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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2022

Mia Høj Mathiasson and Henrik Jochumsen

The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of and insights into a selected bibliography of 102 research publications on libraries ‚Äď of all types ‚Ä…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of and insights into a selected bibliography of 102 research publications on libraries ‚Äď of all types ‚Äď sustainability and sustainable development, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Design/methodology/approach

The review procedure is inspired by the hermeneutic literature review method, referring to a circular process of searching, sorting, selecting, acquiring, reading, identifying and refining. The publications are mapped to provide an overview of the research field. Following the research mapping, all publications are categorized as either environmental, economic, social, cultural or holistic according to their usage and understanding of the core concepts of sustainability and sustainable development. Finally, the main rationales behind the core concepts are identified, and their possible implications on the role of libraries and librarians are discussed.

Findings

Of the 102 research publications, 45 are categorized as environmental, 9 as economic, 9 as social, 3 as cultural and 36 as holistic. The main rationales identified across these categories are optimization, legitimation, demonstration and transformation. The possible implications behind these rationales are that libraries and librarians should be resourceful, explicit about their motivations, serve as good examples and act as change agents. Increasingly, libraries and librarians are expected to act proactively in relation to the global sustainability agenda.

Originality/value

This literature review provides a unique overview of and insights into an emerging research field, which are needed for future research and discussion about the potentiality of libraries and librarians in solving global sustainability challenges.

Article
Publication date: 21 June 2019

Mia Høj Mathiasson and Henrik Jochumsen

The purpose of this paper is to report on a new approach for researching public library programs through Facebook events. The term public library programs refers to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a new approach for researching public library programs through Facebook events. The term public library programs refers to publicly announced activities and events taking place within or in relation to a public library. In Denmark, programs are an important part of the practices of public libraries and have been growing in both number and variety within recent years.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study presented in this paper consists of Facebook events announcing public library programs. In the study of this data, grounded theory is used as a research strategy and methods of web archiving are used for collecting both the textual and the visual content of the Facebook events.

Findings

The combination of Facebook events as data, grounded theory as a research strategy and web archiving as methods for data collection proves to be useful for researching the format and content of public library programs, which have already taken place.

Research limitations/implications

Only a limited number of Facebook events are examined and the context is restricted to one country.

Originality/value

This paper presents a promising approach for researching public library programs through social media content and provides new insights into both methods and data as well as the phenomenon investigated. Thereby, this paper contributes to a conception of an under-developed researched area as well as a new approach for studying it.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Ragnar Audunson, Svanhild Aabø, Roger Blomgren, Sunniva Evjen, Henrik Jochumsen, Håkon Larsen, Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen, Andreas Vårheim, Jamie Johnston and Masanori Koizumi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the shaping of public libraries as an infrastructure for a sustainable public sphere through a comprehensive literature review.

2948

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the shaping of public libraries as an infrastructure for a sustainable public sphere through a comprehensive literature review.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to capture the whole picture of this research field, we utilize comprehensive review methodology. The major research questions are: first, to what extent have research topics regarding libraries as public sphere institutions expanded and diversified? Which theoretical perspectives inform research? Second, which challenges and topics does the research focus upon, such as: social inclusion and equal access to information; digital inequalities; censorship and freedom of expression; and access to places and spaces with a democratic potential and the role of libraries in that respect? Third, what influence has social media exerted on libraries in the context of the expanding digital world?

Findings

The authors identified mainly four themes regarding the public library and public sphere, such as: the importance of public libraries by using Habermas’s theory; the function of meeting places within the public library and setting those places in the center of the library in order to enhance and encourage democracy; the relationship between social inclusion and public libraries and its functions in current society such as diminishing the digital divide; and the emerging electronic resources and arena of SNS in public libraries and utilizing them to reach citizens.

Originality/value

Capturing the recent history of this research field through comprehensive review is valuable.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 August 2019

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…

1665

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of representative samples of the adult population in six countries ‚Äď Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland ‚Äď was undertaken.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

Few studies have empirically analyzed the role of libraries in upholding a democratic and sustainable public sphere. This study contributes in filling that gap.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 75 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 December 2021

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…

1021

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 78 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Charlotte Egholm and Henrik Jochumsen

New challenges facing public libraries require increasing resources and/or a more systematic approach in selecting from the increasing amount of new materials and…

1162

Abstract

New challenges facing public libraries require increasing resources and/or a more systematic approach in selecting from the increasing amount of new materials and filtering the overwhelming information glut. In facing this dilemma one idea could be to introduce user fees. Reports the results of investigations into the nature and level of user fees established in public libraries in several countries. The article discusses six general perspectives concerning user fees related to the future role of public libraries: the financial rationale underlying user fees; the willingness of users to pay; user fees as a means of collecting information on user preferences and controlling/limiting its use; the impact on the social distribution of library services; aspects of rethinking the modern welfare state; and aspects of enlightenment in a post‚Äźmodern society.

Details

Library Management, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Henrik Jochumsen, Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen and Dorte Skot‐Hansen

The aim of this paper is to present a model for the public library created by the authors.

15485

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to present a model for the public library created by the authors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is divided into three parts. The first part emphasizes considerations regarding today's focus on both the virtual and the physical library. The second part describes the four‚Äźspace model, including examples of libraries as illustrations of the different spaces and examples of how the model is being used in the Nordic library‚Äźworld. The third part pinpoints some critical questions in relation to the model.

Findings

The paper shows how the four‚Äźspace model has been used in different ways in the Nordic countries since it was presented for the first time in a Danish report on public libraries in 2010.

Practical implications

The four‚Äźspace model can be a useful tool in relation to developing, building, designing, arranging and rearranging public libraries. Furthermore the model can be a tool for management and communication in connection with library plans and policy and not least a point of departure for the discussion of the public library's overall role in society.

Originality/value

This is the first time that the space model is presented to the library world outside the Nordic countries in a way where examples, usability and limitations are included.

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Dorte Skot‐Hansen, Casper Hvenegaard Rasmussen and Henrik Jochumsen

The purpose of this article is to present a research project on public libraries in urban development focusing on how libraries contribute to culture‚Äźled urban…

3522

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to present a research project on public libraries in urban development focusing on how libraries contribute to culture‚Äźled urban regeneration as icons, placemakers and community vitalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The research project is based on case studies of new ‚Äúcutting‚Äźedge‚ÄĚ public libraries in Europe and North America. These case studies have been conducted through analysis of documents, observation and qualitative interviews with key informants.

Findings

The article finds that new public libraries have re‚Äźconceptualized their design, brand and functions as an answer to strategies of culture‚Äźled urban regeneration, and at the same time they have actively contributed to urban development by changing the image and identity of urban places, contributing to urban diversity and addressing social and economic problems.

Practical implications

The article provides a framework for development of strategies and legitimization for public libraries and a point of departure for the discussion of the library's contribution to urban development.

Originality/value

This is the first public presentation of the findings of the results of the research project Public Libraries in Urban Development ‚Äď Creativity, Innovation and Experience outside the Nordic countries.

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2022

Asmaa Bouaamri and Ágnes Barátné Hajdu

The purpose of this study is to explore the virtual space of the library and how it is part of the library building and many spaces offered. It inspects as well the work…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the virtual space of the library and how it is part of the library building and many spaces offered. It inspects as well the work of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ section related to library buildings and equipment libraries can play if they are able to provide remote users education, which can help in fighting illiteracy and promote digital literacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a structuralist approach from linguistics, sociology and anthropology to decorticate the concept of space. It favoured the literature review method, which was the most adequate approach for multidisciplinary results.

Findings

The study results indicate that the library virtual space became equally important as its physical spaces for our modern world and development. The significance of the virtual spaces is similar nowadays to the physical spaces of libraries as they allow for social integration and self-recognition.

Originality/value

The value of this study is uniquely exhaustive, as it highlights the value and significance of the library virtual space in the contemporary world, in comparison with the library physical spaces.

Details

Library Hi Tech News, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0741-9058

Keywords

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