Researching Finnish library responses to Covid-19 digital literacy challenges through the employment of reflective practice

Berenice Rivera-Macias*, Biddy Casselden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
14 Downloads (Pure)


Social distancing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic were declared in Finland in March 2020. Libraries followed Government recommendations resulting in limited library service delivery across a variety of sectors. This research investigates challenges experienced by public, special and academic libraries in the Helsinki metropolitan area focussing on library staff reflections of digital literacy services offered during the pandemic. A multiple case study, with an emergent mixed methods research design was utilised. All data was gathered online due to Covid-19 restrictions: Quantitative data originated from an online survey of library staff; library websites were also audited. Qualitative data originated from semi-structured interviews. Triangulation of the data enabled a clear understanding of digital literacy challenges and responses. Overall, the mixed methods design and the data collection techniques, encouraged reflection upon experience, which in return informed a rich picture of the multiple case study. Results demonstrated that digital literacy challenges existed, particularly related to reaching library customers requiring digital support. Finnish libraries did not differentiate information literacy from digital literacy, as both were perceived as part of library service. Library staffs’ reflections corroborated similar research, for example, the impact of teleworking, on technology use and social aspects of working from home. Recommendations include undertaking further research on special libraries and promoting reflective practice as a mechanism for better understanding the views of library staff.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-119
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Issue number1
Early online date5 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


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