May 25, 2022

The Changing World Of Public Libraries in the Pandemic: A New UK-Based Research Project

From the University of Strathclyde:

The experiences of library users adapting to digital lending are being explored in research at the University of Strathclyde.


The study will examine changes in information behaviour, issues around the potential emergence of a ‘digital divide’ and concerns over privacy. It is being funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC), under the UKRI COVID-19 Rapid Response programme.

The research will examine: the extent to which digital service use has increased in public libraries as a result of the pandemic; ways in which libraries mitigate problems with exclusion; library users’ experiences of digital services; information provided by libraries on privacy related to third party services; the accessibility and clarity of privacy policies, and library users’ awareness of privacy issues.


The project is being led by Dr David McMenemy and Professor Ian Ruthven, both of Strathclyde’s Department of Computer & Information Sciences.


The researchers will be gathering information for the project through various sources, including Freedom of Information requests, online focus groups, analysis of library websites and a national survey by a market research company.

Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Project Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.