Drawing on the author's own research, this article explores the use of life histories as method and the ways in which this research can contribute to new understandings about the experiential relationships between libraries and users. The article is divided into four parts. Part one defines the essential elements of a life history research study. Part two describes how to design a life history research study. Part three examines ethical, methodological, and interpretive issues related to issues of organizational insiderness and internal validity and textual authority. The author concludes by outlining the potential benefits and pitfalls of using life histories and discusses how life history research, and qualitative research in general, can enrich and broaden our understanding of library science theory and practice.


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pp. 121-139
Launched on MUSE
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