The will to activate library users and the making of citizens: How different rationalities influence the notion of participation in a library context

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift


In this paper, we explore how the notion of participation informs policy documents in a public library context. Today, library users to a large extent are expected to manage on their own and society calls for self-governing, active subjects who are willing to participate. To explore the notion of participation we utilize the concept of problematization and conduct a text analysis of policy documents concerning Copenhagen public libraries and the public library of Malmö. Although, all documents relate to participation and user involvement, they have different points of departure and call upon different rationalities. While the outlined policies of Malmö library problematize social inclusion, Copenhagen library primarily problematizes inefficiency. Despite this contrast, increased participation seems to be the proposed solution in both locations’ policy documents. Thus, an analysis of these documents shows the complex and sometimes contradictory meanings of the concept of participation depending on which rationality is put into play.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap
Sidor (från-till)314–331
TidskriftLibrary Quarterly
Utgåva nummer3
StatusPublished - 2020 jul
Peer review utfördJa