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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Siobhan A. Stevenson and Caleb Domsy

This paper aims to draw attention to the quiet, if inadvertent, disappearance of the front-line public librarian, as libraries make difficult organizational choices in the…

2022

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw attention to the quiet, if inadvertent, disappearance of the front-line public librarian, as libraries make difficult organizational choices in the struggle to survive the relentless pressures to cut costs on one side while supporting a market ethos of customer service on the other.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by the preliminary findings of a pan-Canadian study of labour in large urban public libraries and a review of professional and academic literatures dealing with contemporary service trends, four models/proposals [(1) participative, (2) community-led, (3) managerial/leadership and (4) digital inclusion] are critically reviewed with respect to their positioning of the front-line professional librarian.

Findings

The paper concludes with an argument in favor of one of these proposals because it supports the relevance of public librarians in service to their communities while remaining true to the democratic aspirations of this vital public service within our increasingly complex information societies.

Research limitations/implications

The implication of this work is that by drawing our attention to the contradictions inherent within contemporary and popular library initiatives, the disconnect between formal education and professional practice is highlighted, thus providing a foundation for new empirical research into the changing nature of waged work (professional and non-professional) in public libraries.

Practical implications

Failure to situate the professional public librarian strategically and unambiguously within the rapidly evolving roles of the public library has implications for LIS educators, employers and, as significantly, current and future students.

Social implications

Despite the high rates of connectivity among Western nations and the increasing sophistication of their populations, the digital divide persists among a growing urban and rural underclass. Building, maintaining and promoting a strong and accessible municipal information infrastructure, one could argue, is what public librarianship is all about.

Originality/value

This paper’s identification and critical review of the four dominant service models proposed for the present public library represents the first time that these literatures have been assembled together and critically interrogated for their implications for the work of public librarians. Given the importance of the question “what is the future role of the public library”, a critical analysis of the key contenders is a necessary exercise, as is shifting the subject of the conversation away from the customer and onto the professional public librarian.

Details

Library Review, vol. 65 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Siobhan A Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to draw attention to one specific upper-level government policy document in which a discourse of perpetual innovation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to draw attention to one specific upper-level government policy document in which a discourse of perpetual innovation and customer service is promoted, and the kinds of questions such discursive interventions raise for the future of work in public libraries; and second, to demonstrate the explanatory potential of the concept of immaterial labour for questions relating to emerging labour processes in libraries. The concepts of “prosumer” and Web 2.0 are included as discursive resources of relevance to any discussion of immaterial labour.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a critical discourse analysis of a public policy visioning document for public libraries in Ontario, Canada, with reflections on related literatures.

Findings

The concept of immaterial labour provides an additional analytic tool suitable for questions of relevance to public librarians and library scholars. Within the government text under review which deals specifically with the future of the public library to 2020, the identity of the public librarian is alarmingly absent. Conversely, the library patron as a producer and consumer is privileged.

Research limitations/implications

Failure to attend to the broader policy arena within which the public library resides creates dangerous blind spots for public library professionals, educators and researchers.

Practical implications

This paper demonstrates the value of a discourse analysis for uncovering the ideological dimensions of policy documents, while simultaneously modelling the method using the kind of policy text commonly produced in governments around the world.

Social implications

This paper shows how failure to attend to the broader policy arena within which the public library resides creates dangerous blind spots for the public library community.

Originality/value

This paper contextualizes the immaterial and volunteer labour of the public library user as producer/consumer in the context of the future of the frontline professional and waged librarian.

Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Siobhan Clay

This case study focusses on student conceptions of becoming an academic, and their perceptions of their institution’s role in supporting them, or creating barriers, on…

Abstract

This case study focusses on student conceptions of becoming an academic, and their perceptions of their institution’s role in supporting them, or creating barriers, on this journey. In-depth qualitative research was conducted with nine undergraduate Fine Art and Design students from a range of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and White backgrounds to understand the impact that tutor relationships; the curriculum, creative pedagogies and the invisibility of diverse teaching staff might have on their journey through, and sense of belonging within, the academy. It is positioned amid the current BAME attainment gap in UK higher education (HE) and takes as its context the discourse on the lack of BAME academics in UK universities; an issue more pronounced in the creative disciplines (ECU, 2017a, p. 158).

The aim of the study was to understand how institutional practices might support or hinder students returning to the academy as staff, using Critical-Race Theory and whiteness and cultural capital frameworks to situate the research. The findings present an overwhelming interest amongst the students in teaching as a future career, and makes a case that students’ motivations and aspirations to teach, if fostered and supported, could partially remediate the current lack of BAME staff in HE.

Details

Access to Success and Social Mobility through Higher Education: A Curate's Egg?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-836-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 September 2011

Siobhan Stevenson

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of French School Regulation theory for questions of relevance to researchers and practitioners working in the field…

1528

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of French School Regulation theory for questions of relevance to researchers and practitioners working in the field of information policy in general and public librarianship in particular.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is divided into two parts. Part one outlines Regulation theory's twin analytic tools of Fordism and post‐Fordism and its value for questions about the evolution of the public library. Part two provides an example of the approach's explanatory potential when applied to a series of public library planning documents produced by the Government of Ontario, Canada from the 1950s.

Findings

An interpretation of the evolution of the identity of the library user from patron to customer to information producer‐consumer is proposed at the intersection of the neoliberal state's austerity in social spending, the ubiquity of the new information and communication technologies, and fundamental changes in libraries as sites of waged‐work.

Research limitations/implications

The research facilitates the development of a political economy of the contemporary public library of potential value to the international public library community. Also, conceiving of the public library as first and foremost a site of productive work forces one to re‐engage with the meaning of shifting relations between the library user and the institution on working conditions.

Originality/value

The applicability of a relatively under‐utilized theoretical framework is modelled that enables one to ask new questions of relevance to the field of library and information science.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 67 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2016

Victor P. Seidel, Kelley A. Packalen and Siobhan O’Mahony

Scholars have studied how entrepreneurs acquire resources but have not examined how resources may be bundled with constraints, which can threaten entrepreneurial autonomy…

Abstract

Scholars have studied how entrepreneurs acquire resources but have not examined how resources may be bundled with constraints, which can threaten entrepreneurial autonomy. Organizational sponsors, such as incubators and accelerators, provide entrepreneurs with resources, but how do entrepreneurs sustain autonomy while seeking resources and support? We studied five entrepreneurial firms in a business incubator over a six-month period. While benefitting from incubator resources, entrepreneurs also experienced unexpected constraints, including mentor role conflict, gatekeeper control, and affiliation dissonance. By showing how entrepreneurs unbundled the incubator’s resources from constraints, we explain how entrepreneurs manage the tension between acquiring resources and preserving autonomy.

Abstract

Details

Beyond the Digital Divide: Contextualizing the Information Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-548-7

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2020

Grazia Catalano, Jonathan Mason, Claire Elise Brolan, Siobhan Loughnan and David Harley

The authors reviewed studies of validated tools to screen for cognitive impairment among prisoners. The purpose of this paper is to assist organisations in identifying…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors reviewed studies of validated tools to screen for cognitive impairment among prisoners. The purpose of this paper is to assist organisations in identifying cognitive impairment in correctional facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

A targeted literature review identified peer-reviewed articles on screening of adults in jails, prisons, police watch-houses, custody suites, rehabilitation facilities and forensic settings or community settings for offenders. Validation of screening tools in secure settings, psychometric properties and cultural discrimination is included in this review.

Findings

Eight screening tools are considered suitable for use in correctional settings. Two screening tools are recommended for cognitive impairment, one is recommended for adaptive functioning assessment and one is recommended for screening of brain injury. Two screening tools are noted to be subject to piloting and further development for use with First Nations people, and two screening tools for cognitive impairment are noted for positive consideration.

Research limitations/implications

Recommendations for screening tools are based on review only and evaluation was infeasible.

Practical implications

Short, reliable measures of cognitive ability for use in correctional facilities are needed. Such tools must be appropriate with respect to their purpose, feasible within the clinical capability of staff and sufficiently cheap to administer to allow widespread use.

Originality/value

Screening of prisoners for cognitive impairment allows early detection to facilitate rehabilitation and therapy. This research is at the systems level. Therefore, the authors do not purport to provide guidance for individual clinicians.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8824

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Lyndel Judith Bates, Bridie Scott-Parker, Siobhan Allen and Barry Watson

Road policing is a key method used to improve driver compliance with road laws. However, the authors have a very limited understanding of the perceptions of young drivers…

Abstract

Purpose

Road policing is a key method used to improve driver compliance with road laws. However, the authors have a very limited understanding of the perceptions of young drivers regarding police enforcement of road laws. The paper aims to address this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Within this study 238 young drivers from Queensland, Australia, aged 17-24 years (M=18, SD=1.54), with a provisional (intermediate) driver’s licence completed an online survey regarding their perceptions of police enforcement and their driver thrill-seeking tendencies. This study considered whether these factors influenced self-reported transient (e.g. traveling speed) and fixed (e.g. blood alcohol concentration) road violations by the young drivers.

Findings

The results indicate that being detected by police for a traffic offence, and the frequency with which they display P-plates on their vehicle to indicate their licence status, are associated with both self-reported transient and fixed rule violations. Licence type, police avoidance behaviors and driver thrill seeking affected transient rule violations only, while perceptions of police enforcement affected fixed rule violations only.

Practical implications

This study suggests that police enforcement of young driver violations of traffic laws may not be as effective as expected and that the authors need to improve the way in which police enforce road laws for young novice drivers.

Originality/value

This paper identifies that perceptions of police enforcement by young drivers does not influence all types of road offences.

Details

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-951X

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2018

Abstract

Details

Access to Success and Social Mobility through Higher Education: A Curate's Egg?
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-836-1

Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2018

David C. Giles

Abstract

Details

Twenty-First Century Celebrity: Fame In Digital Culture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-212-9

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