‘…And Other Information As May be Required…’
: The Role of Public Libraries in Information Provision - a case study in Gwynedd, Wales

  • Thomas Hywel James

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


The purpose of this research was to explore provision of information by public libraries, using Gwynedd Library Service, North West Wales, as a case study. The study concentrates on the resources used and users' reaction to general and specific issues relating to the provision of information by public libraries. The methodology used was primarily qualitative together with the use of relevant published quantitative data to build up a rounded picture of the usage as well as the subjective experience of the user. The main instrument for the gathering of original data was semi-structured interviews conducted with to 32 registered library users during 2009/10. The findings of the research confirm that :- usage levels of reference sections and print resources have decreased with the increased use of the Internet to look for specific information; there is a more selective use of the non-fiction collections across all user groups for information seeking with the on-line library catalogue facilitating access; a high level of appreciation for the ‘requests’ service as access and use is facilitated by information from the Internet ; low awareness of the service’s on-line resources; most users did not want assistance in finding information in the form of ‘ instruction’, usually because of time constraints, but some would welcome such support. The research suggests that public libraries were used for generic information purposes rather than for a specific purpose with a wide range of subjects noted by users underlining the need for comprehensive coverage of subjects in the resources offered by the service and access to more specialist resources when required. Users expressed satisfaction with the provision of information resources with some users noting a need for better provision and presentation of local information and for staff to promote awareness of the wide range of resources available in all formats.
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University

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