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Article

Rachel Spacey, Anne Goulding and Ian Murray

A consideration of the implications of technological change for public library staff and managers in the UK is based on the selected results of a literature review. Recent…

Abstract

A consideration of the implications of technological change for public library staff and managers in the UK is based on the selected results of a literature review. Recent developments affecting the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) in public libraries provide a context against which research into the effects of automation, the introduction of ICT in a variety of library environments and into society generally, are explored. The value of attitudes to ICT are questioned noting that attitudes are often seen as being important in determining the successful implementation of ICT in libraries. Training is suggested as an appropriate means of enabling staff to cope effectively with technological change. Successful training needs to appreciate that staff have different needs and so prefer different training methods. Resistance is also viewed as a natural response to change that managers should note and attempt to understand, if and when it occurs.

Details

Library Management, vol. 24 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Rachel Spacey, Louise Cooke, Adrienne Muir and Claire Creaser

The purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge, research and thinking about the difficulties facing public libraries offering internet access to their users in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review current knowledge, research and thinking about the difficulties facing public libraries offering internet access to their users in ensuring legally compliant and non-offensive use of this facility whilst still adhering to the professional value of freedom of access to information.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of recently published sources (1997-2013) relating to the technical and organisational measures used to manage public internet access primarily in public libraries in the UK with some limited international examples were reviewed and analysed. This work was undertaken as the underpinning research for an AHRC-funded project, MAIPLE (Managing Access to the internet in Public Libraries).

Findings

The provision of public internet access is a well-established component of the role of public libraries, but is seen as a potential problem due to the possibility of misuse, and it appears that simplistic technical solutions have disappointed. Legislation increases the need for more effective solutions that can provide a balance between the need for legal compliance, a welcoming environment for users, and the protection of key freedoms. A range of measures are being adopted worldwide in response to this dilemma.

Originality/value

Research exploring internet access in public libraries and its management in the UK is numerically small and much of it dates back to the start of the twenty-first century. This review presents a comprehensive analysis of the available literature and is of relevance to practitioners and academics in the fields of public librarianship.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 70 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Rachel Spacey, Anne Goulding and Ian Murray

The characteristics of public library staff, which affect attitudes to the Internet, are considered based on the results of a PhD study. Data generated from a survey of…

Abstract

The characteristics of public library staff, which affect attitudes to the Internet, are considered based on the results of a PhD study. Data generated from a survey of more than 900 public library staff in England, which included an amended version of the technology acceptance model in conjunction with management interviews, focus groups with staff and a bulletin board, was analysed and the most pertinent results presented. The influence of gender, age, organisational variables, computer skills, ICT experience and subjective norm are explored. Key findings include the influence of current post and type of post on perceptions of the usefulness of the Internet whilst the age and place of work affected perceptions of the ease of use of the Internet. Recommendations include confidence‐raising training, attention to the needs of flexible workers and promotion of positive messages.

Details

Library Management, vol. 25 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article

Adrienne Muir, Rachel Spacey, Louise Cooke and Claire Creaser

This paper aims to consider selected results from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded “Managing Access to the internet in Public Libraries” (MAIPLE…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider selected results from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded “Managing Access to the internet in Public Libraries” (MAIPLE) project, from 2012-2014. MAIPLE has explored the ways in which public library services manage use of the internet connections that they provide for the public. This included the how public library services balance their legal obligations and the needs of their communities in a public space and the ethical dilemmas that arise.

Design/methodology/approach

The researchers used a mixed-method approach involving a review of the literature, legal analysis, a questionnaire survey and case studies in five public library authorities.

Findings

UK public library services use a range of methods to regulate internet access. The research also confirms previous findings that filtering software is an ubiquitous tool for controlling access to and protecting library users from “inappropriate”, illegal and harmful internet content. There is a general, if sometimes reluctant, acceptance of filtering software as a practical tool by library staff, which seems to contrast with professional codes of ethics and attitudes in other countries. The research indicates that public library internet access will be a valued service for some time to come, but that some aspects of how public library services regulate internet access is currently managed can have socially undesirable consequences, including blocking legitimate sites and preventing users from accessing government services. Education could play a greater part in helping the general population to exercise judgement in selection of materials to view and use. This does not preclude implementing stricter controls to protect children, whilst allowing public libraries to continue providing a social good to those who are unable to otherwise participate in the digital age.

Research limitations/implications

The response to the survey was 39 per cent meaning that findings may not apply across the whole of the UK. The findings of this study are compared with and supplemented by other quantitative sources, but a strength of this study is the depth of understanding afforded by the use of case studies.

Originality/value

This paper provides both a quantitative and qualitative analysis of how internet access is managed in UK public libraries, including how library services fulfil their legal obligations and the ethical implications of how they balance their role in facilitating access to information with their perceived role as a safe and trusted environment for all members of their communities. The findings add to the international discussion on this issue and stimulate debate and policy making in the UK.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article

Rachel Spacey, Anne Goulding and Ian Murray

An investigation into the attitudes of public library staff in the UK towards the Internet involved use of a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The…

Abstract

An investigation into the attitudes of public library staff in the UK towards the Internet involved use of a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methods. The use of an attitude measurement model, an amended version of the technology acceptance model in a questionnaire survey is detailed here and its value to the study in question deliberated on. Quantitative results suggest that attitudes towards use of the Internet are strongly related to usefulness, intention and actual usage. Analysis of the quantitative results suggests that staff are generally positive in their evaluations of the Internet, although a minority of staff possess negative attitudes to ICT.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 60 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article

Rachel Spacey and Anne Goulding

Purpose. To convey the initial findings of Biblio.for.mEDA, an EU project exploring lifelong learning provision for adults in public libraries set in the context of a…

Abstract

Purpose. To convey the initial findings of Biblio.for.mEDA, an EU project exploring lifelong learning provision for adults in public libraries set in the context of a literature review regarding support for learners in public libraries. Design/methodology/approach. A total of 20 public library authorities in England agreed to participate in a survey of the resources, support and staffing to facilitate lifelong learning in public libraries. The data were analysed manually and reported here, including current provision for learners, collaborative working, plans for the future and consideration of the impacts on staff. The findings are reported in the context of other research exploring learning in public libraries and consideration of authority's web sites, annual library plans and position statements. Findings. Depicts current lifelong learning provision in public libraries and the challenges faced by staff in supporting learners. The varying degrees of learner support provided by library services are described including assistance for adults with basic skills needs. Research limitations/implications. The findings are indicative as only 20 public library managers completed the lifelong learning survey in the UK. Practical implications. Provides an extensive review of the literature pertaining to learning in public libraries. Results of the project provide a useful snapshot of current lifelong learning activity and the ways in which services are working to support adults wishing to learn. Originality/value. This paper offers recent research results and analysis of a pressing public library issue for practitioners.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 56 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article

Kerry Benstead, Rachel Spacey and Anne Goulding

This research paper explores alternatives to the mobile library service in providing a public library service to rural communities in England and the impacts of best…

Abstract

This research paper explores alternatives to the mobile library service in providing a public library service to rural communities in England and the impacts of best value, public library standards and social inclusion policy on provision. A questionnaire survey was completed by librarians in public library authorities in England with rural hinterlands. The data derived were supplemented by follow‐up case studies. It was found that achieving social inclusion objectives and the results of best value reviews were the greatest motivating factors for much of the development of alternative library service delivery in rural areas, and that village halls were the most popular place for co‐location of library services. ICT was felt to have impacted positively on rural library service delivery and its use was demonstrated in co‐location facilities and learning centres. However, some authorities fail to consult users and non‐users in rural locations. This paper provides public library practitioners and researchers with a picture of public library service provision to rural area communities and shows the impact of Government‐driven policy. It appears that there is varying appreciation by public library authorities of rural communities’ distinct nature.

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New Library World, vol. 105 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Abstract

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 61 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Abstract

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Kardashian Kulture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-706-7

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Article

Jelena Andonovski, Branislava Šandrih and Olivera Kitanović

This paper aims to describe the structure of an aligned Serbian-German literary corpus (SrpNemKor) contained in a digital library Bibliša. The goal of the research was to…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe the structure of an aligned Serbian-German literary corpus (SrpNemKor) contained in a digital library Bibliša. The goal of the research was to create a benchmark Serbian-German annotated corpus searchable with various query expansions.

Design/methodology/approach

The presented research is particularly focused on the enhancement of bilingual search queries in a full-text search of aligned SrpNemKor collection. The enhancement is based on using existing lexical resources such as Serbian morphological electronic dictionaries and the bilingual lexical database Termi.

Findings

For the purpose of this research, the lexical database Termi is enriched with a bilingual list of German-Serbian translated pairs of lexical units. The list of correct translation pairs was extracted from SrpNemKor, evaluated and integrated into Termi. Also, Serbian morphological e-dictionaries are updated with new entries extracted from the Serbian part of the corpus.

Originality/value

A bilingual search of SrpNemKor in Bibliša is available within the user-friendly platform. The enriched database Termi enables semantic enhancement and refinement of user’s search query based on synonyms both in Serbian and German at a very high level. Serbian morphological e-dictionaries facilitate the morphological expansion of search queries in Serbian, thereby enabling the analysis of concepts and concept structures by identifying terms assigned to the concept, and by establishing relations between terms in Serbian and German which makes Bibliša a valuable Web tool that can support research and analysis of SrpNemKor.

Details

The Electronic Library , vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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