Books on Shelves, Bytes on Hold : Bibliotekslagstiftning och informationsaktiviteter på två fristående gymnasieskolor i Sverige

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Institutionen Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap / Bibliotekshögskolan

Abstract: Recent legislation in Sweden mandates that all students beprovided access to a school library. In addition, schools areexpected to help students become independent and life-longlearners. Various national organizations stress theimportance of a school library in this process; however,reportedly independent schools use public libraries and theInternet for information activities instead. This studyexplores: 1) how independent schools in Sweden can meetboth government requirements to provide library accessand the information literacy demands of their students, and2) the function of digital libraries in this context. After acomparison of previous research, a qualitative method waschosen based on socio-cultural theoretical assumptions.Semi-structured interviews were conducted with aprincipal, a teacher, and a focus group of students from twoindependent schools. Through a process of open coding,important themes emerged concerning how libraries andinformation literacy are conceptualized. There is a strongtendency to see libraries in terms of a physical function(books on shelves) over social activities (e.g., integrationwith teachers, development of information literacies,collection management). Students rely first and foremoston Google during the information seeking process, but alsoconsult each other for help. There are also signs thatstudents are discouraged from asking their teachers for helpduring the information seeking process. The findingsindicate that current educator attitudes may hinder thedevelopment of digital school libraries.

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