Det performative samspil mellem digital infrastruktur og kulturelle arrangementer i den professionelle praksis i danske folkebiblioteker

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The aim of the study is to examine the recursive intertwining of humans and technology in practice in Danish public libraries. Drawing on Karen Barad´s theory of agential realism, the paper suggests that the public library is investigated not through an ontology of separateness between digital infrastructure and cultural activities, but through a relational view focusing on their constitutive entanglements. The empirical focus in the article is on material-discursive practices of professionals in Danish public libraries and consist of qualitative interviews with 32 professionals from 10 Danish public libraries carried out in autumn 2022. Through a material-discursive lens of entanglement, the study analyses the narratives of the professionals when describing their libraries and their work practices.

Based on the empirical material two themes are chosen for closer consideration. One theme is 'Cultural events, book exhibitions and front-line services´, while the other is ´Statistics of library loans and purchases of materials'. In the first theme, the digital infrastructure appears as a passive information resource. Due to budget cuts and importance of what the professionals articulate as "the institutional visibility", the digital infrastructure stays in the background in favor of cultural activities. In the second theme, it becomes clear that the digital infrastructure is no longer passive, but on the contrary very controlling for a number of practices, e.g. managing the collection, organizing the physical library and predicting users´ needs. By focusing on material-discursive practices, it becomes possible to articulate these differences and their implications. The paper concludes that the chosen analytical lens of entanglement helps to address essential consequences of digitalization, and hereby contributes to discussions of future institutional strategies for Danish public libraries.
Original languageDanish
JournalNordic Journal of Library and Information Studies
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2023

ID: 378176590