Do working public librarians in Ireland perceive and run their libraries as community centres?

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Kearns, Niamh
Issue Date
MSc Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
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This study explores the role of the public library in the community from the perspective of Irish librarians. There is a global conversation taking place on the role of the public library in the community, and whether the concept of the public library as a community centre has always existed or is a new phenomenon. While there is a growing body of literature internationally on this topic, the researcher explored the topic in an Irish context. The researcher used qualitative methods. She interviewed four experienced librarians working in the public library system. The study would seem to suggest that public librarians in Ireland do perceive their libraries as community centres. It further suggests that the librarians consider that Irish libraries have always had a community service element to their role and that as the needs of society have changed Irish libraries have evolved to meet those needs.