Examining libraries as public sphere institutions: Mapping questions, methods, theories, findings, and research gaps
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It is common in the literature to see libraries characterized as public sphere institutions, but the exact processes by which libraries support and engage in the public sphere remain underexplored. Based on a systematic review of the research literature on libraries as public sphere institutions, this study maps the questions, methods, theories, and findings of those scholars and librarians who have examined this topic. This research finds that discussions of libraries as public sphere institutions orient around five themes: Community, management and funding, institutional structures and practices, new tools and services, and knowledge organization. Compared to existing research, more focused and stringent research designs are necessary to enhance the understanding of libraries as public sphere institutions. A focused research program can create theoretical and actionable knowledge for knowledge-based policies, strategies, and activities at the international, federal, state, and community levels.
Source at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.04.001.
CitationVårheim, A.V., Skare, R. & Lenstra, N. (2019). Examining libraries as public sphere institutions: Mapping questions, methods, theories, findings, and research gaps. Library & Information Science Research, 41(2), 93-101. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lisr.2019.04.001
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