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Modelling community engagement in public libraries

By Hui-Yun Sung and Mark Hepworth


This paper explores core concepts relating to community engagement in public libraries. It offers a new conceptual framework to help understand collaborative, productive relationships between information service providers and service users. Fundamental to this framework are two underlying variables of ‘influence of authority’ and ‘willingness to learn’. This paper explores these variables and related elements that were shown to influence the success of community engagement in public libraries in the United Kingdom. The study has developed a model of essential elements of community engagement in public libraries, as a first step towards systematic research in this area. This paper focuses on the implications for practice and suggests a community engagement model that is grounded in the reality and perceptions of the community and the participants, rather than only from an institutional perspective

Topics: Community engagement, Public libraries, Library outreach programmes, United Kingdom
Year: 2014
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