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Jamie Johnston, Ágústa Pálsdóttir, Anna Mierzecka, Ragnar Andreas Audunson, Hans-Christoph Hobohm, Kerstin Rydbeck, Máté Tóth, Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen, Henrik Jochumsen, Mahmood Khosrowjerdi and Sunniva Evjen
The overarching aim of this article is to consider to what extent the perceptions of librarians in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Sweden reflect a…
The overarching aim of this article is to consider to what extent the perceptions of librarians in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland and Sweden reflect a unified view of their professional role and the role of their institutions in supporting the formation of the public sphere and to what extent the variations reflect national contexts.
The multi-country comparison is based on online questionnaires. The central research questions are how do librarians legitimize the use of public resources to uphold a public library service? How do librarians perceive the role of public libraries as public spaces? How do librarians perceive their professional role and the competencies needed for it? Consideration is given to how the digital and social turns are reflected in the responses.
The results show evidence of a unified professional culture with clear influences from national contexts. A key finding is that librarians see giving access as central for both legitimizing library services and for the library's role as a public sphere institution. Strong support is shown for the social turn in supporting the formation of the public sphere while the digital turn appears to be a future challenge; one of seemingly increased importance due to the pandemic.
This study shows that libraries across the seven countries have expanded beyond simply providing public access to their book-based collections and now serve as social, learning and creative spaces: both in the physical library and digitally. Qualitative research is needed concerning librarians' notions of public libraries and librarianship, which will provide a more in-depth understanding of the changing professional responsibilities and how public libraries recruit the associated competencies.
The article provides a much needed insight into how librarians perceive the role of public libraries in supporting the formation of the public sphere and democratic processes, as well as their own role.
Ragnar Audunson, Svanhild Aabø, Roger Blomgren, Hans-Christoph Hobohm, Henrik Jochumsen, Mahmood Khosrowjerdi, Rudolf Mumenthaler, Karsten Schuldt, Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen, Kerstin Rydbeck, Máté Tóth and Andreas Vårheim
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of public libraries as institutions underpinning a democratic public sphere as reasons legitimizing libraries compared to…
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the role of public libraries as institutions underpinning a democratic public sphere as reasons legitimizing libraries compared to reasons that are more traditional and the actual use of libraries as public sphere arenas.
A survey of representative samples of the adult population in six countries – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland – was undertaken.
Legitimations related to the libraries role as a meeting place and arena for public debate are ranked as the 3 least important out of 12 possible legitimations for upholding a public library service. Libraries are, however, used extensively by the users to access citizenship information and to participate in public sphere relevant meetings.
Few studies have empirically analyzed the role of libraries in upholding a democratic and sustainable public sphere. This study contributes in filling that gap.
The paper seeks to encourage both LIS teachers and LIS students to experiment with more interactive methods of teaching and learning. The example is taken from a series of…
The paper seeks to encourage both LIS teachers and LIS students to experiment with more interactive methods of teaching and learning. The example is taken from a series of seminars at Humboldt Universität Berlin, Department for Library and Information Science.
The paper takes the form of a report about a practical seminar, which involves students in the making of a book on a subject related to library science. It starts with the submission of an idea and sees the process through until the final hardcover book. In the seminar, students learn how to edit and prepare submitted articles for publication, how to secure financing and how to find a publisher.
LIS students are highly enthusiastic about these so‐called project seminars as they offer valuable practical experience that complements skills acquired in other more theoretical courses. In these seminars, they develop an in‐depth understanding of the subject of the volume they edit – through direct exposure to professional articles written by authors in their respective area of expertise in library science as well as in related fields.
These practical seminars prepare students for an academic career, including the skills needed for publishing or editing scientific books or articles. Further, they develop their understanding of quality aspects in the world of publishing. In addition to their role as editors of an anthology, they are exposed to professional librarians and authors outside the university, which is an additional bonus for their professional career prospects.