Many researchers have published a lot of information about the operational challenges that public libraries face every day (Fratianni, Savona & Kirton, 2007; Verheul, Tammaro & Witt, 2010). Other researchers have acknowledged the fact that public libraries have the task to guarantee efficient service deliveries to the members of the public (Koontz & Gubbin, 2010). Unfortunately, the libraries are not able to meet the educational needs of community members due to insufficient inputs from the government; this has forced many libraries to seek other appropriate strategies to meet their current needs (Imhoff, 2008). This study will seek to discover the said strategies.
Qualitative Research questions
Scholars consider a research question as the methodological point of departure of a scientific research (Atkinson & Delamont, 2010; Wolcott, 2009). This means that every scientific research must have either one or more research questions as points of methodological departures. In this regard, the research questions for this study will include;
- What are some of the key strategies that the Clayton County Library System uses to meet its current needs?
- What is the extent to which the uses of the strategies have enabled it not to depend on government assistances?
- What are the success factors of the strategies in terms of helping the library to meet its current needs?
This research study will utilize a qualitative methodology. The choice of a qualitative methodology has been informed by a number of reasons. First, a qualitative approach to study provides an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon that is being investigated (Frost, 2011; Desai, 2010). Second, due to the difference in the forms of data, how the data are gathered and analyzed and what the final data is able to reveal about a subject to be studied, the information that is obtained through a qualitative approach can be considered to be more informative and richer than the results of a quantitative approach (Frost, 2011; Desai, 2010). Finally, qualitative study methods enhance the understanding of a subject under study (Frost, 2011).
The instruments of data collection will include in-depth interviews and unstructured questionnaires (Delyser, 2008). This implies that the two methods of data collection will be triangulated (Delyser, 2008). In-depth interviews will be used in the process of data collection because of some specific reasons (Delyser, 2008). One of the reasons is that the approach allows a researcher to use open questions, which enable participants to provide responses in their own opinions (Mullen, 2009).
Meanwhile, the use of unstructured questionnaires will also be appropriate for the same reasons I have provided to justify the use of in-depth interviews (Mullen, 2009). Specifically, unstructured questionnaires will be used to collect qualitative data from participants who will not have enough time to attend interview sessions. In this case, the participants will be given the questionnaires to fill during their free time.
A Theoretical Foundation of the Study
This study will be based on the organizational theory. The organizational theory can be described as one of the public administration theories (Tsoukas & Chia, 2011). It refers to the sociological study of formal social organizations whereby the study is often focused on the way an organization interacts with its internal and external environments; the environments also include organizational bureaucracies (Tsoukas & Chia, 2011). It is important to note that organizations are considered as social units that are specifically structured and managed to meet certain needs (Tsoukas & Chia, 2011). The management process is always undertaken in order to achieve some common goals (Tsoukas & Chia, 2011). Therefore, this research study will be conducted within the framework of the organizational theory.
The Identified Gaps
There are gaps that can be attributed to the methodological failures of the previous studies. The studies have failed to establish the strategies that public libraries, especially the Clayton County Library System and its branches, have been using to meet their immediate needs. Besides, there are no previous studies that have adequately scientifically discovered the extent to which the uses of some strategies have enabled the libraries to stop depending on government assistances. Moreover, the studies have failed to discover the success factors of the strategies in terms of helping the libraries to meet their current needs.
Assumptions, Limitations and Delimitations
One of the assumptions is that the Clayton County Library System, as a public organization, experiences the inconvenience that comes with delayed government assistances, and hence uses some strategies to effectively meet its current needs. Meanwhile, since this study will utilize qualitative methods, the issue of subjectivity will be an inherent limitation within the study. Apart from the foregoing issues, this study will be delimited to the study of the Clayton County Library System. The participants will exclusively be selected from within the library.
Controlling and Managing Biases
One of the biases may arise from the way participants will be selected. In this case, a random sampling technique will be used to select participants from among the leaders of the Clayton County Library System. This will ensure that every leader will have an equal chance to participate in the study. In addition, a sampling bias will be overcome by recruiting as many participants as possible to participate in the study. Besides, leading research questions will not be used during the data collection process. Finally, I will not let my personal opinions about the subject matter to influence the research.
Summary of Literatures and Logical Fallacies
The literature review will mainly focus on the needs of public libraries. The literature review process will begin with an introduction to establish what the section will contain. After the introductory section, the rest of the body of the literature review section will be divided into different topics according to themes that will be covered during the review process. The topics will provide a review of different literatures regarding the issue of sustainability planning.
The second section will present a review of previous studies and publications on matters of community building. The last section will be based on literature publications and studies that will have been done with respect to advocacy strategies. All literatures to be reviewed will relate to various needs of public libraries. The last section will be a summary of all the points that will be covered during the literature review process.
A scholar has argued that leaders in public libraries have the feeling that they have failed to effectively communicate the value of their service delivery initiatives to various stakeholders (Town, 2011). This can be considered as a logical fallacy, because the operations of many public libraries have been successful through advocacies, a fact that depends on effective communications (MacLane, 2011).
A Synthesis of Literatures
Different researchers and authors have acknowledged the role of public libraries in promoting literacy levels among members of local communities (Costanza, 2008; Scott, 2011). As evidence reveals, public libraries now provide individuals with information regarding different social, economic and political issues that impact their daily lives (Costanza, 2008). In this regard, some scholars have contended that libraries no longer play the sole role of passive preservers of learning materials (Newman, 2007; Scott, 2011). Instead, the libraries have an additional role of facilitating the learning process, which is an important component of service delivery initiatives (Costanza, 2008).
Studies show that the operations of public libraries during service delivery processes are often jeopardized by lack of sufficient government interventions (Pateman & Vincent). However, other studies have revealed that public libraries use some strategies to meet their current needs without necessarily depending on the government (Neal, 2009; Apte & Mason, 2006). However, research gaps from these literatures show that there are not enough scientific studies that have investigated the strategies that the libraries use to meet their current needs and stay efficient.
Implications for Future Researches
One of the implications of this study is that it will form a basis for future studies. In this regard, the findings of this study will bridge some of the gaps that were left by previous studies. This implies that future studies will have less research gaps to deal with. Moreover, this study will come up with specific findings as to the strategies used by the Clayton County Library System, in which case future studies will have the opportunity to investigate whether or not the findings will be applicable to other public organizations.
Contributions to Public Administration and Social Changes
The findings of this research study will reveal the strategies that the Clayton County Library System uses as a public organization. The findings will broaden the scope of information that is already available in relation to the field of public administration. With respect to social changes, the findings of this study will expose the reasons for the efficiency of the Clayton County Library System. The findings may later be used to improve the efficiency of other libraries. The overall effect will be improved service delivery initiatives within various communities.
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