Date of Award
Master of Science
Elizabeth Aversa, William Robinson
Studies published in a selected set of 20 scholarly library and information science journals were examined to determine the amount of research conducted about or in public libraries compared with academic, school, and special libraries Only refereed journals published in the U S and targeted for a general audience of librarians were included in the set Of the 241 articles included, 77% were about academic libraries and 23% were about public libraries (30 of the articles (12%) considered more than one library type) Academic librarians published 51% and academic researchers published 38% of the studies Authorship, author occupation, and subjects studied within the subset of public-library-related research articles were also examined. Within the 94 public-library-related articles, academic researchers authored 59%, academic librarians wrote 19%, and public librarians wrote 9% (several of the multi-author articles included more than one occupation m the author list, indicating collaboration among occupations). Possible consequences of a comparatively low number of published studies on the effectiveness of public libraries and practitioners are considered, including a lack of innovation in public libraries, reduced or limited status of public librarians within the profession, and poor representation of public library problems in the overall knowledge base Participation of public librarians m formal research is also discussed, especially in the context of a practice-theory communication gap in library and information science. Future research topics are suggested
Goodbody, Margaret Grant, "Counting published public library research: an exploratory study using content analysis. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2000.