• The Photobook in the face of Pervasive Digital Resources: Is there an enduring need for the physical book amongst students of photography?

    Tristan Hooper (see profile)
    Academic libraries, Education, Higher, Internet, Library science, Photography
    Item Type:
    City, University of London
    CityLIS, photobook, Books for artists, Higher education
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    Photography students and the specific information resources they use represent a relatively unexplored area in the Library and Information Science literature. The intention of this study is to explore the relevance of the physical photobook and digital resources to this specific audience. A mixed method, pragmatic approach was deemed the most appropriate means by which to establish an initial understanding of the research issues upon which further research may be based. Interviews were conducted with subject librarians, a higher education photography lecturer and photography programme graduates in order to form a holistic understanding of the relevance of and issues associated with the photobook and photography resources within the digital information ecology. The findings of these interviews inform the design and content of a web based survey instrument which was administered to current photography students and graduates from higher education photography courses in the UK. The findings provide insight into a previous unexplored area. Despite the small sample size, the findings of this study indicate that the photobook is a resource of particular significance to students of photography, especially with relation to inspiration and insight into the work and practice of photographers. The surveyed students indicated a preference for the photobook when engaging with the work of photographers which is rooted in the physical properties of the book and its role as a medium for presenting photographs in which aspects such as sequencing and narrative were deemed to be of importance. Various correlations are apparent between critical perspectives in both the photography related and LIS literature consulted. The findings reveal the surveyed students to be users of the libraries at their respective institutions with photobooks being the primary motivation for their visits.
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    5 years ago
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