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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

Siegfried Schomisch, Maria Zens and Philipp Mayr

The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into the usability, acceptance and limitations of e‐readers with regard to the specific requirements of scholarly text work…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer insights into the usability, acceptance and limitations of e‐readers with regard to the specific requirements of scholarly text work. To fit into the academic workflow, non‐linear reading, bookmarking, commenting, extracting text or the integration of non‐textual elements must be supported.

Design/methodology/approach

A group of social science students were questioned about their experiences with electronic publications for study purposes. This same group executed several text‐related tasks with the digitized material presented to them in two different file formats on four different e‐readers. Their performances were subsequently evaluated in detail.

Findings

E‐publications have made advances in the academic world; however e‐readers do not yet fit seamlessly into the established chain of scholarly text‐processing focusing on how readers use material during and after reading. The authors' tests revealed major deficiencies in these techniques.

Originality/value

The usability test of e‐readers in a scientific context aligns with both studies on the prevalence of e‐books in the sciences and technical test reports of portable reading devices. Still, it takes a distinctive angle in focusing on the characteristics and procedures of textual work in the social sciences and measures the usability of e‐readers and file‐features against these standards.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 37 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Content available

Abstract

Details

Library Hi Tech News , vol. 31 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

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