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"The more they learn, the more they understand": Irish Travellers and public libraries in the Republic of Ireland

Malone, Tamara and McGuinness, Claire (2024) "The more they learn, the more they understand": Irish Travellers and public libraries in the Republic of Ireland. An Leabharlann: The Irish Library, 33 (1). pp. 9-18. ISSN 2009-6062

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Many of the disadvantages Irish Travellers face may be countered by public library provision; we decided to examine the extent to which the information needs of this group are met by Irish public libraries in a qualitative and exploratory project, in which five Irish Travellers, two settled persons working with Traveller organisations, and a public library professional were interviewed. Interview findings along with an analysis of Irish public library documentation and a literature review were analysed by themes of (1) misperceptions of the library service, (2) the relationship between service provider and user, (3) outreach activities, (4) cultural preservation and representation, and (5) literacies. Among the most striking findings are that most Travellers are unaware of the services available; there is a lack of Traveller representation in collections and programming; and such representation is desired by the community on the basis that it may challenge negative perceptions of them among settled people. Irish Travellers are not, according to findings, engaging with library services, and misperceptions may be a partial reason for this. A number of suggestions are made, including involving marketing and outreach activities and the inclusion of Travellers in collections and programming.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Discrimination
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > Information Science
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races > Racism
Divisions: Library and Information Service Publications
Depositing User: Tamara Malone
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2024 16:55
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2024 16:55

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