Sam Dodd deposited Stories Not Statistics: A Qualitative Narrative Exploration of the Value of Public Libraries in the United Kingdom on Humanities Commons 5 months, 3 weeks ago
This study investigates the value of the public library service, and library buildings in particular, in qualitative terms, with a focus on how the public library can address issues of loneliness and belonging. A qualitative narrative approach is taken, to develop ‘library stories’ and provide a deeper understanding which complements quantitative studies and library statistics. A three-stage research approach is taken: an initial literature analysis to identify issues and themes, leads to a directed content analysis of some of this material to generate micro-narratives, which are complemented by an evocative autoethnography. Interrelated connections emerge concerning where our bodies belong, and vulnerable and marginalised users; and new types of knowledges are identified. This is a novel combination of methods for library/information research, with the potential to highlight in new ways the value of library services and buildings. The study deals with UK public libraries between 2000 and 2021.