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An evaluation of community-managed libraries in Liverpool

Smith, CR (2019) An evaluation of community-managed libraries in Liverpool. Library Management, 40 (5). pp. 327-337. ISSN 0143-5124

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Community libraries now constitute a significant proportion of library provision in the UK; however, there is relatively little research on how the transfer to this model has affected those libraries, and the wider balance of provision. This paper aims to broaden the discourse and understanding about the impact changing libraries to community models is having. The paper provides a qualitative evaluation of all the libraries transferred to community-managed models within a large city council region in the UK. Structured research visits were made to appraise each library. These are discussed in the context of published literature and data both specific to the study area and nationally. Transferring the management of libraries to community organisations is often reactive and perceived with negative associations. This study uncovers increases in use and diversification of services following transfer; however, support from the local authority and the previous experience of managing organisations are significant factors. It also reveals how successful transfer led to more following, but that support can be inconsistent when they do. The paper provides a study of community-managed libraries across a large city council area, affording an in-depth understanding of their impact on overall provision over one region. It will be of value to those involved in library management and service provision at both local and strategic levels, including local authorities and community groups considering library transfer.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0807 Library and Information Studies
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Divisions: Art & Design
Publisher: Emerald
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 08:04
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 09:24
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/LM-09-2018-0072
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10713
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