Den nya stadens bibliotek : Om teknik, förnuft och känsla i gestaltningen av kunskaps- och upplevelsestadens folkbibliotek

Sammanfattning: This dissertation explores how perceived challenges and changing conditions for public libraries are translated and enacted in a local library setting. In 2008, Malmoe City Library, a public library situated in the third largest city of Sweden, initiated an ambitious strategy for renewal and change of their services. The strategy was given the name The Darling Library and expressed a vision to enforce a “paradigm shift”. In recent years, public library sector debates have been coloured by calls for change. By conceptualising Malmoe City Library’s efforts to realize The darling library as an attempt to handle a perceived crisis and demands for change, this study investigates how current challenges are met by local public library services and handled in everyday library work practises. The aim of the study is thus to explore how conceptions of crisis and change are expressed and translated in the transformation process of Malmoe City Library, 2009-2011, and how the changes made to face the perceived challenges are enacted. Thereby it seeks to contribute to a research-based understanding of how the changed conditions for public libraries are handled in a local service an in the everyday work of library employees. The data collection was guided by an ethnographic approach. Drawing on practice theory and ANT, different articulations of the conceptions of crisis and change was followed through a chain of translations, from research about public libraries, through policy and strategy documents, to moments of doing in everyday work practices. The findings show how the enactment of the “paradigm shift” implied that services and everyday work in many respects took on a different shape. Still, several established elements remained significant, for instance the printed book, but were ascribed new roles and meanings. The study shreds light on how enacting change also implies enacting stability.

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