew Kelly

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216

Abstract

Details

Collection and Curation, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

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Article
Publication date: 3 May 2019

Elina Late, Carol Tenopir, Sanna Talja and Lisa Christian

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of reading in scholarly work among academics in Finland. This study analyzes readings from a variety of publication types…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of reading in scholarly work among academics in Finland. This study analyzes readings from a variety of publication types including books, conference proceedings, research reports, magazines, newspapers, blogs, non-fiction and fiction.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was developed and distributed in Finland in 2016–2017 (n=528). Participants were asked their finding and use of scholarly information resources of all types.

Findings

Scholars read from a variety of publications. Different types of publications are read and used differently. Reading also varies between disciplines, ranks, work responsibilities and type of research performed.

Research limitations/implications

The study was a nationwide study of researchers in Finland; therefore, all findings are within the context of researchers in a single country. All results are self-reported; therefore, the authors assume but cannot be sure that respondents accurately recollect the specifics of their use of scholarly information.

Practical implications

The results of this study are relevant to publishers, research librarians, editors and others who serve consumers of scholarly information resources, design information products and services for those scholars, and seek to better understand the information needs and use of a variety of types of scholarly publications.

Originality/value

This study replicates previous studies in a variety of countries and provides a more up-to-date and single-country contextualized overview of how researchers find and use scholarly information in their work.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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