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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

Janice M. Bogstad

Almost all libraries collect fiction. Of course the nature, scope, and organization of the collection varies with the type of library and its clientele. In this column…

Abstract

Almost all libraries collect fiction. Of course the nature, scope, and organization of the collection varies with the type of library and its clientele. In this column scholars, fans, and just plain readers of diverse fiction formats, types, and genres will explore their specialty with a view to the collection building needs of various types of libraries. In addition to lists of “good reads,” authors not to be missed, rising stars, and rediscovered geniuses, columnists will cover major critics, bibliographies, relevant journals and organizations, publishers, and trends. Each column will include a genre overview, a discussion of access to published works, and a core collection of recommended books and authors. Janice M. Bogstad leads off with a discussion of science fiction. In the next issue of Collection Building, Ian will focus her discussion on the growing body of feminist science fiction with an article entitled, “Redressing an Interval Balance: Women and Science Fiction, 1965–1983.” Issues to follow will feature Kathleen Heim on thrillers, and Rhea Rubin reviewing short story collection building. Should you care to suggest an area or aspect of fiction collection building for discussion or try your hand as a columnist contact the column editor through Neal‐Schuman Publishers.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Article
Publication date: 22 August 2022

Amy Duxfield and Chern Li Liew

This study aims to examine the imagining of libraries and the depiction of library services in contemporary science fiction novels. Analyses of libraries in contemporary…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the imagining of libraries and the depiction of library services in contemporary science fiction novels. Analyses of libraries in contemporary science fiction may reveal expectations of libraries and the roles they play in future societies. These may, in turn, be used by the library profession to innovate and to discover opportunities to design and improve library services that meet the expectations of library users now and in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

This research applied a content analysis approach to examine references to libraries in a purposeful sample of science fiction novels published between 2009 and 2019. The sample consists of 29 novels selected from the 2010–2020 winners of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, The Nebula Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, The Philip K Dick Award and the Arthur C Clarke Award.

Findings

This research finds that libraries are a common feature within contemporary science fiction novels, primarily as part of the background setting of the narratives. Libraries are particularly common in peri-apocalyptic novels, often as “reinvented” libraries. This research identifies considerable differences in the way libraries and information access and use are depicted and documented in science fiction worlds of plenty, compared to those of scarcity. Other key themes discussed include freedom of access to information, and the supposedly common negative stereotyping of libraries.

Originality/value

Existing literature indicates anxiety about the future of libraries which the findings of this research do not support. The insights gained suggested instead, the emergence of an image of libraries as being embedded in the fabric of societies. This indicates the expectation of the place and role of libraries in contemporary societies. Libraries and their services must be adeptly placed and woven into the many facets of the societies they serve.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1983

Kurt O. Baumgartner

Science fiction is that demonic creature lurking in the depths of every human subconscious waiting for the chance to emerge and destroy, with ecstasy, mankind's literary…

53

Abstract

Science fiction is that demonic creature lurking in the depths of every human subconscious waiting for the chance to emerge and destroy, with ecstasy, mankind's literary taste. It condemns the reader to an endless array of spaceships, hyperdrive, alternate universes, and alien beings — the really fun things in life. Unfortunately, not all readers or critics hold this view. To many literary critics, science fiction is something to keep in the closet, ignore, and generally not discuss in front of frail women or young children.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

Janice M. Bogstad

For many years, science fiction has been perceived as “rayguns and rocket ships” boys' literature. Any number of impressionistic and statistical studies have identified…

Abstract

For many years, science fiction has been perceived as “rayguns and rocket ships” boys' literature. Any number of impressionistic and statistical studies have identified the typical SF reader as male, between the ages of twelve and twenty and, in the case of adults, employed in some technical field. Yet I continually find myself having conversations with women, only to find that they, like myself, began reading science fiction between the ages of six and ten, have been reading it voraciously ever since, and were often frustrated at the absence of satisfying female characters and the presence of misogynistic elements in what they read. The stereotype of the male reader and the generally male SF environment mask both the increasing presence of women writers in the field of science fiction and the existence of a feminist dialog within some SF novels. This dialog had its beginnings in the mid‐sixties and is still going strong. It is the hope of the feminist SF community that this effacement can be counteracted.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Book part
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Lenora Ledwon

The law-oriented short stories and novels of lawyer/English professor John William Corrington are receiving increasing attention from legal scholars. However, no one has…

Abstract

The law-oriented short stories and novels of lawyer/English professor John William Corrington are receiving increasing attention from legal scholars. However, no one has analyzed the science fiction screenplays he co-wrote with his wife, Joyce, from a legal perspective. This article analyzes two such screenplays and concludes that they are “Socratic” texts whose narrative structures and epistemological processes work in much the same way that the traditional participatory exchange works in law school. My analysis explores the links between law, allegory and science fiction as intersecting methods to imagine the possibilities for the future.

Details

Studies in Law, Politics and Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-262-7

Article
Publication date: 23 June 2020

Jean Paul Pinto and Javier Medina

This paper aims to propose a new strategic foresight process that combines aspects from science fiction, speculative design and tools linked to organizational processes…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a new strategic foresight process that combines aspects from science fiction, speculative design and tools linked to organizational processes, first, to generate potential new services and products and, second, to reduce problems associated with the construction of low-impact and irrelevant scenarios for decision-making processes. As a new proposal, it invites reflection and debate.

Design/methodology/approach

After reviewing the literature on the key concepts that represent the essence of strategic foresight, as well as the traditional processes to reflect on the future, a proposal for a new hybrid, integrative foresight process that allows moving from imagination to the materialization of scenarios will be presented.

Findings

The new hybrid process makes evident the need to articulate strategic foresight with other areas of knowledge and management tools to build scenarios with greater impact on decision-making and greater added value from strategic foresight to organizational processes.

Originality/value

The proposed integrative model articulates tools that already exist, but the originality of the proposal lies in that there are no models that integrate science fiction, speculative design, and other organizational tools in a single process.

Details

foresight, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Advances in Librarianship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-879-7

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1964

IN The verdict of you all, Rupert Croft‐Cooke has some uncomplimentary things to say about novel readers as a class, which is at least an unusual look at his public by a…

Abstract

IN The verdict of you all, Rupert Croft‐Cooke has some uncomplimentary things to say about novel readers as a class, which is at least an unusual look at his public by a practitioner whose income for many years was provided by those he denigrates.

Details

New Library World, vol. 65 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2004

Nurit Tirosh

In light of the place of popular fiction in world cultural history and in the context of the broader debate of “high culture versus popular culture”, this article…

555

Abstract

In light of the place of popular fiction in world cultural history and in the context of the broader debate of “high culture versus popular culture”, this article addresses the importance of popular fiction in the academic library. The article compares the attitude of Israeli academic libraries towards popular fiction to the attitude of parallel American university and research libraries. A survey of a sample of academic curriculi and libraries in Israel suggests no established policy related to collection development and the acquisition of popular fiction. While leading American academic institutions adopt such policy, no such trends are evident in Israeli institutions. According to the polysystem theory of literature, popular fiction should have a status of its own as one of various systems within a structured whole. As such, it is a legitimate subject of literary research. Popular fiction as an interdisciplinary subject may interest researchers from different fields of study in the humanities and the social sciences. The need to establish a collection development and acquisition policy for popular fiction in order to facilitate systematic and continuous research in this field is thus indicated. This endeavour should be coordinated both regionally and nationally.

Details

New Library World, vol. 105 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Briony Birdi

– The purpose of this paper is to adapt a repertory grid technique to investigate fiction readers’ attitudes and beliefs, with a specific focus on minority ethnic fiction.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adapt a repertory grid technique to investigate fiction readers’ attitudes and beliefs, with a specific focus on minority ethnic fiction.

Design/methodology/approach

The study required participants (n=36) to rate on a seven-point Likert scale a series of 16 provided constructs, using ten main elements, namely, the reader of ten fiction genres. Statistical tests investigated participant agreement across construct ratings, where on average fiction readers are rated on a construct continuum, and the extent to which public library work experience affected participants’ perceptions.

Findings

Findings were revealed regarding the perceived characteristics of the readers of ten fiction genres, including minority ethnic fiction. The readers of Asian and Black British fiction were similarly rated, but certain exceptions were also noted which had not been reported in previous research. Although intraclass correlations indicated that ratings were consistent for the more established fiction genres, there was little agreement regarding minority fiction.

Research limitations/implications

The research was potentially limited by the ethnic homogeneity of the sample population and the gender imbalance of same, and (in some cases) a lack of knowledge of minority fiction genres. It was felt that the repertory grid was an effective technique via which to build a rich profile of the fiction reader.

Practical implications

This research could inform the development of fiction collections, and its detailed examination of fiction reader profiles could be adapted in three specific ways, as described in the paper.

Originality/value

Little previous research has been conducted to differentiate between readers of different fiction genres, and less still for those of minority ethnic fiction genres.

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