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As a PhD candidate, you will contribute to international, qualitative research on the formal and informal practices (or 'infrastructuring') that library staff, patrons, policy-makers and other stakeholders employ to provide, perform and maintain public libraries as important sociocultural infrastructures. The research particularly focuses on libraries in urban communities that struggle with systemic challenges such as unemployment and segregation. This position is available subject to a successful grant application.
This PhD research is part of the European JPI Urban Europe ENUTC-funded project entitled "Infrastructuring Libraries in Transformation" (ILIT). It will be executed by a consortium of academic partners in the Netherlands, Sweden (Lund University) and Austria (University of Vienna) and non-academic project partners including the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Association (EBLIDA) and local and regional libraries and library networks.
The research evolves around three interrelated questions: 1) How do national, regional and local policies envision and fund libraries as sociocultural infrastructures? 2) How do libraries engage diverse local communities with the goal of advancing library innovation and transformation as an urban infrastructure? 3) How do librarians provide, practise and perform the infrastructuring of libraries?
Your task will be to contribute to the project's research goals to enhance the institutional support of libraries as sociocultural infrastructures, strengthen the capacities of libraries as local places of community and care, and amplify community librarianship as innovation driver towards community-based urban development.
You will be responsible for conducting (mainly qualitative) research on a Dutch library network using a mix of ethnographic and creative approaches, including but not limited to stakeholder and critical policy analysis, semi-structured interviews, participant observation, shadowing and co-productive zine making. You will investigate two ‘cases’ within this library network: the central library and a library located in a diverse neighbourhood with pressing systemic challenges. You will write and co-author scientific articles and complete a PhD dissertation within four years. Furthermore you will participate in conferences, workshops, seminars and other scholarly activities, and contribute to the teaching programme of the department of Geography, Planning and Environment (about 10% of your contract).
Fixed-term contract: You will be employed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years (4 year contract).
Houtlaan 4, 6525 XZ, Nijmegen
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