Two Libraries on Two Continents: How Do They Compare?

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When visiting a library in another city, across the globe, one cannot help but notice the similarities and differences. Three professors turned their observations into research. Two professors were from Chonbuk National University (CNU) located in the city of Jeonju in South Central Korea and the other from Boise State University (BSU) in Idaho, United States. They made interesting findings through patron surveys, staff interviews, and observational visits to both city libraries. Their collaborative research occurred over a three-year period and was partially funded through a grant from CNU. Each researcher had an opportunity to spend time in their counterpart’s city and make use of the public, school and university library systems. Both metropolitan city areas contain between 500,000 and 600,000 people. Both cities are the provincial or state capital. A province in Korea would be a fair comparison to a county in the United States. The total geographic area of South Korea is similar in size comparison to the state of Idaho. When discussing monetary values the researchers used rounded US dollar amounts for Korean won based on the current currency exchange rate of approximately 94 cents to 1000 won. Numbers have been rounded to the nearest hundred.

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