Storytelling and the Italian public libraries

Emerging research patterns


  • Anna Galluzzi Biblioteca del Senato "Giovanni Spadolini", Roma
  • Chiara Faggiolani Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Lettere e Culture Moderne


Narrative-based Librarianship, public libraries, Automatic text analysis (ATA)


The transition from the so-called Evidence-based Librarianship (EBL) to the Narrative-based Librarianship (NBL) - in line with the "narrative turn" occurred in the social sciences and humanities - is taking places in Italy too. Starting from the acknowledgement that field surveys using narrative methods are increasing in the Italian public libraries, the paper presents the methodology and the first outcomes of a meta-research built upon a corpus encompassing the textual data produced by means of qualitative research techniques. Applying a software for automatic text analysis (IRaMuTeQ) and using both an inductive and a deductive approach, the authors analyse the lexicon behind the narratives of users, non-users, opinion leaders and staff members and chase various objectives. The result is a map of questions and answers that brings to light emerging research patterns and boosts further considerations about the chosen methodological approach.

Author Biography

Chiara Faggiolani, Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Lettere e Culture Moderne

Chiara Faggiolani is associate professor at the Department of Letters and modern Cultures of the Sapienza University of Rome. She teaches “Methods of analysis and management of library and cultural services” and “The economy and sociology of culture”. She focuses her research on:
- the management of library services, by investigating in particular the application of qualitative research technologies to the analysis of library users.
- methodologies for the publishing sector. In particular, she focused on the extraction, conservation, analysis and treatment of big data for libraries and the publishing sector.