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Journal cover: Library Management

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124
Incorporates: Librarian Career Development

Online from: 1979

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Exploring factors in non-use of hospital library resources by healthcare personnel

Document Information:
Title:Exploring factors in non-use of hospital library resources by healthcare personnel
Author(s):Frederick O'Dell, (Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK), Hugh Preston, (Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK)
Citation:Frederick O'Dell, Hugh Preston, (2013) "Exploring factors in non-use of hospital library resources by healthcare personnel", Library Management, Vol. 34 Iss: 1/2, pp.105 - 127
Keywords:Health care, Hospital libraries, Libraries, Non-user perceptions, Professional development, Stakeholder analysis, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01435121311298315 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate reasons for non-use of a UK hospital library service and under-utilisation by some groups of staff. The context is the increasing role of evidence-based clinical and non-clinical activity in the health sector and requirements for professional development.

Design/methodology/approach – A purposive sample survey of staff groups in an acute services, teaching and district general hospital (DGH) is carried out. Three core themes for non-use of hospital libraries are identified from the literature and the survey findings are evaluated in accordance with those themes using quantitative and qualitative evidence.

Findings – The evaluation demonstrates that the three selected themes of ignorance of service, not having a need and perceived bar on access are based on shortcomings in library promotion and hospital staff members' assumptions about access and benefits.

Research limitations/implications – Selection of specific non-use factors within a larger list from previous studies enables a focus on issues that have previously been less fully investigated. The limited scale of the research indicates the value of a further larger scale survey.

Practical implications – The findings could help health sector libraries to improve service delivery and increase the number of library users.

Originality/value – The selected themes have only been previously investigated in broader studies and not in the specific detail of the current study. The study focuses on perception of service benefit as well as practical issues of access and so can be of value to hospital library managers in their aim of achieving or endorsing a role within the core hospital ethos.

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