My name is Christine Rooney-Browne and I am a PhD researcher based within the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.
I passionately believe in the potential of public libraries to educate, challenge and inspire and am currently investigating the social value of public libraries. My research interests encompass public library evaluation, social auditing, and the nature of public library services in the twenty-first century.
Overview of PhD Research
The role of the public library in society can be a subjective concept and the impacts that a visit to the public library can have on the life of the individual and the community can be remarkable. Despite this there has been limited research conducted to determine the social value of public libraries. Currently, the performance of libraries is determined by quantitative outputs, e.g. book issues or visitor figures, rather than qualitative outcomes, such as improved self esteem of individuals, and impact on communities.
It is hypothesised that judging the success of a public library based on its outputs rather than its impact means that the social value of a public library is overlooked.
- Determine the social value placed on public libraries by stakeholders.
- Develop and implement a novel methodology for investigating the social value of public libraries.
My research is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and is due for completion in September 2010.
Please note that the views and opinions expressed on this blog are personal and are not endorsed by the University of Strathclyde or the AHRC.