ERIC Number: ED472846
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
The Public Library and the Reading Experience.
Usherwood, Bob; Toyne, Jackie
Data from a research project on the value and impact of public library book reading have provided insights into the role of the public library in the reading experience. The principle of equity of access was seen as crucial, in that it provided everyone with the opportunity to encounter reading material. Respondents also compared the buying and borrowing experience. Several described how borrowing encouraged them to take risks with their reading. Others favored borrowing on ecological grounds. The bookshop was described as a "consumerist experience" whereas the library invoked a feeling of citizenship. Respondents regarded the range of stock on offer as a crucial factor. A good library allowed people to experiment with their reading. This was not perceived to be the case in all services, and there was some criticism of the literary and physical quality of the material on offer. The range of stock was also crucial to another library activity; that of browsing. Respondents also described the library as a place, and identified intangible benefits provided by the service. In analyzing the data it is clear that, for many, the positive factors outweigh the negative but that the library experience can comprise both. (Contains 17 references.) (Author)
Descriptors: Books, Library Collections, Library Research, Library Role, Library Services, Program Evaluation, Public Libraries, Reading, Reading Materials, Users (Information)
For full text: http://www.ifla.org.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A