Jo McKenna-Aspell

Email: jmckenna-aspell1@sheffield.ac.uk
Twitter: @McKenna_Aspell

Jo McKenna-Aspell

Biography

I completed the MA in Library and Information Services Management with the Information School in 2019. I currently work in an FE college library; my dissertation focussed on how issues in the FE sector have impacted college libraries and the services they deliver. Prior to the MA, I had a whole other career in education leadership, in both secondary and primary schools.

My philosophies towards education, librarianship and information services are the same: it is my duty to essentially make myself redundant. By this, I mean I strive to help others to develop into independent, lifelong learners and researchers. As a new information professional, my aim is to help people bridge the gaps I witnessed in the education system so that they are empowered to independently seek, verify, analyse, compare, synthesise and evaluate information.

PhD title

Are public libraries essential or critical? A study of public perceptions of public libraries in England, 2009 - 2021

Project description

The research will examine stakeholder perceptions about the role and purpose of public libraries in England, both in isolation and in comparison to other, similarly funded services. The stakeholders will include public library users, non-users, library staff, local government officials and local MPs. Moreover, it will invite stakeholders to critically evaluate the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 and how it should be updated for the 21st century. The study will be a novel contribution to current literature as it will focus on the heart of the issue, legislation, rather than the superficial, headline-catching agendas of competing stakeholder bodies. Equally, unlike other research, it will directly involve users and non-users.

The research will centre on one local authority poised to undertake an imminent overhaul of statutory service provision, including public library services. This refined focus will generate research outcomes that can be cascaded to other local authorities in similar positions, as well as providing an alternative model of public consultation. Furthermore, it will identify potential legislative changes required to survive the impact of austerity, and its legacy, on public library provision in England.


Research interests

Information Literacy


Events and conference presentations

CoLRiC annual conference 2019 - The road ahead: being stronger together
As the winner of the 2019 best practice award for demonstrating excellent practice in marketing and social media, I presented "Using Twitter as a tool for internal advocacy and service growth."


Publications