University of Boräs in Sweden with case study on the Human Library
Librarian student Karin Hegnelius Tedenbrant has carried out field studies on the Living Libraries set in public libraries in Sweden. A very interesting report has come out of the case study and the results have been published by the University of Boräs in Sweden. The 60 page report is to date the largest scientific publication produced on the effects of the Human Library. Ms. Tedenbrant investigates the effects on books and readers but also looks at the possible outcomes for the public library as an institution. Below an abstract from the case study, however the full report is available in Swedish only.
Abstract from the case study:
The purpose of this study is to examine the phenomenon “Living library”, where people are lent out instead of books. First it is looked into what the Living library means to the person who is borrowing a living book and what it means to the living book itself. Than the Living library is put in a public library context. This is done through a case study of the city library of Helsingborg and the city library of Malmö. The theoretical framework consists of an analysis model of the public library constructed by Andersson and Skot-Hansen. Interviews are conducted in order to se what the Living library means to the borrower and to the living book. Text analysis is done in order to see if the intention of the Living library can be a part of the public library activity and the public library’s role in the society. The result indicates that the Living library has several meanings to the borrower and the living book. This in turn can be related to the public library as a centre of knowledge, a centre of culture and a social centre according to Andersson’s and Skot-Hansen’s analysis model. It can also be assumed that the living library gives opportunities to sense making participation. The intention of the Living library is to struggle against prejudice. This is done through knowledge, which can be related to the public library as a center of knowledge according to Andersson’s and Skot Hansen’s analysis model. The Living library can also be a part of the public library’s democratic role in the society because of their common interest in human rights.
Title: "Don’t judge the book by its cover" – a case study about the Living library at the public library by Karin Hegnelius Tedenbrant