The image of an institution: Politicians and the urban library project


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Library & Information Science Research;37(1)



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In terms of political perceptions, library building projects appear to be similar across different contexts. Qualitative interviews with local politicians were employed to examine attitudes towards public libraries and library development in three cities building new central libraries: Aarhus, Denmark; Birmingham, UK; and Oslo, Norway. Applying an institutional perspective, the analysis focuses on norms, legitimization, and organizational change. Findings show shared views on the role and mission of the library. The informants primarily pointed to citizens' democratic rights and their country's democratic tradition when legitimizing public funding for libraries in general. However, argumentation for local library building projects was connected to city development and the desire to portray a city as oriented towards knowledge and culture.



“NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Library & Information Science Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Evjen, S. (2015). The image of an institution: Politicians and the urban library project. Library & Information Science Research, 37(1), 28-35.”

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