Möjligheter - Kärnverksamhet på folkbibliotek
Sammanfattning: The Swedish public library was founded in the years when the society in Sweden went from being a society of agriculture to industrialism. Modernism was sweeping over the country, everything was possible, which influenced the new society that was built. Now Sweden was going to be a true democracy with responsible and empathic citizens. One of the main tools in this process was to educate people, to get them to read and write and the public library fitted very well into these new ideas. It represented a place, free of charge, where everyone could go to take part of the knowledge and cultural learning that they needed in order to become the citizen that the society required. This task gave the public library its identity - and a democratic value. Since then the society has changed and the expectations and demands of the library has changed with it. The purpose of this study is to find out whether the core activity of the Swedish public library has changed over time and what impact such kind of a change would have on the identity of the public library and on the societal role that it constitutes. To do so we visited two libraries and interviewed six librarians, of which two also were chief librarians as well as head of the Department of Culture. The study is divided into three main parts. The first one is a theoretical background in which we present the reason why we became interested in discussing the questions mentioned above. In the second part we look at the ideological identity of the public library since we believe that it has been influenced by ideological movements over the years. We also present some new ideas related to this issue concerning strategy and management and its influence on the contents of the work. The interviews and the observations that were carried out the two libraries are presented in part three. We found that the definition of core activity in the Swedish public libraries often is very vague which results in a difficulty when it comes to prove the libraries many virtues in the social progress. The outcome of our study also reveals a tendency amongst library staff which were interviewed to define everything - every part of the work of the library - as core activity. We find that this definition, or a lack of definition, runs the risk of making library work somewhat anonymous and limited.
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