Public libraries as public sphere institutions: A comparative study of perceptions of the public library’s role in six European countries
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 – Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland – 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.
Audunson, Ragnar Andreas
Hobohm, Hans Christoph
Rasmussen, Casper Hvenegaard
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This postprint-version is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Vabo, Signy Irene; Røiseland, Asbjørn (Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2012-11-09)The alleged increase in new governance arrangements is often understood as a challenge, since public leaders are considered to be less able to influence and govern when government is only one out of several stakeholders. ...
Public beliefs about high-voltage powerlines in Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom: A comparative survey Aas, Øystein; Devine-Wright, Patrick; Tangeland, Torvald; Batel, Susana; Ruud, Audun (Elsevier, 2014)As countries worldwide, and particularly in Europe, move to increase deployment of low carbon energy sources, significant investments in new transmission networks are planned. However, past cases of public opposition – ...
Johnston, Jamie; Audunson, Ragnar Andreas (SAGE Publications, 2017)Using Habermas’ theory of the public sphere, this article examines the potential of conversation-based programming (e.g. conversation groups and language cafes) in public libraries to bring immigrant voices into the public ...