E-Government Education in Public Libraries: New Service Roles and Expanding Social Responsibilities

By Jaeger, Paul T; Bertot, John Carlo | Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, Winter 2009 | Go to article overview

E-Government Education in Public Libraries: New Service Roles and Expanding Social Responsibilities


Jaeger, Paul T, Bertot, John Carlo, Journal of Education for Library and Information Science


The provision of e-government in public libraries has created significant new responsibilities and expectations for libraries. Drawing from a range of data collection sources, this article explores the efforts in and issues raised by public libraries providing e-government education to patrons. To date, this area lacks sufficient attention, yet e-government education requires librarians to help patrons navigate major life issues and to have knowledge about information, technology, and government structure. As a result, e-government education is an important new service role of public libraries. This article examines the efforts of and issues faced by public libraries, as well as professional, educational, and research endeavors that could help libraries better meet this important new service role.

Keywords: Public libraries, e-government, social roles, library education, LIS education, mixed methods.

Introduction: Public Libraries and E-government

E-government is the provision of government information and services through the online environment, including such diverse interactions as applying for Medicare prescription drug plans to paying taxes to emailing a public official. E-government can occur over multiple devices, such as computers, personal digital assistants (PDA), smart phones, and other mobile devices. A new but extremely important social role for public libraries is ensuring that all citizens have access to and assistance using e-government information and services (Bertot, Jaeger, Langa, & McClure, 2006a, 2006b). The intersection between public libraries and e-government has many significant implications and impacts for library management, expectations for libraries, and the activities of librarians, among many other implications.

Nearly half of the residents of the United States do not have access to broadband services on which e-government services rely (Horrigan, 2008). Beyond access to basic infrastructure necessary for successful e-government interactions, a significant proportion of the United States population-including people who have no other means of access, people who need help using technology, and people who have lower quality access-relies on the access and trusts the assistance available in public libraries to use e-government. The vital roles that public libraries played in the aftermath of the major hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 by providing access to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) forms and other e-government materials essential for emergency response and recovery may have permanently cemented the public and government perception of public libraries as hubs for e-government access (Jaeger, Langa, McClure, & Bertot, 2006).

This relationship between public libraries and e-government is beginning to receive scholarly and professional attention, as it raises increasingly significant issues for libraries. For example, the provision of e-government access:

* Contributes to the plateau in the quality of Internet access that libraries are able to provide (McClure, Jaeger, & Bertot, 2007);

* Redefines the notion of quality public access technology services in the public library context (Bertot & McClure, 2007);

* Encourages governments to rely on libraries as the public provider of e-government access and assistance (Bertot, et al., 2006a, 2006b);

* Places libraries in the position of ensuring access to government information during emergency situations (Jaeger, et al., 2006);

* Creates new social expectations for libraries from patrons and communities (Jaeger & Fleischmann, 2007; McClure & Jaeger, 2008a);

* Reveals new educational challenges for the education of future librarians by Library and Information Science (LIS) programs (Jaeger, 2008);

* Alters relationships between libraries and other agencies of local government (Jaeger, in press); and

* Raises many new issues in research about public libraries (McClure & Jaeger, 2008b).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

E-Government Education in Public Libraries: New Service Roles and Expanding Social Responsibilities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.