Managing Norwegian public libraries as civil public spheres: recent controversies
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose: This article contains a theoretically inspired discussion of recent Norwegian controversies related to the management of public library space as a civil public sphere. Design/Methodology/Approach: The article engages with theories of civil public spheres, and their application within a Nordic context. The theories are applied in discussions of recent controversies related to the management of Norwegian public libraries as civil public spheres, as represented in professional journals and press articles. Findings: Through the discussion it becomes apparent that the value of neutrality and librarians’ inclusive practices on part of societal minorities might be conflicting when managing public libraries as civil public spheres. Originality: The article engages with recent library controversies in Norway and discusses them in light of recent scholarly work on library activism in a Nordic context, as well as recent theorizations of civil public spheres in the Nordic countries. It thus connects ongoing discussions among Norwegian librarians with recent library research and ongoing theorization of civil public spheres within the Nordic model.