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Bibliotekariers syn på användare: En fenomenografisk studie om bibliotekariers uppfattningar om användarevid högskole- och universitetsbibliotek.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2010 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Librarians’ view of users: A phenomenographic study of academic librarians’ experience of users. (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this master’s thesis is to investigate how academic librarians perceive and experience library users. The following research questions are treated: How are library users perceived, and how do librarians classify and categorize them? How do librarians experience their personal contact with the library users? In what way are users being talked about, and is there any distinction between how users are being described and how they behave in reality? The material consists of nine qualitative interviews performed with academic librarians in the Stockholm area. The study uses a phenomenographic approach, where the goal is to discover and describe different ways of experiencing users. Based upon similarities and differences these perceptions are merged into categories. The results show considerable variation in the ways users are being perceived. From these variations it is however possible to deduct certain common attributes. There is an apparent diversity in how users are classified and categorized. An apparent complexity of the problem is connected to that the library has few comprehensive priorities about whom they want to- and should serve. As a result, there is a significant difference in the way the informants experience the different groups of users, how these relate to each other and what level of service they should receive. Regarding the personal contact with users there are two opposing perceptions that contest each other. Either all users are perceived as individuals and thus equal, or some users are perceived as more important than others and therefore should get a higher degree of service. The individual perspective is also something, which clearly permeates throughout the study. A third important perception considers the professional role of librarians. On the subject of how librarians talk about users, there is a distinction between how the informants describe users and how librarians informally talk about them between themselves. Concerning the first aspect users are mostly described in a negative way, where they are seen as uninformed, uncaring or demanding. The one positive is that users are seen as technically competent. There is also a discrepancy between the rhetorical and practical when librarians talk between themselves, where they perceive that they can talk negatively about users as a way of letting of steam. In contrast, the actual meeting with the users is instead seen as something very positive.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 474
Keyword [en]
Librarians, Library users, Attitude (Psychology), Academic Libraries.
Keyword [sv]
Bibliotekarier, Biblioteksanvändare, Attityder, Högskolebibliotek
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-167083Local ID: 474OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-167083DiVA: diva2:480924
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2012-01-20 Created: 2012-01-20 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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