Dr David McMenemy


Computer and Information Sciences

Personal statement

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences where I also serve as Deputy Director for Postgraduate Teaching.

My research interests encompass information law and ethics, including intellectual freedom, and freedom of expression, freedom of access to information, digital citizenship, privacy, and the philosophy of information.  I have also extensively researched around public library policy and development in the UK.

I am Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded project, "Downloading a new normal: Privacy, exclusion, and information behaviour in public library digital services use during COVID", which runs from December 2020 to February 2022.    

Other recent research outputs have included a report in collaboration with Scottish PEN on the impact of government and corporate surveillance on Scottish writers, an exploration of how character building can be incorporated into information literacy education models, a white paper on digital ethics, and a paper on how the hollowing out of public library services has impacted the service in England.  

I am an affiliate member of the Centre for Internet Law and Policy in the Strathclye Law School.

I am author of The Public Library (Facet, 2009) and was Editor of Library Review between 2006-2011 as well as co-author of Librarianship: an introduction (2008), and A Handbook of Ethical Practice (2007).

Prizes and awards

Strathclyde Medal
CILIPS Honorary Membership
Emerald Literati Highly Commended Paper Award - New Library World
Emerald Literati Outstanding Paper Award - New Library World
Elsevier/CILIP Library and Information Research Group Research Award

More prizes and awards


BA (Hons) English Studies (Strathclyde)

MSc Information and Library Studies (Strathclyde)

MA Philosophy (Open University)

LLM Internet Law and Policy (Strathclyde)

PhD Computer and Information Sciences (Strathclyde)

MCLIP (Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals) 

FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy)

FRSA (Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts)


Communicating patron rights and responsibilities transparently : creating a model internet acceptable use policy for UK public libraries
Robinson Elaine, McMenemy David
Public Library Quarterly (2021)
Downloading the new normal: exploring public library digital service use during COVID : some preliminary findings from Scottish data
Robinson Elaine, McMenemy David, Ruthven Ian
CILIPS Annual Conference 2021 (2021)
No longer "neutral among ends" – liberal versus communitarian ethics in library and information science
McMenemy David
Diversity, Divergence, Dialogue iConference 2021 Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol 12646, pp. 207-214 (2021)
Governance of public library services : how philosophical approaches to a public service impact on practice
McMenemy David
Public Library Governance International Perspectives (2020) (2020)
'To be understood as to understand' : a readability analysis of public library acceptable use policies
Robinson Elaine, McMenemy David
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science Vol 52, pp. 713-725 (2020)
The hollowing out of children's public library services in England from 2010-2016
Robertson Catriona, McMenemy David
Journal of Librarianship and Information Science Vol 52, pp. 91-105 (2020)

More publications


I teach several modules at both postgraduate and masters level, including on the department's graduate apprenticeship schemes:

CS 955 - Information Law

CS 211 - Professional Issues in Computing 

CS 978 - Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues for the Information Society

CS 800 - Health Information Governance

CS 812 - Information Security Fundamentals (Graduate apprenticeship - MSc Cyber Security)

CS 255 - Professional Issues (Graduate apprenticeship - BA IT: Software Development)


Research interests

  • Information law and policy, especially around issues regarding freedom of access to information and freedom of expression, and privacy.   
  • Information ethics
  • Digital citizenship
  • Philosophy of information
  • Public library policy and development

Professional activities

Using Turnitin in Supporting Plagiarism Detection
"Is digital surveillance creating a culture of self-censorship?"
Advocacy through impact: a practical workshop
Privacy and the library patron: an ongoing ethical challenge
Privacy, surveillance and the information profession: challenges, qualifications, and dilemmas?
The ethics of our profession and sustaining our common values

More professional activities


More-Than-Human Data Interaction (MoTh-HDI)
Daly, Angela (Principal Investigator) McMenemy, David (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 16-Jan-2021
Downloading a new normal - privacy, exclusion, and information behaviour in public library digital services use during COVID
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Ruthven, Ian (Co-investigator)
18-Jan-2020 - 17-Jan-2022
Self-censorship and surveillance concerns of Scottish writers
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Smith, Lauren (Co-investigator) Williams, Nik (Co-investigator)
In the human rights and free expression communities, it is a widely shared assumption that the explosive growth and proliferating uses of surveillance technologies must be harmful—to intellectual freedom, to creativity, and to social discourse. But how exactly do we know, and how can we demonstrate, that pervasive surveillance is harming freedom of expression and creative freedom? We know—historically, from writers and intellectuals in the Soviet Bloc, and contemporaneously from writers, thinkers, and artists in China, Iran, and elsewhere—that aggressive surveillance regimes limit discourse and distort the flow of information and ideas. But what about the new democratic surveillance states?

The question of the harms caused by widespread surveillance in democracies, is underexplored. In partnership with Scottish PEN, we are conducting a survey of Scottish writers to better understand the specific ways in which awareness of far-reaching surveillance programs influences writers’ thinking, research, and writing.
01-Jan-2016 - 01-Jan-2017
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Robinson, Elaine
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator) Poulter, Alan (Co-investigator) Robinson, Elaine (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 04-Jan-2019
PAUL: Policy-development for Acceptable Use in Libraries
McMenemy, David (Principal Investigator)
02-Jan-2014 - 27-Jan-2015
Epsrc Doctoral Training Grant | Imperatore, Gennaro
Dunlop, Mark (Principal Investigator) McMenemy, David (Co-investigator) Imperatore, Gennaro (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2012 - 03-Jan-2016

More projects


Computer and Information Sciences
Livingstone Tower

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