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Public Libraries’ Response to COVID-19 Pandemic and Expected Roles in Upcoming Disasters: A Case Study of South Korea

  • Journal of Korean Library and Information Science Society
  • Abbr : JKLISS
  • 2023, 54(4), pp.205-228
  • DOI : 10.16981/kliss.54.4.202312.205
  • Publisher : Korean Library And Information Science Society
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science
  • Received : November 21, 2023
  • Accepted : December 11, 2023
  • Published : December 30, 2023

Lee, Hanseul 1

1명지대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In 2020, the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) struck the world. This study examined Korean public libraries’ responses during the COVID-19 pandemic to determine their working practices, service patterns, applied strategies, and roles played. The study administered an online survey to 317 public librarians in South Korea. The results indicated that librarians reported significant transitions regarding the services provided. However, only 15.5% of the survey respondents reported that they had experienced trainings/workshops for library staff members. Survey participants also identified challenges such as the limitations of non-face-to-face services, complaints from library patrons, and overwork due to epidemic prevention. When it comes to the expected roles of public libraries in upcoming disasters, the study contends that information providers, who guide the public through various information resources, would play the most critical role. An analysis of a few open-ended questions’ answers proliferated the highlighted findings. Based on the key findings, this paper also discussed implications for information professionals and future research.

Citation status

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