ERIC Number: EJ845514
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
Investigating Non-Use of Libraries in the UK Using the Mass-Observation Archive
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, v36 n2 p79-87 2004
The Mass-Observation Archive at the University of Sussex sends regular "directives" to its panel of volunteer correspondents around the UK asking them to reflect on various issues relating to the day-to-day lives of ordinary people. Two directives from the 1980s and 1990s relate to libraries, books and reading habits. These sets of written responses are valuable resources for library history and information science researchers because they include the opinions of non-users, which are notoriously difficult to obtain using conventional research methods. The use of such an approach may help to counter some of the criticisms of current library history practices as being outmoded and irrelevant. Not only is library history undervalued by historians, it is also frequently dismissed within the LIS field in general. Linking library history to issues of current concern, such as non-users, may create opportunities to demonstrate the relevance of library history more widely. This article reports on the findings of a study of the directive responses, focusing on non-use of libraries, and highlights the implications for librarians and library historians.
Descriptors: Reading Habits, Observation, Research Methodology, Public Libraries, Information Science, Historians, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Books, Researchers, Autobiographies, Information Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom