This paper considers the findings of recent qualitative research, which examined volunteer use in public libraries, focussing on the perceptions of four groups of stakeholders (the library managers, front line staff, volunteers and library users) in the light of recent austerity measures in two English case study library authorities. A complex picture of public library service delivery exists, with a move from value-added volunteers supporting staff, to the replacement of paid staff with volunteers. This development challenges the previous positive relationships established by value-added volunteer use, and hints at an underlying societal misunderstanding of public libraries, which affects wider policy and practice. The paper examines the challenges of using volunteers to plug the gaps left by library closures and paid staff reductions, and identifies possible areas of good practice in what has become an increasingly hybrid model of public service delivery.
|Publication status||Published - 7 Sep 2017|
|Event||2017 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference - Nottingham|
Duration: 7 Sep 2017 → …
|Conference||2017 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference|
|Period||7/09/17 → …|