• Gunnvá Bak Mortensen
Speciale, Kandidatuddannelsen
This thesis – ”The bookworms’ own stories – a qualitative study of users' perceptions of reading and the public library in the period 1930-1960” – seeks to explore new aspects of public library history through the memories of elderly people who as children used the in the period 1930 to 1960. Throughout my studies I have become aware of general exclusion of the experiences of the common library user in library research. Because of this exclusion the purpose of this thesis is to supply the self-understanding of the field, the library research and the narratives of teaching books and historical texts with the narratives of the library users.
The present thesis is based on a comprehensive collection of empirical data which primarily consists of interviews with 17 elderly participants. The approach to this data is mainly phenomenological, combined with a hermeneutical approach and use of oral history. The interviews have been collected, analysed and interpreted in a holistic understanding, where literature expressing the voices of the established library culture is the basis. The analysis encompasses five themes, representing the narratives of the participants: Reading, literature, libraries, librarians and finally a discussion of the library as a place of emancipation and cultural education.
The findings of this thesis show a differentiated range of perceptions and ”micro library stories” which illustrate that it can be useful and eye-opening to integrate and acknowledge the user perspective, and to let the users speak for themselves, when studying the library field.
Antal sider73
Udgivende institutionDet Informationsvidenskabelige Akademi


  • Erindring , Bibliotekshistorie, Fænomenologi, Interview