Bara mera öppet? : Hur meröppet förändrar biblioteket som social praktik- en användarstudie
Sammanfattning: The number of self-service libraries (”meröppna bibliotek”) is increasing in Sweden, yet there is not much research in the field. The starting point of this master’s thesis is this void. The concept of self-service library means that during some of the opening hours the library is unstaffed, but users can enter and use the library services. I understand libraries as part of a complex context in which they are both constituted by and, at the same time, are constituting of. Users’ expectations and notions of the library depend on, for example, the material the library provides, the physical space, the service available and the staff. When one of these components is excluded, such as the physical presence of the staff in the case of self-service libraries, it is reasonable to suspect that the users’ apprehension will be affected. The aim of this study is to explore if this is the case and, if so, how the users’ expectations and notions are affected. Therefore, semi-structured interviews and observations have been undertaken at public libraries with self-service in Scania. The material is analysed and understood within a theoretical framework consisting of critical LIS-research, Norman Fairclough’s critical discourse theory and Jürgen Habermas’ theory of the colonization of the lifeworld. The analysis shows that the library is an institution in change; a hegemonic struggle over how library functions and concepts are to be understood is taking place. This struggle includes an economic discourse and a discourse that emphasize the libraries democratic functions. The concept of self-service libraries can, in this context, either be seen as an adjustment to a commercialised environment, or it can be comprehended as a way to make the library more accessible to the library users’. I understand the presence of the economic discourse in the context of the colonization of the lifeworld. In conclusion; if this colonization is allowed to continue the library as social practice will be affected and the libraries democratic functions may be impoverished.
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