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Upphandlad demokrati : hur bibliotekens demokratiska uppdrag tolkas och görs på privat drivna folkbibliotek

Berg, Sofia LU (2018) ABMM54 20181
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
Public libraries in Sweden have a tradition of being run by public sector in each municipality. However, in the last twenty years there have been changes in culture politics and society, which have resulted in some public libraries now being run by the private sector. In addition, there are factors indicating that more public libraries could be privatised in the future. Therefore, a conflict can be identified where the democratic role of the public library is in a rephrasing state. This study aims to show how public libraries run by private sector in Sweden interpret and fulfill the democratic standards, according to the overarching aim in the Swedish Library Act. The Act states that libraries within the public library system shall promote... (More)
Public libraries in Sweden have a tradition of being run by public sector in each municipality. However, in the last twenty years there have been changes in culture politics and society, which have resulted in some public libraries now being run by the private sector. In addition, there are factors indicating that more public libraries could be privatised in the future. Therefore, a conflict can be identified where the democratic role of the public library is in a rephrasing state. This study aims to show how public libraries run by private sector in Sweden interpret and fulfill the democratic standards, according to the overarching aim in the Swedish Library Act. The Act states that libraries within the public library system shall promote the development of a democratic society by contributing to the transfer of knowledge, and the free formation of opinions. The study includes a qualitative case study of three libraries in the municipality of Nacka that are run by private sector. Material was gathered through interviews and steering documents. From the material three main themes were identified: Communication, Identification and Formal Representation. As theoretical framework, Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ”The Public Sphere” was used. The Public Sphere is a concept of symbolic and physical spheres created for critical public debate and is, therefore, a space created for democratic actions. Habermas’s theory is commonly used within library and information sciences.

The study shows that so far, public libraries run by private sector interpret and fulfill the democratic aim largely in conformity with how it is formulated in the Swedish Library Act. Nevertheless, some aspects identified could be viewed upon as changing the library service into a more market-driven ideology. This was, for example, shown in how the libraries structured the communication between librarians and how they formulated the library service in the steering documents. The study shows that the public libraries run by the private sector can be addressed as a part of a bigger process in rephrasing the public library as a system, with more libraries being privatised in the nearby future. Eventually, this could lead to more visible changes in how the democratic aim will be fulfilled in the future. In conclusion, such changes are brought on, mainly, because the management of the private sector has other motives than the public sector, whose main interest is in the common concern for the people.

Master’s thesis (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Berg, Sofia LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM54 20181
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Eng: ALM, public libraries, privatised public libraries, democracy, The Public Sphere, Jürgen Habermas, library act, the aim of public libraries Sve: ABM, folkbibliotek, privat drivna folkbibliotek, demokrati, den offentliga sfären, bibliotekslag, bibliotekens ändamål
language
Swedish
id
8944376
date added to LUP
2018-08-17 13:48:56
date last changed
2018-08-17 13:48:56
@misc{8944376,
  abstract     = {Public libraries in Sweden have a tradition of being run by public sector in each municipality. However, in the last twenty years there have been changes in culture politics and society, which have resulted in some public libraries now being run by the private sector. In addition, there are factors indicating that more public libraries could be privatised in the future. Therefore, a conflict can be identified where the democratic role of the public library is in a rephrasing state. This study aims to show how public libraries run by private sector in Sweden interpret and fulfill the democratic standards, according to the overarching aim in the Swedish Library Act. The Act states that libraries within the public library system shall promote the development of a democratic society by contributing to the transfer of knowledge, and the free formation of opinions. The study includes a qualitative case study of three libraries in the municipality of Nacka that are run by private sector. Material was gathered through interviews and steering documents. From the material three main themes were identified: Communication, Identification and Formal Representation. As theoretical framework, Jürgen Habermas’s theory of ”The Public Sphere” was used. The Public Sphere is a concept of symbolic and physical spheres created for critical public debate and is, therefore, a space created for democratic actions. Habermas’s theory is commonly used within library and information sciences. 

The study shows that so far, public libraries run by private sector interpret and fulfill the democratic aim largely in conformity with how it is formulated in the Swedish Library Act. Nevertheless, some aspects identified could be viewed upon as changing the library service into a more market-driven ideology. This was, for example, shown in how the libraries structured the communication between librarians and how they formulated the library service in the steering documents. The study shows that the public libraries run by the private sector can be addressed as a part of a bigger process in rephrasing the public library as a system, with more libraries being privatised in the nearby future. Eventually, this could lead to more visible changes in how the democratic aim will be fulfilled in the future. In conclusion, such changes are brought on, mainly, because the management of the private sector has other motives than the public sector, whose main interest is in the common concern for the people.

Master’s thesis},
  author       = {Berg, Sofia},
  keyword      = {Eng: ALM,public libraries,privatised public libraries,democracy,The Public Sphere,Jürgen Habermas,library act,the aim of public libraries Sve: ABM,folkbibliotek,privat drivna folkbibliotek,demokrati,den offentliga sfären,bibliotekslag,bibliotekens ändamål},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Upphandlad demokrati : hur bibliotekens demokratiska uppdrag tolkas och görs på privat drivna folkbibliotek},
  year         = {2018},
}