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Focus On: Céline Gareau-Brennan

Focus On: Céline Gareau-Brennan

March 6, 2017

Highlighting research by members of the Canadian library and information management community.

MBA/MLIS Candidate, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta / Shout for Libraries Director of Reporting / Net Impact Chapter Leader

What is your research topic?

Recently, I have been very interested in the concept of collaborative consumption in the context of libraries and librarianship. Specifically, how libraries could utilize the current trend and popularity of shared economies to market library services and resources. Though a systematic review, I examined key success factors in the sharing economy and postulated how these could be applied to advocate and market academic and public libraries at a macro-level.

I am also working on a directed study for my last semester at the University of Alberta., which is an examination of the relationship between information seeking behaviour as it pertains to “clean eating” and the marketing of “clean food” through labels.

What interested you in that topic?

My interest in field of the sharing economy and libraries, is due to the fact that there is much literature about the process of applying business concepts, frameworks, model, etc,, to librarianship. In this field, there tends to be much debate surrounding the benefits and detrimental effects of this application. However, all of these arguments stem from traditional business practices, and there is little work on libraries and their relationship to any contemporary or disruptive business models. One such model is that of collaborative consumption, or the shared economy, which seems to fit the library context in so many ways.

On a larger scale, I am intrigued by the application of all business frameworks in library contexts. This stems out of the fact that I am currently completing my joint MBA and MLIS at the University of Alberta.

What impact would you like to see your research have on LIS practitioners?

The work that has been done on the sharing economy and libraries is currently extremely limited, which made my work very broad and completed at a macro-level. Therefore, I would like to see further analysis be performed on more detailed levels, such as context-specific case studies. Additionally, I hope it inspired more informed talk about the relationship between business theory and library studies, leading the way for more interdisciplinary research.

What emerging topics do you foresee in the future of LIS research?

As someone who is new to the field of LIS research, it is difficult to say with certainty what topics will emerge. However, it is my hope that there will be a trend for more interdisciplinary research.

What advice would you give to LIS students or practitioners hoping to engage in research?

As a student myself, and an aspiring practitioner, I am continually learning and humbled by the expertise of others in the LIS profession. I would recommend engaging with your LIS research community. The discussions and feedback that I experience with LIS professionals have informed my work in useful and relevant ways.

Select Bibliography

Gareau-Brennan, C. (2017). Marketing Sharing Mania : What Libraries Can Learn from the Collaborative Consumption Craze. Poster session presented at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, Toronto. Available at:


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