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Digital participation and public libraries: an explorative study of digital participation from the perspective of library personnel in Sweden

Sjövold, Rebecca LU (2019) ABMM54 20191
Division of ALM and Digital Cultures
Abstract
Digitalisation has had a profound effect on our society. Much of our daily lives revolve around digital errands that, providing we have the appropriate skills, provide us with innumerous conveniences. Unfortunately for those who do not have such competencies, these normal everyday tasks have become unmanageable and as a result of the McDonaldization of society there are very few places to which these citizens can turn for help. As an essential element of a democratic society, Libraries now find themselves at the frontline of the battle to combat digital exclusion. This explorative study considers the responses of 877 library staff from 229 municipalities in Sweden to a questionnaire asking about their experiences working with digital... (More)
Digitalisation has had a profound effect on our society. Much of our daily lives revolve around digital errands that, providing we have the appropriate skills, provide us with innumerous conveniences. Unfortunately for those who do not have such competencies, these normal everyday tasks have become unmanageable and as a result of the McDonaldization of society there are very few places to which these citizens can turn for help. As an essential element of a democratic society, Libraries now find themselves at the frontline of the battle to combat digital exclusion. This explorative study considers the responses of 877 library staff from 229 municipalities in Sweden to a questionnaire asking about their experiences working with digital participation. The results indicate that the McDonaldization of society in Sweden is putting increased pressure on libraries and their staff which has a negative impact on both staff and library patrons. Cooperation between libraries and other organisations is required in order to manage this increased pressure as well as increased funding to allow for more time, resources and training to be invested into digital participation. Finally, this study gives voice to the library staff around the country who are calling for guidelines to help structure the support they are able to provide their patrons. If Sweden intends to become the best in the world at taking advantage of all that digitalisation has to offer then it is incumbent upon Sweden to make sure that there are strategies in place to ensure that no one is left behind. (Less)
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author
Sjövold, Rebecca LU
supervisor
organization
course
ABMM54 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
McDonaldization, Rationalization, Digitalisation, Digitalization, Democracy, Digital Participation, Digital Exclusion, Library, Libraries, Public Library, Digidel
language
English
id
8980589
date added to LUP
2019-07-16 13:27:52
date last changed
2019-07-16 13:27:52
@misc{8980589,
  abstract     = {Digitalisation has had a profound effect on our society. Much of our daily lives revolve around digital errands that, providing we have the appropriate skills, provide us with innumerous conveniences. Unfortunately for those who do not have such competencies, these normal everyday tasks have become unmanageable and as a result of the McDonaldization of society there are very few places to which these citizens can turn for help. As an essential element of a democratic society, Libraries now find themselves at the frontline of the battle to combat digital exclusion. This explorative study considers the responses of 877 library staff from 229 municipalities in Sweden to a questionnaire asking about their experiences working with digital participation. The results indicate that the McDonaldization of society in Sweden is putting increased pressure on libraries and their staff which has a negative impact on both staff and library patrons. Cooperation between libraries and other organisations is required in order to manage this increased pressure as well as increased funding to allow for more time, resources and training to be invested into digital participation. Finally, this study gives voice to the library staff around the country who are calling for guidelines to help structure the support they are able to provide their patrons. If Sweden intends to become the best in the world at taking advantage of all that digitalisation has to offer then it is incumbent upon Sweden to make sure that there are strategies in place to ensure that no one is left behind.},
  author       = {Sjövold, Rebecca},
  keyword      = {McDonaldization,Rationalization,Digitalisation,Digitalization,Democracy,Digital Participation,Digital Exclusion,Library,Libraries,Public Library,Digidel},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Digital participation and public libraries: an explorative study of digital participation from the perspective of library personnel in Sweden},
  year         = {2019},
}