Contemporary public library provision in England: a content analysis of the highest and lowest scoring inspection reports

Higgins, Paul (2005) Contemporary public library provision in England: a content analysis of the highest and lowest scoring inspection reports. Public Policy and Administration, 20 (4). pp. 76-89. ISSN 0952-0767

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Abstract

This article adds to the literature on public services inspection by tracking the evolution of the BV inspection process within the service specific context of English public library provision. Drawing upon a range of policy documentation and a longitudinal content analysis of the highest and lowest scoring BV library inspection reports, the article draws attention to the reports' coverage of the libraries' procedures for income generation, competition, outsourcing and public-private partnership. This focus is used both as a means to examine the argument that contemporary public sector reform measures have led to the increased liberalisation and commercialisation of public libraries and to check the stability of the inspection processes over time. The findings from this analysis reveal that although the content of much of the early policy documentation and initial inspection reports lend support to the increased commercialisation and liberalisation argument, a slightly more balanced picture emerges when this analysis is extended to include the findings from more recent library inspection reports. In reaching these conclusions, however, broader question marks about the longer-term stability of the inspection process are also raised.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business School > Economics and International Development
ID Code:629
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Deposited On:02 Dec 2008 16:07
Last Modified:10 Mar 2014 08:12

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