Research activities in public libraries-findings from fieldwork: Facts and methods

Deborah Goodall


Reports current research activities in public library
services drawing from a series of interviews with 20
chief librarians. Findings reinforce earlier perceptions
and findings about public library research activities. Of
particular concern is the fact that research activity and
method is largely confined to'simpler' issues of
operational service development and does not extend
to 'harder' research addressing the social and
economic impact of the service. To assess
trustworthiness and make best use of the data the
interview transcripts are analysed using three
techniques: initial data analysis by coding down,
dilemma analysis, and intensive analysis carried out
using the constant comparative method. Concludes
that the restricted research capacity within the public
library sector may endanger the realisation of its
strategic potential.


research;public libraries; operational service; social impact; economic impact; trustworthiness; strategic potential

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ISSN 1756-1086 (Online)