Att främja barns delaktighet : En studie av barnbibliotekariers syn på barns delaktighet i folkbibliotekets barnverksamheter
Sammanfattning: The objective of this thesis is to explore the prerequisites for children’s participation in the activities of the public library as expressed by six children’s librarians. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were carried out to investigate how the librarians interpreted the concept of participation and viewed power issues between children and adults. Further, difficulties and possibilities experienced in working with children’s participation and manifestations of children’s participation in everyday library work were also investigated. The theoretic framework of the thesis was based on childhood theory together with concepts drawn from Gallagher on childhood and power relationships in work involving children’s participation. The results reveal that participation is viewed as a complex and problematical concept. The informants interpretations vary from participation as passive observers to involvement, at least to the extent of being asked to participate in the planning of activities at libraries. Although aware of the imbalance of power between adults and children, the informants described difficulties in allowing children to take control. A lack of time was found to be the greatest hinder in working with participation. Time, they argue, is required in order to create security, to build relationships and to be able to reflect on participation processes. The most common manifestation of children’s participation is the use of children’s suggestions for buying library materials. However, we conclude that children are in fact participative in that they have access to libraries guided by a child perspective. Children are listened to and respected by the children’s librarians although there is still much that can be done to improve the extent of children’s participation in everyday library work.
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