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ERIC Number: EJ875949
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Oct
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0024-2519
The Past Public Library Observed: User Perceptions and Recollections of the Twentieth-Century British Public Library Recorded in the Mass-Observation Archive
Black, Alistair
Library Quarterly, v76 n4 p438-455 Oct 2006
The Mass-Observation Archive contains a large amount of evidence, stretching back to the 1930s, of the British public's daily lives and its attitudes to local, national, and international issues and events. The archive's data-collection method takes the form of essay-style contributions submitted from anonymous volunteer correspondents who write in response to "directives": requests for commentary on particular subjects that can range from the everyday to the momentous. This article exploits evidence relating to the use of public libraries from two directives issued by the archive: "Regular Pastimes" (1988) and "Public Libraries" (1999). Evidence includes reminiscences from users regarding how libraries changed during the twentieth century and on the part the public library played in their lives: in short, the role of the library in the life of the user over time.
University of Chicago Press. Journals Division, P.O. Box 37005, Chicago, IL 60637. Tel: 877-705-188; Tel: 773-753-3347; Fax: 877-705-1879; Fax: 773-753-0811; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)