Thursday, 10 May 2007

The right 'man' for the job? The role of empathy in community librarianship

Briony Train - Principal Investigator
Kerry Wilson - Research Associate

Tuesday 12 May 07
Meetings Room 324

This talk will present progress made so far on this AHRC funded research project looking at public library staff attitudes towards social inclusion policy and disadvantaged groups in society.

The two year project (March 2006 - February 2008) has been designed to investigate the relationships between staff's own social, cultural and professional background and their capacity to make an effective, empathic contribution to social inclusion objectives. The project explores the concept of empathy within a professional public service culture, using a combination of research methods including a national survey, focus groups and interviews with a stratified sample of public library staff in England.

Specific research objectives include an exploration of the appropriateness of organizational structures and recruitment policies, particularly with reference to the traditional professional/non-professional hierarchical structure within librarianship, testing the theory that an inclusive organisation facilitates an inclusive public service.

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