(O)lika användare. En uppsats om framställningen av användare på folkbibliotek och forskningsbibliotek
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
This Master’s thesis examines the description of users in the journal Biblioteksbladet. The aim is to compare thedescription of users in articles related to public libraries and those related to academic libraries. Questions posedin this study are: what discourses can be found in the articles and what characterises them? How are userscategorised and what does this categorisation imply?The theoretical and methodological background is discourse theory, as presented by Ernesto Laclau andChantal Mouffe.The survey consists of two parts. The first one explores the themes that are prominent in the articles, andwhat can be said about the user based on what is said within these themes. The second part examines thedifferent categories of users.In the articles concerning public libraries I have identified the discourse of the (help)needing user, thediscourse of the change-prone user, and the discourse of the independent user, in the articles concerningacademic libraries I have identified the market economic user-discourse, the discourse of the change-prone user,the discourse of the conservative user and the discourse of the reluctant user.Common to articles concerning public libraries is an almost overly positive description of both the library ingeneral and its users. Articles relating to academic libraries have a much more negative description of the users.There is also a discussion about possible explanations behind these different discourses, which mainlyconcerns the relationship between librarians and users, and the library's status in society. Public libraries may beperceived as a relatively endangered social institution with decreasing number of visitors. This may be a reasonbehind the almost excessively unproblematic way to present the relationship with their users, with the function tooperate as a self-fulfilling prophecy.For academic libraries the descriptions of the users are often more negative, and more often are theypresented as students or researchers, than as users more generally. In these descriptions the relationship betweenthe librarian and the user can be said to be prominent, and to some extent explained by a more vulnerableprofessional identity for the librarian when many of the users of academic libraries are experts in their ownfields.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 98 p.
, Uppsatser inom Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 463
Discourse analysis, Library users, Public libraries, Academic libraries
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-120053Local ID: 463OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-120053DiVA: diva2:302363