Can Irish Public Libraries Fulfil their Role as Places of Sanctuary within Contemporary Society?

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Clinton, Frances
Issue Date
MSc in Information and Library Management
Dublin Business School
This study explores, from the perspective of librarians working in Irish Public Libraries, whether Irish Public Libraries can fulfil their role as places of sanctuary within contemporary society as they are currently structured, resourced and provided for, what these librarians perceive this concept, role and its requirements to be and how they define and delimit this role. Mixed methods in the form of questionnaire and interview were applied. Participants from 14 counties in Ireland ranging from Library Assistant to County Librarian included 71 librarians by questionnaire and 6 librarians by interview. Research findings show that the concept and role of Irish Public Libraires as places of sanctuary are perceived by librarians as wide ranging and without clear boundaries and that librarians perceive the fulfilment of this role as achievable with government support that is informed by librarians.