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Mind the gap: Societal limits to public library effectiveness

Glorieux, Ignace, Kuppens, Toon and Vandebroeck, Dieter 2007. Mind the gap: Societal limits to public library effectiveness. Library & Information Science Research 29 (2) , pp. 188-208. 10.1016/j.lisr.2007.03.003

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This article focuses on the effectiveness of Flemish (Belgian) public libraries in reaching a large and socially diverse public. A statistical model is developed which incorporates unique data gathered through a large-scale visitor survey, a survey of librarians and municipal demographic information. By taking into account both characteristics of the public library and its surrounding community, the impact public libraries themselves have on the number and composition of their visitors can be clearly assessed. Factors such as the percentage of CDs, videos, and DVDs in the collection, and the opening hours are positively associated with the overall number of visitors and also the amount of male visitors. However, the model reveals a rather limited impact of the library on the percentage of lower-educated visitors; this percentage seems to be largely determined by municipality characteristics. The results hope to contribute to a discussion on library effectiveness and the current demands being placed on libraries and their staff.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0740-8188
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2016 22:57

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