Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Community standards in New Zealand public libraries : an exploratory study

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posted on 2021-11-13, 19:09 authored by Sullivan, Max Thomas

Community standards have been discussed by many authors but none have attempted to investigate their application in public libraries. Public libraries aim to provide information that covers all viewpoints; such information is likely to contain views and opinions that are offensive to many members of the community. The problem of how public librarians define the standards of their communities was central to this research project. In order to investigate this problem a series of interviews were conducted and supported with library policy documents supplied by interviewees. A number of sub topics were also investigated, including how librarians deal with challenging items and whether librarians use any tools or resources to help define community standards. Analysis of interviews and policy documents found that librarians were not able to comprehensively define the standards of their communities. Librarians were divided over whether the demographic differences within their communities had any impact on the standards of their communities


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Library and Information Studies

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Library and Information Studies

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Masters Research Paper or Project



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Information Management


Dorner, Dan