A new page: Libraries, austerity and the shifting boundaries of civil society

‘A New Page?’: Libraries, Austerity and the Shifting Boundaries of Civil Society is a Leverhulme Trust project led by Dr Emma Davidson.

This project focuses on public libraries and the things they do in, and for, the neighbourhoods in which they are based. Using case studies in Scotland and England, the study will look at the ways public libraries fit into the everyday social life of a neighbourhood and how social, economic and technological change has shaped this.

Although the study will look generally at public libraries, it will give focus to groups who are less able, excluded or disenfranchised, from local processes of participation and for whom the library might offer a source of ‘community’ or inclusion: teenagers, homeless people and young parents.

More broadly, the study will use the case of the public library to explore more broadly how civic engagement occurs at a local level and how civil society organisations are managing their identity during austerity.

The study is being run by Dr Emma Davidson, a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow in Sociology. Emma is based at the Centre for Families and Relationships. (http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/staff/sociology/emma_davidson)

Findings and project outputs will be published on the project website as the project develops. For more information, or to contribute to the project, contact Emma on e.c.davidson@ed.ac.uk. You can also follow Emma on Twitter @emz_davidson

Project website and blog: https://anewpage.org/

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