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Studenteropgave: Speciale

  • Vicki Kleist Lewis
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen

This master’s thesis titled Volunteers in a Public Library examines two groups of volunteers in a public library.
The empirical basis is 12 interviews with volunteers from Gentofte Main Library in Denmark.
The thesis is framed by four research questions.
The first question examines who the volunteers are in two volunteering groups. The findings are that the majority of the volunteers are above the age of 55, they are well educated, and for most of them, it is their first job as a volunteer.
The second research question analyzes what type of social capital is present among the volunteers. The theoretical basis for this discussion is Pierre Bourdieu, Robert Putnam and Lars Hulgård’s perspectives on social capital. The findings are that there are three types of social capital present, bonding social capital, bridging social capital, and relating social capital. It is concluded that it is of interest to the library to facilitate different kinds of networks, where the social capital is formed, in an attempt to create the best performing groups.
The third research question investigates the volunteers’ motivation. There are seven different motivational factors present among the volunteers: Professional challenges, social responsibility, career opportunities, social networks, personal satisfaction, flexibility and cultural activities.
Finally it is asked what role the volunteers see themselves in. Are they volunteering for the library, the users or themselves? It is discussed what role the volunteers have, based on an instrumental and existential approach. The findings are that most volunteers have an existential approach to their volunteering work.

Udgivelsesdato1 jul. 2011
Antal sider73
Udgivende institutionDet Informationsvidenskabelige Akademi


  • frivillige, folkebiblioteket, social kapital, motivation, netværk