Inte enbart av kärlek till böcker : Tre kvinnliga bibliotekariers yrkesliv i Sverige 1900-1930. Greta Linder, Hildur Lundberg och Maria Larsen
This two-year master thesis in Library and information science, explores how femininity is created within the librarian profession year 1900-1930 in Sweden. By using three Swedish female librarians as case studies I study how female librarians responded to norms for women within the profession. I also ask if the librarians were able to break these norms or if the standards for women formed how the librarian profession was shaped.The thesis has a queer theoretical framework and uses hermeneutic methodology together with Judith But-lers performativity theory and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivaks deconstruktivism. Queer theory and hermeneutic methodology can be used on historical sources to gain new perspectives and still be aware of the ideals and norms that existed within the historical period. I use “woman” and “femininity” as socially constructed gender categories that changes according to the context they are created within and in relation to.My main source material consists of articles and letters written by the librarians together with a rich materi-al of women’s rights history and Swedish public library history. By using the female librarians own words I try to get a first-hand perspective, described by the women who worked and lived as librarians during the first dec-ades of the 20th century. They worked in an important and ground-breaking time for public libraries and wom-en´s self-sufficiency.My thesis shows that the female librarians used different pronouns and adjectives to describe their profes-sion depending on which context they spoke or published their texts. Greta Linder, Hildur Lundberg and Maria Larsen used different strategies to survive within the profession. In some cases, it was important to emphasize the category “woman”, but in many cases their professional identity as librarians was of greater significance. As self-sufficient and unmarried librarians, they could create other possibilities than within the limited space that existed for married women.
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