The public library as public sphere: a longitudinal analysis – full article available as EarlyCite

Appleton Hall 2022 public library sphere EarlyCiteThe public library and pubic sphere: a longitudinal analysis is now available as a full paper (HTML or PDF) from the Journal of Documentation as an EarlyCite publication. This is the final output from Dr Leo Appleton‘s part-time doctoral study, completed in 2020 within the Centre for Social Informatics at Edinburgh Napier University. 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

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 or email to contribute to this important work.