A study of how hospital libraries can view the patients as a target audience
Sammanfattning: The study examines how hospital libraries view patients as a target audience and their usage of the library’s analogue and digital collections, as well as what functions hospital libraries can perform for patients. There is a knowledge gap in the literature regarding the way that hospital libraries have viewed and formed relationships with the patients. The theory emphasizes relationships between the library and its user groups. The method for gathering empirical data was mainly qualitative semi-structured interviewing, which were conducted with the head of the library, a nurse and a voluntary staff, as well as qualitative content analysis of the webpage and policy document. The analysis of the empirical data and theories concluded that in a relationship marketing context the patient group corresponded to the customer market place, the nurse to the referral market and the voluntary staff to the influencer market, making the connection between the library and the customer market heavily relying on other markets in the model by Payne et al. (2005). The digital collections have mostly been built with the hospital staff in mind with the aim of aiding evidence-based health care. There is a lack of knowledge among the patients about the library’s existence and services. A potential is the patients’ own technological devices in reaching the library’s website and interacting with the staff. The hospital library has a “dually empowering effect”, referring to the physical space as a calm place to relax and finding literature in relevant fields. The aim is normalization of the patient. The lacking of resources calls for innovation, relationship building and collaboration between the parties in order for the library to reach the patients, here relationship marketing has potential.
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