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En icke-debatt : Vuxnas läsande och vikten av skönlitteratur i BBL

Grahn, Arvid LU (2016) ABMM54 20161
Division of ALM
Abstract
Over the last few years there has been considerable debate about the reading habits of Swedish children and teenagers in both library journals and the mainstream press. This debate has been sparked by the alarm caused by reports on comparatively poor language skills and poor school results among kids in elementary school. Since 2013, children, and thus the promotion of children’s literature, have been given special prerogative in Swedish library legislation, and the importance of school libraries has been stressed over and over. Books and activities for children in our libraries are as important as ever. At the same time, public libraries devote significant time and money to providing adults with books to read and promoting literature for... (More)
Over the last few years there has been considerable debate about the reading habits of Swedish children and teenagers in both library journals and the mainstream press. This debate has been sparked by the alarm caused by reports on comparatively poor language skills and poor school results among kids in elementary school. Since 2013, children, and thus the promotion of children’s literature, have been given special prerogative in Swedish library legislation, and the importance of school libraries has been stressed over and over. Books and activities for children in our libraries are as important as ever. At the same time, public libraries devote significant time and money to providing adults with books to read and promoting literature for them. However, there currently is no apparent debate about this, neither in mainstream media nor in library journals. Meanwhile, in the fields of library and information science as well as literature, scholars take an increasing interest in the effects and importance of reading. This thesis investigates the ideas about adults and literature by looking at statements and opinions expressed in Sweden’s leading library journal, Biblioteksbladet (BBL). By using discourse analysis to look at what is said about literature and adult readers, how it’s said and in what circumstances, an image of the contemporary thoughts and convictions among library professionals in Sweden is arrived at. These results are then compared to the results of contemporary research in the fields of library and information science and literature. Some of the conclusions drawn are the following:

• There is no debate about adults and reading in BBL, but comments regarding the subject can nevertheless be found in articles about literature promotion, children and reading etcetera.

• Library professionals have a positive view on fiction in general, and ascribe many positive functions to the reading of fiction, but these opinions are often expressed in a non-critical way and never supported by arguments or references, and there is no visible connection to contemporary research.

• Many arguments for the importance of reading are based on notions of lack, insufficiency or societal problems, like inadequate language skills, low levels of education, the spread of undemocratic ideology etcetera, and these notions of lack implicate a sinister view of the world and to some extent a patronizing stance among librarians and other promoters of literature towards the public.

• Contemporary research often touches on many of the things that are mentioned in BBL, but more in depth, and seems to have relevance to what is discussed in BBL. (Less)
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author
Grahn, Arvid LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Non-Debate : Reading among Adults and the Importance of Fiction in the Library Journal Biblioteksbladet 2012-2016
course
ABMM54 20161
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Information Studies, ALM, Master’s thesis, Public libraries, Literature, Reading, Discourse, Discourse analysis, Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, ABM, masteruppsats, folkbibliotek, skönlitteratur, läsning, diskurs, diskursanalys
language
Swedish
id
8877182
date added to LUP
2016-09-07 11:28:09
date last changed
2016-09-07 11:28:09
@misc{8877182,
  abstract     = {Over the last few years there has been considerable debate about the reading habits of Swedish children and teenagers in both library journals and the mainstream press. This debate has been sparked by the alarm caused by reports on comparatively poor language skills and poor school results among kids in elementary school. Since 2013, children, and thus the promotion of children’s literature, have been given special prerogative in Swedish library legislation, and the importance of school libraries has been stressed over and over. Books and activities for children in our libraries are as important as ever. At the same time, public libraries devote significant time and money to providing adults with books to read and promoting literature for them. However, there currently is no apparent debate about this, neither in mainstream media nor in library journals. Meanwhile, in the fields of library and information science as well as literature, scholars take an increasing interest in the effects and importance of reading. This thesis investigates the ideas about adults and literature by looking at statements and opinions expressed in Sweden’s leading library journal, Biblioteksbladet (BBL). By using discourse analysis to look at what is said about literature and adult readers, how it’s said and in what circumstances, an image of the contemporary thoughts and convictions among library professionals in Sweden is arrived at. These results are then compared to the results of contemporary research in the fields of library and information science and literature. Some of the conclusions drawn are the following:

•	There is no debate about adults and reading in BBL, but comments regarding the subject can nevertheless be found in articles about literature promotion, children and reading etcetera.

•	Library professionals have a positive view on fiction in general, and ascribe many positive functions to the reading of fiction, but these opinions are often expressed in a non-critical way and never supported by arguments or references, and there is no visible connection to contemporary research.

•	Many arguments for the importance of reading are based on notions of lack, insufficiency or societal problems, like inadequate language skills, low levels of education, the spread of undemocratic ideology etcetera, and these notions of lack implicate a sinister view of the world and to some extent a patronizing stance among librarians and other promoters of literature towards the public.

•	Contemporary research often touches on many of the things that are mentioned in BBL, but more in depth, and seems to have relevance to what is discussed in BBL.},
  author       = {Grahn, Arvid},
  keyword      = {Information Studies,ALM,Master’s thesis,Public libraries,Literature,Reading,Discourse,Discourse analysis,Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap,ABM,masteruppsats,folkbibliotek,skönlitteratur,läsning,diskurs,diskursanalys},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {En icke-debatt : Vuxnas läsande och vikten av skönlitteratur i BBL},
  year         = {2016},
}