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Research Roadmap for Strengthening the Library Field

About

Much research has been done over the past 20 years about public libraries. Many datasets, reports, and other materials exist based on this research, yet most of them reside on disparate platforms and in separate repositories. The Research Roadmap to Strengthen the Library Field project addresses this need by gathering and organizing existing data and research, bringing the accumulated knowledge about the public library field into one repository that is easily accessible. Designed to inform the future work of researchers and practitioners in the library field, the project will also develop guidelines for research design, data collection, and data publication that will enable more effective integration of future research done and data collected so others can build upon the work of this project.

This project will produce several outputs that are expected to help strengthen the library field. These include the repository describing materials and data related to current and historical activities that are of high value for the library field, targeted materials that highlight important findings and gaps identified in the body of research, and an online platform that makes data not only accessible but usable. These products will enable the collection, organization, and use of quantitative and qualitative data related to library impact within the community, as well as information, data, and collateral materials related to exemplary services and programs that may provide insights into effective use of resources to meet community needs.

Project Design

  • Activities

1. Developing a portal that will provide interactive access to two dataset collections: (1) existing impact and evaluation projects and (2) best practice services and programs of relevance to the library field

2. Publishing short, targeted briefs that highlight significant efforts and data derived from our analysis of the research and datasets, as well as identifying important findings and gaps in the existing body of work that have the potential for broader impact within and outside the library field

3. Providing guidelines for research design, data collection, and data publication that will enable more effective integration of future research and datasets

4. Creating a platform prototype that will provide user-centered functionalities, specifically the ability to not only find, but to understand, use, integrate, and display data


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