September 28, 2021

Journal Article: “Public Libraries Embrace Citizen Science: Strengths and Challenges”

The research article (full text) linked below was recently published by Library and Information Science Research.

Title

Public Libraries Embrace Citizen Science: Strengths and Challenges

Authors

Anna Cigarini
Universitat de Barcelona
Universitat de Barcelona Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS)
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

Isabelle Bonhoure
Universitat de Barcelona Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS)
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

Julián Vicens
Universitat de Barcelona Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS)
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

Josep Perelló
Universitat de Barcelona Institute of Complex Systems (UBICS)
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Spain

Source

Library & Information Science Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.lisr.2021.101090

Abstract

Can public libraries become hubs for citizen science? In line with the principles of citizen science, this question was answered collaboratively with librarians from the Barcelona Network of Public Libraries who performed two hands-on activities. One activity was a training course taken by 30 librarians from 24 different libraries which enabled them to envisage citizen science implementation at each library. The other activity consisted of co-creating a citizen social science project and involved 40 library users, seven librarians from three different cities, and professional scientists.

The analysis considers the perspectives of both librarians and users, through participant observation, surveys, and a focus group to identify strengths and challenges. The overall results suggest that public libraries can offer leadership in the promotion of citizen science and contribute to the mission of public libraries to act as local community hubs. The main challenges identified were related to the complexity of collaboration, uncertainty regarding research co-creation, and participant retention strategies.

Direct to Full Text Article

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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