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Det älskade biblioteket: en diskursanalys av debatten kring Malmö stadsbiblioteks visioner

Ekman, Charlotta LU and Carlgren, Frida LU (2010) ABMM43 20101
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
What is a public library? This is the fundamental question our thesis deals with on a broader level. Should it simply be a collection of books, an experience centre or an information centre – or perhaps something else? The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to carry out a discourse analysis of the media debate concerning Malmö public library that took place in 2009 and of the library´s strategical plan The Darling Library in the world – ditt liv, dina drömmar, ditt bibliotek, and through this analysis identify views and opinions that are expressed on the purpose of the public library.

The analyzed debate took place in Sydsvenskan, the biggest newspaper in the Malmö area, during summer and autumn 2009. It started when the paper... (More)
What is a public library? This is the fundamental question our thesis deals with on a broader level. Should it simply be a collection of books, an experience centre or an information centre – or perhaps something else? The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to carry out a discourse analysis of the media debate concerning Malmö public library that took place in 2009 and of the library´s strategical plan The Darling Library in the world – ditt liv, dina drömmar, ditt bibliotek, and through this analysis identify views and opinions that are expressed on the purpose of the public library.

The analyzed debate took place in Sydsvenskan, the biggest newspaper in the Malmö area, during summer and autumn 2009. It started when the paper published an article about how the city’s public library was destroying books in order to create space for other activities.

Our theory and method are based on Michel Foucaults discourse theory. We identified two main discourses regarding the role of the public library in our material: a “preservation discourse” and a “change discourse”. Within each of these discourses several aspects of what a library is imagined to be were found and we arranged the analysis around these themes.

Characteristic for the “preservation discourse” is the focus on the traditional roles of the library and that the upholding of these traditions is valued. The preservation of books is seen as fundamental and the public library is perceived of as a fortress and protector of good literature – the classics and rare (out-of-print) books. This discourse is in strong opposition to the library´s adjustment to a new market. Its advocates are mainly authors, journalists and a group of commentators.

The “change discourse” emphasizes the importance of keeping up with contemporary society and its transformations. The public library cannot stand for itself; it must embrace and adapt to be able to maintain its role as a vital part of society. The advocates in favor of the “change discourse” are diverse professionals within the library field, the head librarian of Malmö Public Library and local politicians. Both discourses legitimize themselves through reference to common concepts such as democracy.

Our analysis of the debate shows a conflict between the professionals within the library field and other interested parties concerning the views about the public library’s role in the society. In the concluding chapter we discuss what this might mean and which consequences opposing opinions can have for the future of the institution. The set of problems our analysis reveals will always exist within an institution which strives to serve the general public in its entirety. A future challenge for the public library will be to strive at maintaining a balance between the traditional aspects and aspects in need of renewal. (Less)
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author
Ekman, Charlotta LU and Carlgren, Frida LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM43 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
discourse, public library, Malmö Public Library, debate, media, role, democracy, market. ABM, diskursanalys, diskurs, Malmö stadsbibliotek, folkbibliotek, discourse analysis, ALM, biblioteksdebatt, roll, demokrati, marknad, biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
language
Swedish
id
1612159
date added to LUP
2010-06-08 12:44:31
date last changed
2014-04-11 14:16:28
@misc{1612159,
  abstract     = {What is a public library? This is the fundamental question our thesis deals with on a broader level. Should it simply be a collection of books, an experience centre or an information centre – or perhaps something else? The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to carry out a discourse analysis of the media debate concerning Malmö public library that took place in 2009 and of the library´s strategical plan The Darling Library in the world – ditt liv, dina drömmar, ditt bibliotek, and through this analysis identify views and opinions that are expressed on the purpose of the public library. 

The analyzed debate took place in Sydsvenskan, the biggest newspaper in the Malmö area, during summer and autumn 2009. It started when the paper published an article about how the city’s public library was destroying books in order to create space for other activities.  

Our theory and method are based on Michel Foucaults discourse theory. We identified two main discourses regarding the role of the public library in our material: a “preservation discourse” and a “change discourse”. Within each of these discourses several aspects of what a library is imagined to be were found and we arranged the analysis around these themes. 

Characteristic for the “preservation discourse” is the focus on the traditional roles of the library and that the upholding of these traditions is valued. The preservation of books is seen as fundamental and the public library is perceived of as a fortress and protector of good literature – the classics and rare (out-of-print) books. This discourse is in strong opposition to the library´s adjustment to a new market. Its advocates are mainly authors, journalists and a group of commentators. 

The “change discourse” emphasizes the importance of keeping up with contemporary society and its transformations. The public library cannot stand for itself; it must embrace and adapt to be able to maintain its role as a vital part of society. The advocates in favor of the “change discourse” are diverse professionals within the library field, the head librarian of Malmö Public Library and local politicians. Both discourses legitimize themselves through reference to common concepts such as democracy. 

Our analysis of the debate shows a conflict between the professionals within the library field and other interested parties concerning the views about the public library’s role in the society. In the concluding chapter we discuss what this might mean and which consequences opposing opinions can have for the future of the institution. The set of problems our analysis reveals will always exist within an institution which strives to serve the general public in its entirety. A future challenge for the public library will be to strive at maintaining a balance between the traditional aspects and aspects in need of renewal.},
  author       = {Ekman, Charlotta and Carlgren, Frida},
  keyword      = {discourse,public library,Malmö Public Library,debate,media,role,democracy,market. 
ABM,diskursanalys,diskurs,Malmö stadsbibliotek,folkbibliotek,discourse analysis,ALM,biblioteksdebatt,roll,demokrati,marknad,biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap 
},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Det älskade biblioteket: en diskursanalys av debatten kring Malmö stadsbiblioteks visioner},
  year         = {2010},
}