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“The War for the Imagination” : Author Representations of the UK Public Library Service in an Age of Austerity

Karlsson, Anna LU (2018) ABMM54 20181
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
This study explores author texts on public libraries in the United Kingdom between the years 2010 and 2018. The texts appear in a national public debate about the value, purpose and direction of the library service following a significant number of library closures and funding cuts. These were the result of the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 and the subsequent implementation of the austerity programme by the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government that came into power in 2010. The term author texts refer to a variety of written materials such as opinion pieces, anthologies, memoirs, novels, short stories, poetry and picture books that provide a commentary on these events. Combining field theory with a thematic... (More)
This study explores author texts on public libraries in the United Kingdom between the years 2010 and 2018. The texts appear in a national public debate about the value, purpose and direction of the library service following a significant number of library closures and funding cuts. These were the result of the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 and the subsequent implementation of the austerity programme by the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government that came into power in 2010. The term author texts refer to a variety of written materials such as opinion pieces, anthologies, memoirs, novels, short stories, poetry and picture books that provide a commentary on these events. Combining field theory with a thematic reading of the author texts, the study focuses on the struggle over how the public library service should be represented and defended as an institution and an idea in an age of austerity. The examination is conducted through situating the author texts within a five-space model that divides the library into dimensions of inspiration, performativity, meeting and learning, to which the librarian has been added as an inter-dimension. The study shows that the author representations are closely connected to the historic identity of the public library as a cultural institution and a public service. (Less)
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author
Karlsson, Anna LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM54 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Public library, librarians, public library development, public debate, United Kingdom, authors, austerity, Big Society, public library closures, funding cuts, field theory, four-space model
language
English
id
8944290
date added to LUP
2018-08-17 13:55:46
date last changed
2018-08-17 13:55:46
@misc{8944290,
  abstract     = {This study explores author texts on public libraries in the United Kingdom between the years 2010 and 2018. The texts appear in a national public debate about the value, purpose and direction of the library service following a significant number of library closures and funding cuts. These were the result of the global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 and the subsequent implementation of the austerity programme by the Conservative-Liberal Democratic coalition government that came into power in 2010. The term author texts refer to a variety of written materials such as opinion pieces, anthologies, memoirs, novels, short stories, poetry and picture books that provide a commentary on these events. Combining field theory with a thematic reading of the author texts, the study focuses on the struggle over how the public library service should be represented and defended as an institution and an idea in an age of austerity. The examination is conducted through situating the author texts within a five-space model that divides the library into dimensions of inspiration, performativity, meeting and learning, to which the librarian has been added as an inter-dimension. The study shows that the author representations are closely connected to the historic identity of the public library as a cultural institution and a public service.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Anna},
  keyword      = {Public library,librarians,public library development,public debate,United Kingdom,authors,austerity,Big Society,public library closures,funding cuts,field theory,four-space model},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“The War for the Imagination” : Author Representations of the UK Public Library Service in an Age of Austerity},
  year         = {2018},
}