Centre for the Public Library and Information in Society

 

Public librarianship (general), management, staffing, user communities

Within the general field of public librarianship research, our work could be grouped into a number of different areas, each focusing on a different aspect of the public library within society:

  • General public librarianship
  • Cuts, closures
  • Family, local, oral history
  • Interlending and resource-sharing
  • Management, leadership, staffing, training
  • Politics and government policy
  • Technology
  • Users, non-users and communities

Blog posts

Snapshot from recent research

Opinion among our participants was divided over the extent to which public libraries operated under a moral imperative to offer interlending. We generally observed three broad perspectives on this issue. Some identified strongly with the moral argument, and viewed the provision of interlending as the realisation of a duty to meet any and all needs of library users. A larger group shared this perspective in principle, but were more pragmatic about the likelihood of interlending being sustained in a harsh economic environment. A final group might be characterised as rejecting entirely the notion of a moral imperative to offer interlending. A natural question of great significance to the future of interlending is the extent to which any one of these viewpoints represent a majority opinion at an appropriately senior level.’ [Birdi, B., Pinfield, S., Rutter, S. and Wakeling, S. (2015). Investigating interlending: a scoping study of resource discovery, sharing and cooperation The University of Sheffield, for TCR (The Combined Regions).

Selected publications

Garland, R. and Willett, P. (2009). We want you back. Public Library Journal, 24(2), pp.19-21, 25.

Grace, D. and Sen, B. (2013). Community resilience and the role of the public library. Library Trends, 61(3), pp.513-541.

Listwon, A. and Sen, B. (2009). Public library services and the Polish community in England: case study. Library Review, 58(4), pp.290-300.

Pooley, A. and Birdi, B. (2008). How ethical are we? Public Library Journal, 23(1), pp.12-15.

Sen, B. (2010). Theory, research and practice in library management and market orientation. Library Management, 31(4-5), pp.344-353.

Usherwood, B., Wilson, K. and Bryson, J. (2005). Relevant repositories of public knowledge? Libraries, museums and archives in the information age. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 37(2), pp.91-100.

Wilson, K. and Corrall, S. (2008). Developing public library managers as leaders: evaluation of a national leadership development programme. Library Management 29(6/7), pp.473-488.

Wilson, K. and Train, B. (2006). Business information service delivery within a regional context: the role of public libraries. Business Information Review, 23(1), pp. 50-57.

Research reports

Birdi, B., Pinfield, S., Rutter, S. and Wakeling, S. (2015). Investigating interlending: a scoping study of resource discovery, sharing and cooperation. The University of Sheffield, for TCR (The Combined Regions).  Executive SummaryFinal Report

Bryson, J., Usherwood, B. and Proctor, R. (2003). Libraries must also be buildings? New Library Impact Study. The University of Sheffield.  Final Report

Bryson, J., Usherwood, B. and Streatfield, D. (2002). Social impact audit. The University of Sheffield, for the South West Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Executive Summary | Final Report

Linley, R. and Usherwood, B. (1998). New measures for the public library: a social audit of public libraries. The University of Sheffield, funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (report 89). Executive Summary | Final Report

Proctor, R., Lee, H. and Reilly, R. (1998). Access to public libraries: the impact of opening hours reductions and closures 1986-1997. The University of Sheffield, funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (report 90). Final Report

Proctor, R., Usherwood, B. and Sobczyk, G. (1996). What do people do when their public library service closes down? An investigation into the impact of the Sheffield Libraries strike. University of Sheffield, funded by the British Library Research and Development Department (report 6224). Final Report

Simmons, S. and Proctor, R. (1997). People, politics and hard decisions: an investigation into the management of public library closures. The University of Sheffield, funded by the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (report 132). Final Report

Streatfield, D., Wilson, K., Corrall, S. and Usherwood, B. (2007). Evaluation of leading modern public libraries. With Information Management Associates, funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. Final Report

Usherwood, B., Wilson, K. and Bryson, J. (2005). Relevant repositories of public knowledge? Perceptions of archives, libraries and museums in modern Britain. The University of Sheffield, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board. Final Report

Usherwood, B., Proctor, R., Bower, G., Coe, C., Cooper, J. and Stevens, T. (2001). Recruit, retain and lead: the public library workforce study. The University of Sheffield, funded by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. Final Report

Wilson, K. and Train, B. (2005). Libraries are good for business. The University of Sheffield, with SINTO on behalf of the Yorkshire Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (YMLAC). Final Report

Wilson, K. and Train, B. (2005). North West Public Libraries Joint Commissioning Project. The University of Sheffield, funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council North West. Final Report

Doctoral theses

Calixto, J. (2002). The educational roles of public libraries in Portugal. Political and professional perceptions. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Cowan, B. (1998). Public libraries, training and the impact of information technology: a comparative study of public libraries in Canada and England. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Jones-Evans, A. (1995). The marketing of public library services for a profit. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Kim, Y-S. (2004). The public library and its support groups: in what way and to what extent do Friends influence public library policy? Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Lilley, E. (1999). The relationship between expectations and the public’s perceptions of public library services. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Muela Meza, Z. (2009). An application of community profiling to analyse the information needs and community issues affecting the people in Broomhall, Sheffield, and to evaluate the roles of their information providers. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Sen, B. (2014). Market orientation as a strategic option for libraries. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Masters dissertations (in date order)

General

Bartes, M.P. 2014 Bringing the Arts into the Library: An evaluation of the role of Nottinghamshire County Council Libraries in engaging new audiences with arts and culture

Carl, M. 2014 There and Back Again: A Public Library History 1850-1914

Clatworthy, S. 2014 An Investigation into User Experience and Perceptions of Special Collections for Academic Studies

Haji Moksin, N. 2014 Brunei Darussalam public librarians' perceptions on information literacy: a case study

McLean, P. 2013 An Investigation into how Public Libraries in the UK are using Narrative-Based Practice to Demonstrate Social Impact

Richards, A. 2012 An Investigation into the Viability of Librarything for Promotional and User Engagement Purpose in Libraries

Priestley, P. 2011 An investigation into attitudes towards personalization in the museum and library sector: a case study and survey to assess the level of interest in the implementation of personalization in museums and libraries

Williams, L. 2011 Exhibitions in libraries: the role of the information professional

Hartley, J 2005 Tower Hamlets Idea Stores: are they working?

Bell, L. 2004 An investigation into the design of mobile libraries and the effects on service provision.

Blunden, D. 2003 Music to your ears? The impact of call centres on the public library service.

Cuts, closures

Fletcher, K. 2011 What do we stand to lose? Discourses on public library cuts: an analysis of media representations of public library campaigns

Gunter, F. 2003 Open all hours? An investigation into the current expansion of opening hours in public libraries.

Hunter, J.F. 1998 The effectiveness of mobile library provision in urban communities which have lost local static libraries. A case study.

Reilly, R. 1997 The impact of Sheffield public library closures on young children.

Family, local, oral history

Fraser, M. 2015. Connections between the British and Canadian Early Public Library Movements: 1845-1914

O'Reilly, M. 2010 The Sheffield Cathedral oral history project: an investigation into the librarian’s role in oral history

Bayliss, E. 2004 Evaluation and identification of digital resources suitable for local history gateway for public library users

Management, leadership, staffing, training

Ishikawa, N. 2014 Public library professional issues in Japan and the UK under economic depression

Turner, C. 2014 Evaluation of the Libraries and Information East Midlands (LIEM) Motivate, Learn, Lead Programme.

Tsilimagou, D. 2013 Library Leaders as Social Entrepreneurs

José Simões, M. 2011 An investigation into the perception held by the librarians at Leeds Libraries of their role as regards the teaching of information literacy

Fuidge, V. 2010 The role of the music specialist librarian

Pooley, A. 2007 Ethical Training: Censorship and Intellectual Freedom in the Public Library.

Dahlke, H. 2006 An exploration of the concept of advocacy in the public library context.

Fox, H. 2005 An investigation into political and professional attitudes regarding commercial models of service provision in public libraries.

Waldrum, S. 2004 Where geographers and librarians collide: an investigation into the role and use of GIS as a decision making support tool for public library management.

Boxford, A. 2000 Flag it up. Cascade it down. An investigation into the management of training and learning in public libraries.

McCree, M. 2000 Theft in the public library. An investigation into the levels of theft and the impact it has on both service and staff.

Politics and government policy

Barstow, T. 2013 Does the Use of Occupations in Campaigns to Protect Public Libraries Risk Inadvertently Promoting "Big Society" Ideas?

Smith, L. 2010 ‘A cradle of democracy’: democratic engagement and public libraries

Stacey, D. 2006 Framework for the Future: a shared vision? Staff perceptions and cultural issues regarding government policy implementation.

Hague, D. 2004 Numbers, trust and (over) evaluation: librarians and their elected members' views on the culture of accountability. Not on CPLIS, is on pubs database

Technology

Karagianni, F. 2014 The Use of Social Media in Engaging with Users in Nottinghamshire Country Public Libraries: Current Practices, users' Approach, Recommendations for Development.

Cox, D. 2013 An Exploratory Study into the Introduction of Fees and Charges for ICT Services Within Public Libraries

Grigsby, K. 2011 Web 2.0 use in marketing public libraries: a case study of North Tyneside public libraries

Midgley, A. 2010 The value of IT access in the library and information services of the Metropolitan Borough of Doncaster

Mawe, A. 2007 An Evaluation of Public Library Local Studies Websites in the United Kingdom.

Coxall, O. 2006 A study of library attitudes to IT and the provision of public access to IT and the People's Network in public libraries.

Moore, S. 2006 What are the factors that influence the public's use of OPACs?

Osborne, M. 2004 Motivating people to use IT in libraries.

Piasecki, R. 2004 An investigation into the impact of ICT on small branch libraries.

Hallam, R. 2003 Assessing the quality of websites: the view from public library authorities.

Norris, I. 2003 Equipping public library staff with information skills: a key requirement of the "IT for Me" project.

Witkin, O. 2003 A study of the Potential Impact of Web-Based Music File Sharing On the Provision of Recorded Music by Public Libraries.

Ingham, A. 2003 The attitudes of paraprofessional library staff with relation to public access to the internet.

Butler, E. 2002 Trained or terrified: an investigation into the impact of ICT training on public library staff.

Gardner, C. 2002 An investigation into the impact of electronic resources on public library reference enquiry services.

Towers, H. 2001 An investigation into the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) on mobile library service provision and use.

Users, non-users and communities

Cook, R. 2013 Anti-Social Behaviour in Public Libraries - A Scoping Study

Seals, E. 2012 Community Information or Community Representation? An Investigation into the Link Between Information and Media Representations of Broomhall, Sheffield.

Grace, D. 2011 The role of the public library in promoting community resilience: an autoethnographic study

Garland, R. 2008 Engaging lapsed users.

Ewart, L. 2004 How's my profile? An exploration of community profiling in public library authorities.

Davies, A. 2003 Not for me: a study into the characteristic reasons behind people's choice in not using the public library.

Hayes, K. 2003 Out of our Comfort Zone: an investigation into the perceptions of outsiders on the role and value of how the public library and how insiders receive these views.

Conder, K. 2002 The social role of the local library: the case of Gloucestershire.

Coughlan, R. 2001 An investigation into the non-borrowing use of public library services.

Raven, C. M. 1998 An evaluation of the extent to which branch libraries may contribute to community regeneration through information technology.

Whittaker, S. P. 1998 Do public libraries need 'Friends'? An evaluation of the importance and influence of Friends of library groups in Sheffield and Rotherham

Linley, R. 1996 The role of the branch library in community development and community regeneration.