The role of public libraries in Glasgow Communities in the 21st Century

Lead Research Organisation: University of Strathclyde
Department Name: Computer and Information Sciences


The proposed theoretical framework will bring together theories and models of information behaviour with theories of cultural capital to better understand the PL role in developing cultural competencies; fostering, supporting, empowering and connecting individuals, groups, and communities in both the physical and digital space; and contributing to community creativity, prosperity, values and participation.
PLs provide and facilitate access to cultural capital and community information; however, numerous studies have shown that many people experience great difficulties in recognizing, expressing and meeting their needs for information, and that in disadvantaged circumstances, this can lead to a stratified and disengaged existence within an impoverished (small) information world focused on immediate information needs, with negative implications for cultural development. Low levels of cultural competency compound such issues.
Identification of specific PL mechanisms (creating/generating cultural competencies and capital) has been highlighted as requiring research attention, as has the PL role in facilitating cultural capital as a means of addressing social exclusion and stimulating community engagement. A need for greater understanding of cultural competence within the LIS profession has also been highlighted. This studentship will investigate (within the cultural context): information needs and behaviours; the nature and extent of people's community interactions; the various strategies and activating mechanisms; cultural competency as an affective factor; and the PL role. Of national importance, the studentship will provide important empirical evidence of a key societal (PL) community role, particularly in disadvantaged circumstances.


10 25 50