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Non‐resident use of public libraries in Appalachia

Non‐resident use of public libraries in Appalachia Purpose – This paper aims to report on the findings of the first phase of a three‐phase research project that explores the use of public libraries by non‐residents and how public library directors perceive the value of non‐resident use for their libraries and communities. The findings will inform public librarians by revealing strategies and policies that are used for serving non‐resident users. Design/methodology/approach – In‐depth interviews were conducted with 18 library directors throughout the Appalachian region of the eastern USA. A grounded analysis of the interview transcripts using NVivo 8 software was undertaken. Findings – A variety of non‐resident user types was identified. Approaches to offering library services to non‐resident users varied accordingly. People visit communities for a variety of reasons; tourism, genealogical research, or family visits are just a few examples. In doing so, these visitors usually bolster the communities' economies. Practical implications – By effectively serving the needs of non‐residents, public libraries support the economic development of their resident communities. These services should be documented, evaluated, and publicized. Libraries with unique collections might consider promoting themselves as destination libraries. Originality/value – This article is a valuable addition to the literature as little research has been reported about non‐resident library use. In an increasingly mobile society, public librarians must begin a meaningful dialog about how to best serve these important customers. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Library Management Emerald Publishing

Non‐resident use of public libraries in Appalachia

Library Management , Volume 32 (8/9): 13 – Oct 25, 2011

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0143-5124
DOI
10.1108/01435121111187905
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to report on the findings of the first phase of a three‐phase research project that explores the use of public libraries by non‐residents and how public library directors perceive the value of non‐resident use for their libraries and communities. The findings will inform public librarians by revealing strategies and policies that are used for serving non‐resident users. Design/methodology/approach – In‐depth interviews were conducted with 18 library directors throughout the Appalachian region of the eastern USA. A grounded analysis of the interview transcripts using NVivo 8 software was undertaken. Findings – A variety of non‐resident user types was identified. Approaches to offering library services to non‐resident users varied accordingly. People visit communities for a variety of reasons; tourism, genealogical research, or family visits are just a few examples. In doing so, these visitors usually bolster the communities' economies. Practical implications – By effectively serving the needs of non‐residents, public libraries support the economic development of their resident communities. These services should be documented, evaluated, and publicized. Libraries with unique collections might consider promoting themselves as destination libraries. Originality/value – This article is a valuable addition to the literature as little research has been reported about non‐resident library use. In an increasingly mobile society, public librarians must begin a meaningful dialog about how to best serve these important customers.

Journal

Library ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 25, 2011

Keywords: Public libraries; Non‐resident library use; Valuation; United States of America; Social values; Libraries

References