Public library digital services, emergent issues of access and acceptable use

  • David McMenemy

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This research programme presented for consideration of the award of PhD by publication, presents a portfolio of 15 papers published between 2004 and 2018, and explores the transformation of public library digital services in a time of significant change. Initially exploring access issues from an organisational (policy) and architectural (design) perspective, ongoing work led to fundamental concerns over acceptable use from a user and ethical (behavioural) perspective. Significant access issues were initially discovered in relation to inconsistent digital service categorisation in architectural design, and restrictive policies and procedures.;Further studies identified acceptable use policies that were not fit for purpose, and Internet filtering systems blocking legitimate content. Issues were also identified around the use of third party service providers, and the impact on user privacy that results, as well as what constituted acceptable use from the point of view of library patrons. Issues of public awareness of appropriate ethical behaviours then led to a critical examination of approaches to character education in information literacy education, notably identifying a lack of explicit attention to important aspects of ethical education in information literacy frameworks and models, and establishing a research agenda for further work.;A range of research methods are utilised across the 15 papers that make up the submission, including literature reviews, surveys of library users and staff, heuristic evaluation of digital services, unobtrusive testing of access to public library services, content analysis of digital services, and content analysis of information literacy frameworks.
Date of Award1 Mar 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
SupervisorSteven Buchanan (Supervisor) & Forbes Gibb (Supervisor)

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