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Biblioteken som medel eller mål: Studie av svensk riksdagsdebatt rörande förväntningarna på folkbibliotekens roll i samhället
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3027-4849
2013 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Libraries as means or goals : A study of Swedish parliamentary debate concerning the expectations of public libraries' role in society (English)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to study Swedish parliamentary debate concerning the role of public libraries during the period 1997-2012. The material used to perform this study consists of parliamentary protocols which are studied using a theoretical framework based on theories formulated by Habermas and Vestheim. The study is a text analysis in which the political statements are classified by linking them to Vestheim’s four types of instrumentality in order to illustrate how various arguments represent different types of instrumentality. As suggested by Vestheim the links between arguments is used to interpret which goals are expressed by politicians. Furthermore, these different goals are linked to Habermas’s theory of a life world and a system world in order to explore whether his theory of a system world gaining ground at the expense of a life world is confirmed in the debate regarding library policies.

By studying the means and ends of the activities of public libraries, as expressed by the political representatives, with an understanding of the surrounding political situation as a basis for their positions concerning the role and social function of the libraries, it is possible to identify an eventual change in the debate regarding the goal of public libraries. In this paper, the economic goals expressed in the debate are linked to theories of New Public Management.

The results show that during the first years of the investigated period, most of the political representatives agreed that the main task of the public libraries consisted in goals related to social policy and promotion of democracy, which has traditionally formed a basis of activity for public libraries. At the end of the studied period a new discussion takes places regarding the ambivalent identity of public libraries. After the 2006 parliamentary election, there is an increasing focus on the economic issues in the library sector. This is interpreted as a sign of the increased significance of the ideas of New Public Management in the debate on the role and purpose of public libraries. Even so, the results of the examination show that the idea of libraries as institutions promoting democracy, continues to be strong.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 86 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 604
Keyword [sv]
Bibliotekspolitik, Kulturpolitik, Bibliotek och samhälle, Folkbibliotek
National Category
Other Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-201559Local ID: 604OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-201559DiVA: diva2:628129
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Available from: 2013-11-06 Created: 2013-06-13 Last updated: 2013-11-06Bibliographically approved

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Strömstén, Rebecka
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