Public libraries embrace citizen science: Strengths and challenges

Anna Cigarini, Isabelle Bonhoure, Julián Vicens, Josep Perelló
2021 Library & Information Science Research  
Can public libraries become hubs for citizen science? In line with the principles of citizen science, this question was answered collaboratively with librarians from the Barcelona Network of Public Libraries who performed two hands-on activities. One activity was a training course taken by 30 librarians from 24 different libraries which enabled them to envisage citizen science implementation at each library. The other activity consisted of cocreating a citizen social science project and
more » ... 40 library users, seven librarians from three different cities, and professional scientists. The analysis considers the perspectives of both librarians and users, through participant observation, surveys, and a focus group to identify strengths and challenges. The overall results suggest that public libraries can offer leadership in the promotion of citizen science and contribute to the mission of public libraries to act as local community hubs. The main challenges identified were related to the complexity of collaboration, uncertainty regarding research co-creation, and participant retention strategies.
doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2021.101090 fatcat:aksviqnajnbxbg2nmeyz4nufia