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Information barriers in libraries: types, typologies and Polish empirical studies

Information barriers in libraries: types, typologies and Polish empirical studies Purpose – The aim of this paper is to describe the Polish empirical studies of information barriers. The focus is to highlight the hierarchy of barriers, and the relation between demographic variables (sex, age, discipline etc.) and perception of barriers. Design/methodology/approach – After a deep literature review some empirical studies have been conducted. Respondents were divided into groups in terms of: sex, field of study (social sciences, human sciences, natural sciences and technical sciences), age, science degree and year of study. In analysis of data two statistical methods: analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a chi‐square test ( χ 2 ) were used. Findings – The phenomenon of information barriers is very common, encountered by around 80 per cent of users. The most troublesome barriers were barriers connected with libraries. The study showed that the sex variable had varied the respondents' answers to the greatest extent. The women perceived information barriers as a more serious problem than men ( p <0.001). With regard to types of discipline, the faculty group found information barriers more troublesome in such disciplines as humanities and social sciences than in natural or technical sciences ( p= 0.001 ). Research limitations/implications – The hierarchy of barriers obtained from the study is related to a particular environment, a given group of users, the equipment of home library. Practical implications – Studies of this subject may prove valuable in identifying people that are likely to experience difficulties in access to information. Originality/value – The knowledge of the relation between demographic variables and perception of barriers, in earlier literature, was fragmentary. Findings may lead to a better understanding of the information barriers phenomenon by librarians and library users as well. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Management Emerald Publishing

Information barriers in libraries: types, typologies and Polish empirical studies

Library Management , Volume 32 (6/7): 10 – Jul 26, 2011

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References (17)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-5124
DOI
10.1108/01435121111158619
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to describe the Polish empirical studies of information barriers. The focus is to highlight the hierarchy of barriers, and the relation between demographic variables (sex, age, discipline etc.) and perception of barriers. Design/methodology/approach – After a deep literature review some empirical studies have been conducted. Respondents were divided into groups in terms of: sex, field of study (social sciences, human sciences, natural sciences and technical sciences), age, science degree and year of study. In analysis of data two statistical methods: analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a chi‐square test ( χ 2 ) were used. Findings – The phenomenon of information barriers is very common, encountered by around 80 per cent of users. The most troublesome barriers were barriers connected with libraries. The study showed that the sex variable had varied the respondents' answers to the greatest extent. The women perceived information barriers as a more serious problem than men ( p <0.001). With regard to types of discipline, the faculty group found information barriers more troublesome in such disciplines as humanities and social sciences than in natural or technical sciences ( p= 0.001 ). Research limitations/implications – The hierarchy of barriers obtained from the study is related to a particular environment, a given group of users, the equipment of home library. Practical implications – Studies of this subject may prove valuable in identifying people that are likely to experience difficulties in access to information. Originality/value – The knowledge of the relation between demographic variables and perception of barriers, in earlier literature, was fragmentary. Findings may lead to a better understanding of the information barriers phenomenon by librarians and library users as well.

Journal

Library ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 26, 2011

Keywords: Information management; Libraries; Barriers; Anxiety

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