Settling into the Library: Newcomer Perspectives


This session will identify challenges of researching newcomers to the public library and their perspectives, including the difficulties in eliciting detailed responses from varied age groups, diverse families, ethnic and cultural sensitivities, language and other barriers; all with a view to better understanding how newcomers use a public library.  Presenters will provide a summary of the challenges and rewards of such research as libraries seek to address the issues of serving more diverse audiences. Newcomers are often suspicious of researchers due to their experiences with government institutions from their home country, and face many challenges in their adopted country related to language, bias, technology and other issues that native Canadians may take for granted. 
Learning Objectives:

  • Recognize the importance of empathy in research, listening to user responses, and quantifying anecdotes.
  • Learn about time-based metrics and their significance in research.
  • Understand how to adapt/adopt research methods for specific audiences.

Author E-Mail

Allan Wilson, John Shepherd and Larissa Petrillo

Conference Year