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Borrowing and lending tools: The materiality of x-lending libraries
University of Borås, Faculty of Librarianship, Information, Education and IT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9448-7985
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Libraries lend an expanding array of items: bikes, clothes, seeds, and tools, to name a few. In correspondence with this development, the library as concept is increasingly connected with current sharing trends. At the same time, the library is expected to still be about books, literature, and reading, to deal in information and documents. The library is regarded as a well-established and predictable institution of integrity. These intriguing dynamics of responsiveness and stability provide the inspiration for this work.

The thesis presents a case study of tool lending libraries. The aim is to explore what is introduced here as x-lending libraries: the idea of libraries based on the types of materials borrowed and lent. Findings show that patrons, staff, and managers experience their tool lending library as immediately and locally relevant to their community, rather than related to long-term global concerns. In their experience, the tool lending library is also decidedly different from other libraries. Seemingly, what is borrowed and lent is important to understanding the role different libraries play in their communities. In other words, material matters.

The work concludes with proposing a theoretical concept for how different values involved in library borrowing and lending can be understood, again in the community context.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Borås, 2018.
Series
Skrifter från Valfrid, ISSN 1103-6990 ; 64
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-13871ISBN: 978-91-981653-6-4 (print)ISBN: 978-91-981653-7-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-13871DiVA, id: diva2:1192733
Public defence
2018-06-05, C203, Allégatan 1, Borås, 13:00
Available from: 2018-05-14 Created: 2018-03-23 Last updated: 2018-05-15Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Collections Redux: The Public Library as a Place of Community Borrowing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Collections Redux: The Public Library as a Place of Community Borrowing
2015 (English)In: Library quarterly, ISSN 0024-2519, E-ISSN 1549-652X, Vol. 85, no 3, p. 244-260Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article presents an overview of the Western public library’s development into its present form(s) and its shift to the prevailing social perspective. This leads to a discussion of “digital and point-oh libraries” as one of two major strands and “social space and place” as the other. Our main critique is that this development has caused an unfortunate downplay of societal perspectives in favor of a focus on social issues. Another side effect is a growing lack of attention to the potential of physical, on-site collections. By proposing a specific counterexample, we discuss library collections as a community concern and as a step toward bridging the social-societal gap. The potential of a redefined on-site collection is set against the backdrop of public libraries offering nontraditional collections, such as tool-lending libraries

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Keywords
borrowing, collection development, community development, public libraries, place, sustainable development
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-241 (URN)10.1086/681608 (DOI)
Projects
Borrowing and consumerism: The future of public library collections for sustainable communities
Available from: 2015-06-24 Created: 2015-06-24 Last updated: 2018-05-15Bibliographically approved
2. Borrowing tools from the public library
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Borrowing tools from the public library
2016 (English)In: Journal of Documentation, ISSN 0022-0418, E-ISSN 1758-7379, Vol. 72, no 1, p. 140-155Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to investigate tool lending library patrons’ perception of their tool borrowing, in order to explore the role of a public lending service in the context of their lives. It addresses the research question, why do patrons borrow tools from the library?

Design/methodology/approach– A case study was conducted, consisting of semi-structured interviews with patrons of a tool lending library. Led by a phenomenographic approach, the interviews focused on participants’ recounted experiences. Transcripts were structured into major categories and underlying themes. Findings were discussed from a perspective taking departure in Wiegand’s notion of “the library in the life of the user,” and summarized with regards to sustainable community development.

Findings– Participants are found to talk about their tool borrowing from two main viewpoints. First, reasons for making the decision. This involves weighing practical considerations, e.g., cost, storage, access, and frequency of use. It also includes ideological motivations, and sympathy with the concept. Second, effects of their borrowing, interpreted as how it enables them. This enablement includes inspiration, learning, support to self-employment, and strengthening of community. Patrons focus on local aspects of social and economic development, rather than global or environmental motivations.

Research limitations/implications– A single and in part unique setting was studied. The findings provide foundation for a developed discussion on the societal role of public libraries providing “non-traditional” materials such as tools, with particular regards to community settings and sustainability.

Originality/value– Addresses knowledge gaps on borrowing and tool lending libraries.

Keywords
public libraries, communities, borrowing, non-traditional collections, tool lending libraries
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-8442 (URN)10.1108/JD-01-2015-0010 (DOI)2-s2.0-84949761480 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-01-12 Created: 2016-01-12 Last updated: 2018-05-15Bibliographically approved
3. Tool lending librarianship
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Tool lending librarianship
2018 (English)In: Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, ISSN 0961-0006, E-ISSN 1741-6477, Vol. 50, no 4, p. 374-385Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the work of tool lending libraries from the perspective of staff and decision makers. It addresses what role serving community members with tools plays, and what this in turn means for the professional role of library work. The study builds on semi-structured interviews with tool lending specialists and managers from three US municipalities. Participants are found to perceive their library and their work as something of practical, local and immediate relevance. Compared to traditional library work, participants perceive their setting to require patrons and staff to be more directly and actively social. Several participants stress the importance of staff being experienced tool users themselves, leading the article to conclude with a discussion on reference competence.

Keywords
enablement, non-traditional collections, provision, reference, tool lending librarianship, tool lending libraries
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-11168 (URN)10.1177/0961000616666627 (DOI)
Available from: 2016-11-24 Created: 2016-11-24 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
4. Not Like Other Libraries?: Patrons' Experience of a Tool Lending Library
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Not Like Other Libraries?: Patrons' Experience of a Tool Lending Library
(English)In: Information research, ISSN 1368-1613, E-ISSN 1368-1613Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Introduction. Tool lending libraries are a relative new and under-studied phenomenon in library research. The aim of this paper is to explore how patrons of a tool lending library experience such a library, in order to understand its role for the community members it serves.

Method. Patrons of a tool lending library were interviewed and observations were conducted at the library site.

Analysis. Qualitative analysis with open coding was conducted on the empirical material consisting of transcripts and field notes. A library community model was used as a framework to structure the coded results by the categories of place, collection and people.

Results. Results show that participants themselves would talk about a community of and around the library. While the whole model deals with community, statements about community were mostly collected in the place category as they relate to the geographic and social place of the library. Results further outline how participants experienced the tool lending library’s collection, service, and staff, emphasising its perceived uniqueness.

Conclusion. Participants experienced the tool lending library as intensely social, which was also observed by the researcher. Compared to other libraries, it is seen as less straightforward and requiring more interaction with staff. This was framed by participants as contributing positively to their experiences of using it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Borås
National Category
Information Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-14172 (URN)
Available from: 2018-05-15 Created: 2018-05-15 Last updated: 2018-09-28

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