2008-01-19Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/1316
Workers and Libraries
A Question of Class in Public Library Developmentin Sweden
For what purposes are public libraries established? Who do the founders intend to reach with the activities of the libraries? How does the question of goals of public library work develop over time? These are important questions to analyse but first we have to demarcate. The paper treats public libraries and their forerunners in Sweden. The focus is on class and libraries and especially workers and libraries. Three phases are studied. The first is the founding phase of the modern public libraries in Sweden. What was the opinion about the existing popular libraries at that time and how was the discussion about developing the libraries to modern public libraries related to the question of workers and libraries? The second phase is the establishing of libraries within the labour movement during mainly the first half of the 20th century. What can explain the swift development of these workers’ libraries and why did they finally get absorbed into the library organisations of the municipalities? The third phase is the last quarter of the 20th century. This period started with a rapid expansion of outreach activities. One of them was books at places of work. The intention of the service was to reach workers, who used the public library in only a limited way. What happened with that service later on? This is analysed in relation to the development in society and especially within the public library sector.
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