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Det föreställda folkbiblioteket: En diskursanalytisk studie av biblioteksdebatter i svenska medier 1970-2006
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Imagined Public Library : A study of Library Debates in the Swedish Press between 1970 and 2006 using Discourse Analysis (English)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to analyze debates and discourses about the public library in Swedish media from the 1970s up to and including 2006. The empirical material is derived from TV, radio and the daily press and by using discourse theory and methodology a number of debates are problematized. The result of the analysis showed similarities but also differences between dominant discourses during different decades. One discourse, termed the book discourse, recurs during all the decades of the study. The book discourse is primarily associated with concepts such as printed books, good quality fiction and popular education. The 1970s is dominated by a discourse called the community centre discourse. It called for public libraries to become community centers for various kinds of cultural and political activities. The information mediation discourse appeared first in the 1980s and was present during the 1990s and the following decade. This discourse argues that public libraries should prioritize new technology and engage primarily in mediating information, irrespective of the format in which it is presented. The analysis as a whole also revealed that authors often had a prominent position in and exerted substantial influence over the content of the debates. Librarians, however, did not participate to any great extent in the debates.

In the conclusion I argue that there are important aspects of the public library that does not appear in the material. The role of the library as a meeting place is one such absent theme. Another is the importance of the library to ensure integration. I argue that this invisibility is a result of the book discourse dominating the debate. If the public image of the library is defined from the viewpoint of the book discourse, the result can well be that the institution is equated with a specific media format - printed books. Because of significant changes in media consumption and the ongoing digitization of information, this focus could in the long run mean that the library risks loss of legitimacy. Describing the library as a cultural institution, as a community centre or as an information centre depends on different discourses that aim to further different wills and interests. By highlighting the political, professional and institutional interests articulated in dominant discourses on the public library in Swedish media during a period of almost 40 years, this study suggests that the media debates must be widened and opened up for more actors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala Universitet , 2009. , p. 209
Series
Skrifter utgivna vid institutionen för ABM vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1652-5353 ; 3
Keywords [en]
Public library, mass media, discourse analysis, librarians, public debate, Libraryand information science, gender, authors, public library development
National Category
History Humanities
Research subject
biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-99897ISBN: 978-91-506-2067-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-99897DiVA, id: diva2:209085
Public defence
2009-05-09, Sal IX, Universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-20 Created: 2009-03-23 Last updated: 2009-04-20Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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