Our Research in Progress

The Traditional, the Digital, and You: Wisconsin Librarians Respond to the Pew Report

The SOIS Public Libraries Leadership scholars are currently working on a group research project, a mixed methods study of Wisconsin librarians’ reactions and responses to the Pew report on “Library Services in the Digital Age.”  This Pew Research Center report  indicates that public libraries are an essential service, location, and resource in their respective communities.

We gathered data from interviews from public library directors and system directors regarding their reactions to the Pew Report. In phase one (spring 2013) of this study we used grounded theory methods to identify themes in the interview data. In phase two (fall 2015) we will do a large-scale survey of Wisconsin librarians on resonances and dissonances with the Pew study, as experienced locally.

Our Purpose

  • What is the level of Wisconsin librarians’ engagement (or non-engagement) with the Pew report, and their reactions? Agreement? Disagreement?
  • This report illuminates the robust state of public libraries, which challenges the perception of libraries as dying, dead, or dated.  We will use this report and subsequent research to determine needs for future research.
  • We seek to facilitate awareness among practitioners, scholars, and funding institutions of the importance of this data on the library profession.
  • To support and further the research on public libraries among the professors and doctoral students at SOIS.

Participate in this Study

We are looking for library directors, system directors, consortium leaders, and other public library administrators to participate in this study. Please contact us if you would be willing to do an hour-long interview and offer your views on the Pew report.

Early Results

An in-progress report of the study

Initial report on focus groups with librarians




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