”Lagom trevlig med distans” : Bibliotekariers sociala roll på folkbibliotek
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this study is to explore the social role of librarians at public libraries. Public libraries promote themselves as open democratic arenas where everyone is welcome. This has the effect that all kinds of people visit public libraries, and might result in disconcerting situations involving for example persons suffering from mental illness or intoxicated people. The library staff might then be expected to handle threats or violence, situations that they have not been prepared or trained for. Even less turbulent social situations can be hard to juggle, such as regular library users who are unwilling to end a conversation or people who want to get too personal. This study takes an explorative approach on the social role in public librarianship, investigating the problematic as well as the pleasant social situations in public libraries. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted to collect statements from five librarians at various libraries. As a theoretical framework. Erving Goffman's theories about social interaction has been used to analyse the social role from a individual perspective. The concept ”community of practice" by Etienne Wenger has has been used to study the subject in a collective perspective. The results show that all the interviewed librarians saw themselves as having a social role but they approached it in different ways. Another conclusion is that the librarians in the study have formed a community of practice in the way they cooperate and the way they support and educate each other in connection to the social interactions with the library users.
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