Posted by: bluesyemre | February 1, 2021

Downloading a new normal (#Privacy, exclusion, and information behaviour in #PublicLibrary digital services use during COVID – A New UK-Based Research Project)

The necessity to switch from analogue to digital in so much day-to-day living has been the overarching experience of the COVID lockdown for many of the UK population. This project explores “the digital turn” and how compelled use of digital services during COVID lockdown and beyond has impacted one specific sector, namely public libraries across the UK. In doing so it considers issues that have been faced in other public and private organisations across society because of the lockdown, such as

(1) privacy and ethical issues in the utilisation of digital in the spaces that were previously overtly analogue in nature,

(2) linked issues of digital exclusion and ensuring equity of access, and

(3) how information behaviours have adapted and/or been impacted across age groups and other societal demographics.

The project runs from December 2020 until February 2022 and is based in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at the University of Strathclyde.

This project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) under the UKRI’s COVID-19 Rapid Response programme.

The project is managed by Dr. David McMenemy (Principal Investigator) and Prof. Ian Ruthven (Co-Investigator).

Aims and objectives

This project explores the ‘digital turn’ brought about by COVID, the experience of the compelled move from analogue to digital in public libraries, from multiple perspectives :–
(1) Organisational and sectoral issues
(2) Ethical issues
(3) User information behaviour issues

Research questions
The project will investigate six research questions exploring the themes above:
• RQ1. To what extent has the usage of digital services in public libraries across the UK increased as a result of COVID?
• RQ2. How do the public libraries mitigate any digital exclusion issues?
• RQ3. What are the experiences of users in utilising these services from behavioural and digital exclusion perspectives?
• RQ4. What information on privacy issues is presented by public libraries to users related to the use of 3rd party services?
• RQ5. How accessible/understandable are the privacy policies of the 3rd party vendors?
• RQ6. How aware of the privacy issues related to the use of 3rd party services in libraries are library users?

Public Library Websites in the UK

On this page we host links to public library websites in the UK. if you are aware of any dead links or issues, please let us know and we will update.

Public Library Websites in England

Public Library Websites in Northern Ireland

Public Library Websites in Scotland

Public Library Websites in Wales

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