• Kasper Holm Hansen
4. term, Sociology, Master (Master Programme)
Based on an adaptive analysis approach, my experience as a student assistant at The Aalborg Libraries and 46 semi-structured interviews conducted with different users at different libraries in Aalborg, the purpose of this master thesis is to study the change between Danish public libraries and its users in a framework, where I compare it to an amusement park. It has a starting point in the public libraries’ lack of legitimacy and traditional identity, where social changes such as the needs of new users and the emergence of the web all has contributed to the libraries’ necessity to develop a new kind of library. To provide an unique understanding of the development of the "new" library, this master thesis builds theoretically on a wide range of sociological theories, but two theories seem particularly significant, these are: "The McDonaldization of Society" (1993) by the American sociologist George Ritzer and "The Disneyization of Society" (2004) by the British sociologist Alan Bryman.
On the basis of this process of analysis, the master thesis shows a more optimized, flexible and changeable library, a library that responds to the fulfilling of the requests and needs of the users, as well as the establishment of a story that can help to expose the activities of the library in new entertaining ways. The availability of knowledge, information and cultural experiences are today different from the past, and the legitimacy of the public libraries is therefore increasingly dependent on what it’s contribution is. Some users see the public library as a public institution which contributes positively to the society by embedding information, culture, democracy, and social cohesion, and reduce the economic, social and ethnic distances. Others rather see the library as a store where its legitimacy is based on the supply of materials and experiences. The library has over time incorporated a hybridization of internal supply to a roomier library, and external collaborations in forms of new partnerships in more unconventional alliances with the public sector, the private sector and civil society. User hybrid consumption has not only to do with what is internally provided in libraries, but also other external surrounding institutions and shops.
Publication date10 Feb 2014
Number of pages96
ID: 185012404