- Polish immigrants: Polish immigrants are first generation adult Poles who immigrated to
Canada from Poland. This definition is adapted from Keren Dali's definition of her study’s
sample of Russian immigrants in Toronto (Dali 2004, 344). She restricts her sample to this
group because she recognizes that second and third generation individuals do not face the
same challenges of "integration into a new society and maintaining their heritage," and they
may have different needs than first generation immigrants (Dali 2004, 344). Additionally, in
this study, Polish immigrants must have lived in Communist Poland, and so immigrants who
only lived in Poland after the fall of Communism are excluded. Polish immigrants must live
in Edmonton, so as to be able to apply for an Edmonton Public Library membership.
- Communist Poland: Communist Poland refers to Poland under the government of the
Communist party from the end of the Second World War in 1945 to 1989 (Kolodziejska 1995b, 48;
Nowacki-Chmielowiec 1998, 172).
- Communist public libraries: Communist public libraries are public libraries that were
owned, financed, and controlled by the state in Communist Poland (Kolodziejska 1995b,
- Edmonton’s public libraries: The designation of Edmonton's public libraries encompasses
every branch of the Edmonton Public Library system.
- Attitudes: Attitudes consist of affective, behavioural, and cognitive components
(Carlson et al. 2005, 495). The affective component refers to the emotions that individuals
feel about a topic (Carlson et al. 2005, 495). Of interest to this study are the emotions
that participants had about public libraries in Communist Poland, and had or have about
public libraries in Edmonton. The behavioural component refers to the ways in which
individuals tend to act regarding a topic (Carlson et al. 2005, 495). This researcher is
interested in participants' actions surrounding going to public libraries in Communist
Poland, and to public libraries in Edmonton. The cognitive component refers to the beliefs
that individuals have about a topic (Carlson et al. 2005, 495). In this study, this
researcher seeks to discover participants' beliefs about public libraries in Communist
Poland, as well as public libraries in Edmonton.
- Needs: Needs in the context of this study refer to both information needs and wants. An
information need is characterized as the condition of requiring information in order to
resolve a problem, and individuals are not necessarily aware that they are in this condition
(Rubin 2004, 38). An information want is characterized as an individual's desire for
information that will resolve an uncertainty (Rubin 2004, 38). This study will look at the
information needs and wants of Polish immigrants from the collections, services, and programs
of public libraries in Edmonton.