Public Library Research Needs and Uses

Our current study is “Public Library Research Needs and Uses.” In this study the researchers intend to find out WHAT information public librarians need to provide the best possible library services, HOW they use this information, and WHICH types of information they find challenging to locate or use effectively. We are studying these questions because we intend to build a free, online Public Library Collaboratory aimed at addressing the research needs of public library practitioners across the United States.

Would you like to participate in this project? You can:

  • Take our survey HERE.
  • Sign up for the final report of the survey, or to comment on a draft by filling out the contact form below.
  • Or sign up to participate in the Collaboratory by sharing research questions, ideas, or data, or becoming a research site for potential studies.

What is the Public Library Collaboratory?

The Collaboratory is an initiative of the Public Library Leadership Research Project at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Information Studies. It’s aimed at linking students to real-world problems in libraries, at providing useful information for library stakeholders, and offering research opportunities and information for Library and Information Science scholars.

A collaboratory is a place where researchers and practitioners can collaborate to create better library practice and policy. It is an online, open-access archive. Anyone signed up for the Public Library Collaboratory will have free access to the tools, data, and message boards the Collaboratory will include.

The Collaboratory is being constructed now, and will be available for use in 2016. As we consider the best ways to populate an open-source data archive of public library-related research we need your feedback on the types of research you use and value. The survey above will help us make sure we include exactly what librarians need in the Collaboratory. Within the year we will have the site running. It will provide opportunities for individual libraries throughout the US to answer their vital research questions, and ensure the best evidence-based practices for all.

What would YOU like to see in the Collaboratory?


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