Research

Community networking: development, potentials and implications for public libraries


Reference:

Yu, L., Dempsey, L. and Ormes, S., 1999. Community networking: development, potentials and implications for public libraries. Journal of Librarianship and Informatation Science, 31 (2), pp. 71-83.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/096100069903100202

Abstract

Examines the nature of community networks and how they developed, in order to provide public librarians and decision makers with a view of emerging trends and of points of contact and comparison within the area of community information services. The research took the form of an extensive literature review, focusing on the period between 1992 and 1997, backed up by a number of community network Web sites randomly selected from the Communities Online Forum. At a later stage, a number of librarians were interviewed concerning their perception of the use of networks in public libraries’ community information services. These interviews supported the literature survey in a number of ways and unearthed some relevant literature in obscure sources that might otherwise have been overlooked. Some evidence from the interviews caused a reappraisal of the literature. The survey covered: the concept of community networks; development of community networks in the UK and USA; UK community networks using non Internet technologies; UK community networks on the World Wide Web and on intranets; the role of community networks in communication and education; and the recurrent suggestion that community networks might foster people’s social participation through electronic mail, discussion forums, online voting systems and through greater access to legislation and other government information. Concludes that the emerging network services bring together previously distinct participants and services and may lead to a new division of labour in libraries in such activities as document delivery. As public libraries build the ‘people’s network’ it will be important to learn from and build on community networking experiences.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsYu, L., Dempsey, L. and Ormes, S.
DOI10.1177/096100069903100202
Research CentresUKOLN
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code23374

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