In search of facilitating citizens' problem solving: Public libraries' collaborative development of services with related organizations

Nozomi Ikeya, Shunsaku Tamura, Makiko Miwa, Mika Koshizuka, Seiichi Saito, Yumiko Kasai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction. The paper attempts to understand value constellations in organising and using the business information service that was recently developed by various stakeholders with libraries who were in pursuit of supporting people's problem solving in Japanese public libraries. Method. In-depth interviews were conducted not only with users and librarians, but also with members from specialised organizations who participated in organising the service. Analysis. Tape-recorded interviews were transcribed and analysed to identify how the new set of services were designed and implemented in collaboration with organizations. Because the analysis was aimed to identify values recognised by those involved in designing, managing and using the services, an ethnomethodological approach was adopted as the approach is appropriate for understanding practical reasoning embedded in activities. Results. Two approaches (i.e. value constellations) in designing the service were identified, one is reference service oriented approach, where the reference service is located at the centre of the business information service and its transformation is carried out; and the other is specialised service, programme-oriented approach, where the service is organized with more reliance on outside specialists. Different emphases on various values were also identified in using the business information service. Conclusions. Close examination of value constellations as part of organizing and using the service seem to be an appropriate way to systematically understand and inform the actual services in relation to the use of such services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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