Centre for the Public Library and Information in Society
Public libraries have the capacity to make a major contribution to social justice, and our work in this area gives a snapshot of the work they do, and their potential and actual impact on a wide range of communities and groups.
Snapshot from recent research
‘An important theme drawn from the collected data was that of a parent’s limited understanding of the role they play in their child’s development. It was noted that some inmates do not realise the impact they can have, perhaps because of their own lack of experience of being read to as a child. It is important, therefore, to teach inmates about this critical parental role.’ [Finlay, J. (2014). A comparative study of family literacy programmes in UK and US prisons. Unpublished Masters dissertation, University of Sheffield.
Birdi, B., Wilson, K. and Mansoor, S. (2012). ‘What we should strive for is Britishness’: an attitudinal investigation of ethnic diversity and the public library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 44(2), pp.118-128.
Birdi, B., Wilson, K. and Tso, H.M. (2009). The nature and role of empathy in public librarianship. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 41(2), pp. 81-89.
Birdi, B., Wilson, K. and Cocker, J. (2009). The public library, exclusion and empathy: a literature review. Library Review, 57(8), pp. 576-592.
Birdi, B., and Wilson K. (2008). Public libraries and social exclusion: how empathic are we? Library and Information Update, 7(6), pp. 32-34.
Rosenthal, L. and Train, B. (2007). Breaking down barriers. Public Library Journal, 22(1), pp. 8-12.
Stock, E. and Willett, P. (2007). Positively ageing. Public Library Journal, 22(2), pp.26-29.
Train, B., Dalton, P. and Elkin, J. (2000). Embracing inclusion: the critical role of the library. Library Management, 21(9), pp.493-500.
Wilson, K. and Birdi, B. (2008). The right ‘man’ for the job? The role of empathy in community librarianship: Final Report. Project website. The University of Sheffield, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Syed, M. (2014). Developing the culturally competent public librarian: an investigation of diversity training for public libraries to support empathic service provision to Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.
Stevens, T. (1995). The role of the prison library in the reform and rehabilitation process. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.
Masters dissertations (in date order)
Hilliar, J. 2015. An investigation into service provision for users with mental health conditions in UK academic and public libraries
Fox, J. 2012 The Information Needs of Asylum Seekers in Sheffield
Southwell, D. 2012 An Updated Look at Disability Provision in English Public Libraries
Holberry, K. 2010 How can public libraries engage with an ageing population? A case study of Calderdale Library Service
Laughton, C. 2010 What is the extent and value of reminiscence work in public libraries, and what are the possibilities regarding collaboration with archives, museums and the health and care sectors in this area?
Barton, C. 2008 Investigating HIV/AIDS information in UK public libraries.
Tso, H. 2007 Social inclusion and public libraries: Is the ability to empathise an essential attribute for community librarians to better serve their ethnic minorities users? A case study of Highfield Library and its Chinese community.
Mansoor, S. 2006 An investigation into the provision of ethnic minority library services in predominantly White areas.Rosenthal, L. 2006 An investigation into how Guernsey's public library can meet the needs of dyslexic needs.
O'Leary, M. 2005 Pink perceptions: the information needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender library users as perceived by public librarians and the LGBT communities within Sheffield, UK and Denver CO, USA.
Kosmidou, D. 2001 Lifelong learning, ICT and elderly people - a study of two countries.