Australian public libraries during the COVID-19 crisis: Implications for future policy and practice

Project members: Jane Garner, Simon Wakeling, Hamid Jamali, Jessie Lymn, Yazdan Mansourian, Holly Randell-Moon, Philip Hider.

This research aims to explore the response by public libraries across Australia to the COVID-19 crisis. It will assist public libraries in understanding their own roles and performance in a community crisis, and will enable them to better prepare for and react to similar crises in the future so that community needs are met as efficiently and effectively as possible. In addition, the research aims to identify possible trends in future service and resource provision resulting from measures put in place during the COVID-19 crisis.

Contact: Dr Jane Garner

Email: jagarner@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 4318

Public library research

Project members: Simon Wakeling, Waseem Afzal, Mary Carroll, Sau Ching Cheung, Jessie Lymn, Yazdan Mansourian, Asim Qayyum, Holly Randell-Moon.

The proposed work will investigate public library services from a political perspective, with a focus on the sustainability of recent investment in public library infrastructure, and the integration of library services in creative/cultural city policies.  

Contact: Dr Simon Wakeling

Email: swakeling@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 2325

Evaluating public library community engagement and impact 

 Project members: Asim Qayyum (CI), Linda Mahony and Waseem Afzal. 

The aim of the current pilot project is to measure the engagement and impact of two library services (Giggle and Wiggle and Story Time) offered in Canberra by the Libraries ACT (Australian Capital Territories) to young children and their families. Outcomes and impact of the Giggle and Wiggle and Story Time services will be studied across four domains: educational, social, cultural, and economic.  

Contact: Dr Asim Qayyum 

Email: aqayyum@csu.edu.au  

Phone: (02) 6933 2186  

Juvenile justice libraries

Project members: Jane Garner, partnering with Birchwood School, South Carolina; Department of Juvenile Justice, Parkville Youth Justice Centre, Parkville College.

The project explores the role of libraries and librarians in juvenile justice facilities. An example of international best-practice is to be used to build a case study to illustrate best-practice opportunities to Australian juvenile justice centres. 

Contact: Dr Jane Garner

Email: jagarner@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 4318

Information seeking behaviours of prisoners

Project members: Jane Garner.

Questioning Chatman’s theory of defensive information seeking behaviours in information poverty contexts, specifically that of the prison environment. 

Contact: Dr Jane Garner

Email: jagarner@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 4318

Human information behaviour in the context of serious leisure

Project members: Yazdan Mansourian, partnering with colleagues in various areas, including the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery and Indigenous Health.

This research explores various aspects of HIB in the context of serious leisure and what people can do to enhance the quality and impact of their information seeking and information sharing activities in their everyday life, in general, and in their leisure time, in particular. It also informs public library service development, and libraries’ engagement with the community.

Contact: Dr Yazdan Mansourian

Email: ymansourian@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 4092

“Our AR/VR City Walk”: Developing multiple literacies of library users in an international perspective

Project members: Helen Cheung, Gareth Jones and Bernard Doherty, partnering with Ming Hua (HK) and parties in Japan.

In this design-based research, students use collaborative learning to create an “Our AR/VR City Walk”, which introduces their city to foreigners, in order to develop their digital literacies.

Contact: Dr Helen Cheung

Email: helen@minghua.org.hk

‘The Virago Archive’

Group members: Joy Wallace, Philip Hider, Donna Bridges, Elizabeth Wulff, Valerie Ingham, and UNSW academic Anne Brewster.

The project relates to the archiving, bibliographic, textual and socio-political dimensions of contemporary literary studies, focusing on the contributions made by Virago Press to feminist thought. 

Contact: Dr Joy Wallace

Email: jwallace@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6338 4347

Hazel Smith, poet without language: A digital archive and retrospective

Group members: Joy Wallace, Hazel Smith, and Roger Dean (WSU).

Project leverages on Dr Wallace’s long association with the poet to provide a timely appraisal of her important work as one of Australia’s leading text-sound and multi-media artists. 

Contact: Dr Joy Wallace

Email: jwallace@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6338 4347

Evaluating the Library of Congress genre/form terms

Group members: Philip Hider, Hollie White, Phillipa Barlow, and research assistants.

The relatively new LCGFT, adopted by many libraries in the English-speaking world, are evaluated by comparing them with other ‘everyday’ genre classifications, in the areas of film and fiction.

Contact: Dr Philip Hider

Email: phider@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 2522

Open access in Australia: A critical study

Group members: Simon Wakeling, partnering colleagues at the University of Sheffield and Curtin University.

This project will apply a critical research approach to questions relating to Open Access publishing and dissemination in Australia. The project will be highly significant for the academic library community: OA is a key issue for libraries, with various models of journal delivery having a considerable impact on library acquisitions budgets; libraries typically also play an important role in supporting scholarly communication within their institution, and in developing OA policies. 

Contact: Dr Simon Wakeling

Email: swakeling@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02) 6933 2325

Embracing the cultural identity of burgeoning ethnic groups in regional public libraries: A pilot project with the Punjabi Indian Community in the Riverina

Group Member: Sabine Wardle, Kasey Garrison, Karen Bell

This pilot project aims to promote and embrace one burgeoning ethnic group’s cultural identity through public library services in the Riverina region, NSW. This equitable and culturally inclusive approach seeks to address the collection and services offered to Punjabi Indians by introducing a collection of resources and community activities to serve various age groups based on the input of the study participants.

Contact: Dr Sabine Wardle

Phone: (02) 69332780

Email: swardle@csu.edu.au

First-Language Reading and Wellbeing

In this project, Dr Jane Garner is developing an understanding of the experience of own-language reading for linguistically isolated library users. She is identifying the reading practices of linguistically isolated readers, their awareness of non-English language collections in public libraries, and barriers to accessing these collections. This knowledge has the potential to improve practice in public libraries and has been funded by the State Library of New South Wales who are partners in this research.

Research Aim:

To understand the experiences of ‘first-language reading’ in non-English speaking background communities, and the contributions made by public libraries to these experiences.

Research Questions:

RQ1: What is the experience of first-language reading for non-English speaking background communities?

RQ2: From where are non-English speaking background communities accessing reading in their first languages?

RQ3: To what extent are non-English speaking background communities aware of public library resources in their first languages?

RQ4: What barriers exist that limit the use of first-language public library resources

Contact: Dr Jane Garner

Email: jagarner@csu.edu.au

Phone: (02)6933 4318

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