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Title:Community Resilience and the Role of the Public Library
Author(s):Grace, Dan; Sen, Barbara
Subject(s):Public Libraries
Abstract:Communities face increasing threats from disasters precipitated by climate change, biodiversity loss, and energy and food insecurity. In the face of such threats, communities must adopt strategies that build resilience. The library has a role to play in such strategies. This study explores how, through an examination of day-to-day working practices, public libraries promote and inhibit community resilience. The methodology used combined autoethnography and situational analysis. A reflective journal was kept documenting experience across a period of four months. Situational analysis was used to elucidate the data content. Several areas of interest emerged: the existence of a split between the social worlds of the library worker and user, the role of technology in this split, the role of professionalism as discourse in rationalizing the use of certain technologies, the role of management in perpetuating this discourse, the place of outreach in bridging the gap between these social worlds, and the environment as an abiding concern. Each of these areas provides a potential site for new policies and practices and for further research regarding the role of the public library in building community resilience.
Issue Date:2013-03
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:In Library trends 61(3) Winter 2013: 513-541.
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright 2013 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2013-11-16

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