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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Jerry A. Thrasher

Describes history of local community and regional branch standards and branch library development in Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center, located in…

Abstract

Describes history of local community and regional branch standards and branch library development in Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center, located in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Outlines services, staffing and square footage for full‐service regional and community branch libraries for an urban or suburban community serving a population of 20,000 to 35,000.

Details

New Library World, vol. 101 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Book part
Publication date: 5 June 2011

Linda R. Most

Research into the library as place investigates the role of public library buildings as destinations, physical places where people go for various reasons ranging from…

Abstract

Research into the library as place investigates the role of public library buildings as destinations, physical places where people go for various reasons ranging from making use of the library's resources and services or seeking to fulfill an information or reading need to less easily identified reasons that may include using the library's building as a place to make social or business contacts, to build or reinforce community or political ties, or to create or reinforce a personal identity. This study asks: How are one rural US public library system's newly constructed buildings functioning as places? The answer is derived from answers to sub-questions about adult library users, user, and staff perceptions of library use, and observed use of library facilities. The findings are contextualized using a framework built of theories from human geography, sociology, and information studies.

This case study replicates a mixed-methods case study conducted at the main public libraries in Toronto and Vancouver in the late1990s and first reproduced in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2006. It tests methods used in large urban settings in a rural, small-town environment. This study also expands on its antecedents by using thematic analysis to determine which conceptualizations of the role of the public library as place are most relevant to the community under investigation.

The study relies on quantitative and qualitative data collected via surveys and interviews of adult library users, interviews of library public service staff members, structured observations of people using the libraries, and analysis of selected administrative documents. The five sets of data are triangulated to answer the research sub-questions.

Thematic analysis grounded in the conceptual framework finds that public realm theory best contextualizes the relationships that develop between library staff members and adult library users over time. The study finds that the libraries serve their communities as informational places and as familiarized locales rather than as third places, and that the libraries facilitate the generation of social capital for their users.

Details

Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-014-8

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Article
Publication date: 14 November 2019

John Shepherd, Larissa Petrillo and Allan Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to summarize a library use study of the central and community branches of a Canadian public library. An exit survey documented the in-branch

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to summarize a library use study of the central and community branches of a Canadian public library. An exit survey documented the in-branch activities of users as a part of a library strategic planning process. Survey results were used in combination with branch statistics, postal code circulation statistics, neighbourhood demographics and other data sources to document the in-library use of the two facilities.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires were administered to library users 15 years of age or older at the exits of the central and community branches. The survey collected data on their activities and services used during their current visit. Additional sources such as branch-level statistics, furniture tally sheets, photographs, Canada Census data and circulation analysis by patron postal code and lending branch were used during the analysis stage.

Findings

Both branches are heavily used but in different ways. Branch circulation and gate count per square foot of floor space were high relative to other Canadian libraries. Patron visits to the community branch were short in duration, in line with previous public library studies. User visit duration and in-library activities within the main branch somewhat resembled those of the central branch of a larger library system but likely for different reasons.

Research limitations/implications

The study was exploratory. Data were collected during two coinciding days of library operation, a Thursday and a Saturday, and may not be representative of the underlying population. The study was limited in scope as it was a community service project for undergraduate university students.

Practical implications

Branch library use surveys, in combination with library statistics and demographics, can provide useful insights concerning in-library patron behaviour when the use of ethnographic techniques is not feasible.

Originality/value

The study explored differences and similarities in user behaviour in two types of library facilities, a central and a community branch. Few published studies make such a direct comparison. The study explored the perceived benefits received by patrons from public library use and incorporated branch statistics, circulation analysis and Census data.

Details

Library Management, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Wolfgang F.E. Preiser and Xinhao Wang

The purpose of this article is to report on the methodological approach taken in a project which was to create a Facilities Master Plan for the Public Library of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to report on the methodological approach taken in a project which was to create a Facilities Master Plan for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in the United States. Libraries are changing drastically: they function as community centers, where programs and classes are held; they provide access to the internet to socio‐economically weaker groups; and they accommodate the needs of different age groups, such as children, teens, adults and seniors.

Design/methodology/approach

Innovative in the approach to the project is the combination of geographic information system (GIS) and building performance evaluation (BPE) methods. This project assigned comprehensive scores for each of the libraries and grouped them into groups of high, medium and low performing libraries. The rankings are based on composite scores made up of eight weighted performance indicators: staff survey, facility evaluation, service area, usage, building, site, staffing output, and capacity. Project data are benchmarked and compared with those of library systems around the USA in similarly sized cities.

Findings

The outcomes of the project are recommendations, as well as medium‐ to long‐term projections, with primary emphasis on branch libraries. Specific recommendations for each branch focused on: needed improvements; closure and/or consolidation with other branch libraries; and the creation of new full‐service “hub” libraries.

Practical implications

Practical implications of this project include a rational decision making tool for library facility master planning in the future.

Originality/value

The data gathering and analysis approach applied in this project shows promise as an innovative way of combining quantitative and qualitative methods in evaluation research measuring library performance.

Details

New Library World, vol. 107 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2015

Michiel Erik Moll and Anna Petronella Coreejes-Brink

Small branch libraries are found in many academic institutions. The purpose of this study was to look at specific aspects of management of these branches and in particular…

Abstract

Small branch libraries are found in many academic institutions. The purpose of this study was to look at specific aspects of management of these branches and in particular the librarians in these branches from an organizational perspective. The organizational structure and support for branches and librarians was looked at in two institutions, Lund University in Sweden, and Cape Peninsula University of Technology in South Africa. An analysis was made through observation, documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews with affected staff at both institutions, and the input compared to determine commonalities as well as differences. The small branch academic librarian is a vital part of the organizational landscape. Although needing strong support from the central organization in terms of mentoring and staff development, they provide a unique contribution to the profession as a whole as they fill the role of specialist generalist – a breed of librarian capable of working with the specialist in their own field, but at the same time covering all the specialized fields that users would expect in an academic library. Although a lot has been written about centralization and decentralization and the subsequent place of small branch libraries, the actual role of the librarians as a unique one within academic institutions has not been highlighted in the literature. This study aims to highlight this and assist libraries in assessing and improving the working relationship between the central organization and the small branch librarians.

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1948

THE activity of librarianship during September was almost breathless. Visitors to Chaucer House in the third week of the month had possibly the most cosmopolitan…

Abstract

THE activity of librarianship during September was almost breathless. Visitors to Chaucer House in the third week of the month had possibly the most cosmopolitan experience of their lives. It was, as our readers know, the assembly time of the International Federation of Librarians, which divided its London meetings between Chaucer House and the equally hospitable University College. The members, coming from a score or more of countries east and west, had, many of them, been present at the successful and crowded conference of Aslib at Ashorne, and were now conferring further, and being entertained by the Library Association, together with members of the Unesco Library School. That school spent its first week in Manchester, with a tour of Derby County libraries; its second week was in London. Amongst the guests at the reception given by the British Council at Portland Place, and at the L.A's own reception at Chaucer House three days later, many distinguished librarians were met, including Dr. Munthe, Dr. Sevensma, Dr. Ranganathan, the state librarian of Ankara, the University Librarians of Istanbul, Copenhagen, Trondhjem, of Alexandria; and many others, including those of England and Scotland, the Chief Keeper of the Printed Books, Bodley's Librarian, and the Librarian of the National Central Library. Moreover, as these gatherings coincided with the meeting of the Library Association Council, the official leaders of the profession were present, including the President (Mr. Nowell).

Details

New Library World, vol. 51 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2013

Anthony McKeown and Jessica Bates

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study concerning what emotional intelligence (EI) leadership attributes branch managers in the public library service in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a study concerning what emotional intelligence (EI) leadership attributes branch managers in the public library service in Northern Ireland (Libraries NI) consider to be most important.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology in the study involved a survey of all branch managers in Libraries NI – an online questionnaire containing quantitative and qualitative questions was sent to 104 branch managers. Goleman's Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI) was used to examine what attributes and skills were considered to be more important.

Findings

The study found that while EI was a new concept to the majority of respondents, they were valuing and demonstrating EI attributes and traits in their work. The top five leadership attributes were: communication; teamwork and collaboration; adaptability; integrity/trustworthiness; and organisational awareness. Likert‐scale questions showed that being able to empathise with staff was considered to be important, and open‐ended questions demonstrated that the branch managers recognised the importance of self‐awareness and that recognising emotions in staff was an important management trait.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides insight into the perceptions and practices of EI leadership within a public library setting and contributes to the research literature on the relevance of EI leadership for library management. It provides valuable comparative data for similar research undertaken elsewhere. Specific recommendations for further research into EI leadership and public libraries are also made.

Practical implications

The paper shows how the findings can be used to improve practice. Three specific frameworks are proposed which can be applied in the workplace: an Emotional Intelligence Leadership Skills Competency Framework for Branch Managers, which lists the personal and social competencies for branch managers in public libraries; suggestions for applying EI to leadership/management and staff development; and suggestions for applying EI to customer relations.

Originality/value

This study analyses for the first time EI leadership in a public library setting in Northern Ireland, and contributes to the emergent literature on EI and library leadership. The EI Leadership Skills Competency Framework for Branch Managers that is developed from this study can be applied, tested and used within and beyond the Northern Ireland public library setting in which it was conceived.

Details

Library Management, vol. 34 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Book part
Publication date: 24 November 2011

Lisa K. Hussey and Diane L. Velasquez

This chapter provides in-depth case studies of two large urban public libraries in the United States and how communities and libraries respond to reductions mandated by…

Abstract

This chapter provides in-depth case studies of two large urban public libraries in the United States and how communities and libraries respond to reductions mandated by their funding agencies. Boston Public Library (BPL) and Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) are both in communities that faced, and are still facing, recessionary budget pressures that began in 2007. Each community and library system has responded in different ways. In the recent past, in both Boston and Los Angeles, the Mayors and City Councils have supported libraries that have come to define the great cultural heritage and heart of these cities in the past. In 2010, however, both cities faced unheard of budget pressures. In Boston, there was a budget shortfall of $3.6 million. In Los Angeles, the budget shortfall began in 2007 due to huge increases in pension payments to city workers, particularly in the police and fire departments (City of Los Angeles Web site, 2011). In Boston, the community was told there could be branch closures. In Los Angeles, the budget shortfall created severe personnel, material, and service cuts. How each library and their leaders responded to those challenges differed. The level of support that their communities provided and the manner in which it was provided also differed. The two cases describe what can happen when budget crises occur and how libraries and their communities deal, or do not deal with them. The cases also reflect how the two library systems serve metropolitan areas with very distinct characteristics.

Details

Librarianship in Times of Crisis
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-391-0

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2007

Karen Hertel and Nancy Sprague

This article seeks to demonstrate a technique for using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze US Census data to better understand potential library users and…

Abstract

Purpose

This article seeks to demonstrate a technique for using a Geographic Information System (GIS) to analyze US Census data to better understand potential library users and improve library service planning.

Design/methodology/approach

A GIS was used to link variables such as age, race, income, and education from the 2000 US Census with service area maps of two proposed branch libraries. Thematic maps were created for each of the census variables to display demographic information about potential library users within a three‐mile radius of the proposed libraries.

Findings

The GIS maps and their associated attribute data enhanced the ability to analyze and compare the demographics of potential users in the two library areas and identify significant differences. The data on age, race, education and income for residents in the two areas were combined with known library use indicators to help plan library services with the potential to attract different populations in the local community.

Originality/value

Provides practical information about downloading US Census data into a GIS to be able to present demographic data about potential library users both visually and quantitatively.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Shu‐hsien Tseng

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the planning and architectural design features, and the post‐occupancy evaluation (POE) of the Beitou Branch Library in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the planning and architectural design features, and the post‐occupancy evaluation (POE) of the Beitou Branch Library in the Taipei Public Library System. This paper also proposes possible solutions in response to the public's suggestions for improvements.

Design/methodology/approach

A library‐user survey was employed to appraise the functioning of the Beitou Branch Library by the general public. The questionnaire for this survey was divided into three parts: background information of patrons; patrons' use of the Beitou Branch Library; and patrons' opinions on the facilities of the Beitou Branch Library. The 511 valid returned patron questionnaires were numbered and processed by means of Microsoft Excel statistical analysis. Chi‐square testing, ANOVA and Pearson T‐test were then used to analyze the relevant data and statistics.

Findings

The findings from the Beitou Branch Library survey are as follows: its innovative design and unique architecture and furniture has created a trend for new design concepts in Taiwan; it increases the number of library visits; it increases the visibility of the library and changes the stereotype of the library in the public's mind; it embodies the principles of ecological education and has become a multi‐faceted learning center; it has gained the support of local residents and professional experts; it has generated corporate sponsorship of green library buildings; and the average numbers and distribution of frequency indicate that, other than “convenient parking” and “number of computers in the computer area”, patrons were generally satisfied with the library's facilities, with all other categories receiving an average rating of 3.5 or greater.

Originality/value

This paper provides details of the experience of Taipei Public Library in planning and designing a diamond class green library and may increase public libraries' concerns about the issues of environmental protection and energy conservation.

Details

New Library World, vol. 109 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

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