Data collection by multi-location, longitudinal focus group: an application in library and information science research

Leo Appleton

Dr Leo Appleton

I have recently published a new paper on research methods in Library and Information Science (LIS) research with Dr Leo Appleton of the Information School at Sheffield University.

This work is concerned with the data collection phase of Leo‘s part-time doctoral study completed in 2020 within the Centre for Social Informatics.  For this, Leo deployed a novel multi-location longitudinal focus group method. Fifty-three participants took part in three rounds of focus group meetings in eight public library authorities in England and Scotland over a period of three years. Continue reading

The public library as public sphere: new article accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation

Journal of Documentation 2021The public library as public sphere: a longitudinal analysis has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Documentation. I recently co-authored this article with Dr Leo Appleton (Senior University Teacher at the University of Sheffield).

In the article, Leo and I discuss the role of the UK public library as a public sphere, and the ways in which this role relates to the epistemic, community, and political functions of public libraries. The article is a major output from Leo‘s doctoral research, which he completed part-time in the Centre for Social Informatics. The findings presented in the article derive from the analysis of empirical data that Leo collected in 24 focus groups with active public library users over a period of four years. Continue reading

Paper acceptance at #CoLIS11 for Rachel Salzano and her supervision team

Rachel Salzano

Rachel Salzano

Centre for Social Informatics PhD student Rachel Salzano is looking forward to travelling to Oslo at the end of May to present a paper accepted for Conceptions of Library and Information Science CoLIS 2022.

Co-authored with her supervision team (myself, Dr Gemma Webster and Dr David Brazier) Rachel’s paper is concerned with the findings from an element of the empirical work that she has undertaken for her doctoral study: an analysis of documents gathered from Scottish local authorities on strategies to support the integration of newcomer populations who have entered the country as a result of forced migration. The specific focus of this piece of research is the perceived role of Scottish public libraries in such efforts. Continue reading

Call to UK public library staff (any level) to contribute to study on services for refugees and asylum seekers

Do you work with refugees and/or asylum seekers (forced migrants) as part of your role in a UK public library? Can you assist a PhD student with her study on forced migrants’ use of UK public libraries? Perhaps you have colleagues or other contacts who could help out?

Rachel Salzano of Edinburgh Napier University seeks public library staff (at any level) willing to take part in interviews about their experience of delivering public library services to forced migrants. The interviews last approximately 1 hour and are organised at the interviewee’s convenience. Please contact Rachel on the form at https://librariansanslibrary.weebly.com/contact or email r.salzano@napier.ac.uk to contribute to this important work.

From Brazil to Finland in 19 hours

Over the past couple of days I have achieved something that I would never have agreed to attempt in ‘normal’ times: I attended two PhD examinations on two different continents, 19 hours apart*. Continue reading

Contributions sought: What does the public library mean to refugees and asylum speakers?

Rachel Salzano art exhibition call posterCentre for Social Informatics PhD student Rachel Salzano is currently seeking submissions for a public exhibition of art work to represent the reasons that refugees and asylum seekers use UK public library services. Rachel will be pleased to feature all types of art work in the exhibition, including, for example, photographs, paintings, collages, and 3D creations. Continue reading

Opportunity for refugees and asylum seekers to contribute to research on UK public library services

Do you know or work with adult refugees and/or asylum seekers who have lived in the UK for 5 years or fewer? If so, please could you let them know about this opportunity to contribute to an on-going research project within the Centre for Social Informatics by completing a short online questionnaire at tinyurl.com/culturepubliclibraries. Continue reading

Information Research December 2020 issue available with six contributions from the Centre for Social Informatics

Information Research logoThe December 2020 issue of Information Research is now available. Alongside the ‘regular’ papers and book reviews, this issue incorporates all the papers and posters from the Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) conference hosted online by the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa in September. Continue reading

All set for #asist20

ASIST2020 logoFollowing three days of virtual pre-conference workshops and the annual doctoral colloquium, the annual meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology 2020 ‘proper’ opens today.  The opening keynote speaker is Houman Haddad, Head of Emerging Technologies, United Nations World Food Programme (Nobel Peace Prize winner). He will present to the online audience on blockchain technology for humanitarian assistance at 09:00 EDT (13:00 GMT in the UK).

Several members of the Centre for Social Informatics are making co-authored contributions to ASIST 2020: Continue reading

All set for #isic2020

ISIC 2020 banner logo

The 2020 Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) conference is hosted this week by our colleagues at the Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Had circumstances been different, several members of the Centre for Social Informatics would be in South Africa now. The PhD students would be joining today’s doctoral workshop in person, and everyone preparing to present their papers and posters face-to-face over the course of the main conference from Tuesday to Thursday this week (as has been the case at past ISIC conferences, e.g. 2018 in Kraków, Poland, 2016 in Zadar, Croatia, 2014 in Leeds) . Continue reading