Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019
Recognising the other through promotion of reading, collection development and communal collaboration: rural public libraries in the far-north of Sweden and their relation to the indigenous Sámi population
Introduction. This study reports findings from a study on the relation between rural public libraries and the Sámi population in northern Sweden, placed in the context of minority priorities required by the Swedish Library Act.
Method. Four full day workshop focus-group interviews were made with public librarians from 33 rural municipalities in northern Sweden, and follow-up interviews were conducted with representatives of the Sámi library sector.
Analysis. Qualitative analysis was carried out inspired by the concept of institutional ethnography. Capturing the relation between individual experiences and institutional structures, results are related to the concept of recognition as a moral basis for legitimate indigenous struggle.
Results. Results indicate that rural public libraries have difficulties meeting the requirements of the Library Act. Reasons are lack of general resources, lack of knowledge in indigenous librarianship and limited production of literature in the Sámi language varieties spoken in Sweden.
Conclusions. Further development of Sámi designated administrative areas and increased production of literature in Sámi language varieties stand out as the two most important factors in making daily work in public libraries able to reach the requirements of the Library Act in terms of recognition of the informational and cultural needs of the Sámi people.
It is mid-January, minus 32 degrees Celsius, and the brief daylight is fading. We are sitting in front of a fire in a lávvu drinking hot cowberry juice just north of the Arctic Circle a few miles east of Jokkmokk in the Swedish part of Sápmi. Outside, a group of reindeer is walking around, gathered to receive some extra pasture and some medical treatement during the late winter period, until it is time to move the herds up to the mountains again in the spring. I am discussing the Sámi situation with Anna Kuhmunen, vocal activist for the indigenous rights of the Sámi people and known in Sweden as anchor of Hejolojla, the only Sámi children’s programme on Swedish national TV. She tells stories of the Swedish oppression of the Sámi people as experienced by her grandparents and parents, and she is concerned about her six-year-old who next year will be forced into the national school system which takes no regard of the need of Sámi families that have to move with the reindeer over vast areas in the Scandic mountain range. I ask her, as the school system obviously fails them, does that go for libraries as well? ’Libraries are important to us’, she says. ’They can be a vehicle for language revitalisation and our cultural presence in the majority community. You must realise, we are still in a state of occupation. We are still struggling to maintain our way of life.’
In the light of such experiences, knowledge of the relation between public libraries and the Sámi minority in Sweden is still underdeveloped. This study reports on the relation between rural public libraries and Sámi library resources in Norrbotten, the northernmost county of Sweden. The basic question is if and how rural public libraries manage to meet the requirements of the Swedish Library Act to prioritise the indigenous Sámi people, and how this relates to experienced recognition of the Sámi community within the Swedish library sector.
The Sámi people in Sweden
Norrbotten is the northernmost county in Sweden and one of the most remote and sparsely populated regions in Europe, with a population density of only 2.53 inhabitant per square kilometer. This creates a number of challenges for library services. Public libraries in 14 municipalities within the county are organised through collaboration on a number of issues such as collection development, web-based services and mobile outreach services. Norrbotten is situated in the midst of Sápmi, the nation-spanning arctic area that since thousands of years is the home of the Sámi people.
The Sámi people is one of the indigenous so called circumpolar peoples populating, roughly, the area around and north of the actic circle. Sápmi covers today’s northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Russian Kola peninsula. As population counts based on ethnicity are prohibited in Sweden, the number of Sámi individuals in the country is difficult to determine. According to the official Swedish Sámi website, run by Samiskt informationscentrum (samer.se), the estimated Sámi population in Sápmi is in total 80,000 - 100,000 whereof somehwere between 20,000 and 40,000 live in Swedish Sápmi. Of these, approximately 40-45% speaks one or more of the Sámi language varieties spoken in Swedish Sápmi; Northern Sámi, Lule Sámi, Ume Sámi, and Southern Sámi.
The Swedish colonisation of Sápmi begun in the 17th century, following similar trajectories of indigenous submission as in other parts of the world with a quest for natural resoruces ensued by persecution, forced relocations, prohibiting languages and cultural expressons, and Christian mission (Jahreskog , 1982). Sweden adopted a national minority legislation in 2010 which, besides the Sámi, included Swedish Finns, Tornedalians living on the border between Sweden and Finland, the Romani minority, and the Jewish community (Sweden, SFS 2009:724). The rights of these groups are protected also through the National Language Act (Sweden, SFS 2009:600), where Finnish, Meänkieli (spoken by Tornedalians), Romani Chib, Jiddisch and Sámi are regarded as official minority languages. The Sámi population holds a special position, being the only one recognised as an indigenous people. This status is written into the Swedish fundamental laws, guaranteeing protection and maintainence of Sámi culture and community building in the Sápmi area. Status as indigenous people also connects to the non-binding United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted in 2007 (United Nations, 2007). Sweden has embraced the declaration regarding individual rights, but remains to this day ambiguous concerning the collective rights of the Sámi people in terms of land ownership, hunting grounds and the right to maintain land for traditional reindeer herding. Since 1993 there is a Swedish Sámi Parliament, Sámediggi (www.sametinget.se), at once being a state agency and a publicly elected parliament – in its role as the latter the Sámediggi works for increased self-determination for the Sámi people.
For Finnish, Meänkieli and the Sámi languages, designated municipality level administrative areas have been created where those who speak these languages are entitled to use them in all contacts with public administration, courts and public health care. Minority groups are also represented in local consultations with public officials. Within the designated administrative areas pre-schools and schools may provide language support for children. Designated areas for Sámi in Sweden are all located within Sápmi and consist of the following municipalities; Arjeplog, Arvidsjaur, Berg, Gällivare, Härjedalen, Jokkmokk, Kiruna, Lycksele, Malå, Sorsele, Storuman, Strömsund, Umeå, Vilhelmina, Åre, Älvdalen and Östersund. With the exceptions of Umeå and Östersund, these are sparsely populated rural municipalities. All are situated in counties in the northern half of Sweden. In municipalities outside of the designated areas, the right to use minority languages in contacts with authorities and public health services is more or less resticted to the availability of persons who speak them in each provided service.
Indigenous librarianship in library and information science research
Research on indigenous librarianship or the relation between public libraries and indigenous peoples has increased internationally during the last two decades, mostly relating to situated communities and efforts for language revitalisation, various library services or the building of library infrastructure for the benefit of minorities. Examples of relevant recent research cover issues such as the relation between non-indigenous librarians and the Maori minority in New Zealand (Oxborrow, Goulding and Lilley, 2017), and the situation for tribal libraries and library infrastructure in rural USA (Jenkins, Quiroga, Qiuballo, Peterson and Sorrell, 2018). library and information science research relating to the Sámi people is scarce. Hansson (2011) has analysed the general activity among public libraries towards the entire Swedish national minority population, and the significance of a library and documentation centre infrastructure for historical awareness and contemporary cultural participation among the Sámi population in Norway has been treated from various perspectives by Grenersen (2012, 2015, 2018).
The Sámi people and Swedish library legislation
The Swedish Library Act, implemented in 2014, is closely tied to the Swedish constitution and expresses the main purpose of the publicly funded library system to develop democracy and ensure the right to freedom of expression (Sweden, SFS 2013:801). It requires all public libraries to specially recognise and prioritise the national minorities and their languages. It is not stipulated in detail how this should be done, but it states both prespectives of language revitalisation and cultural activities directed towards the minority groups, as well as creating awareness about the conditions for the national minority cultures within the majority society. In the Library Act, the Sámi people is treated on equal terms as the other four national minorities, with the special indigenous status being largely unrecognised. National minorities should be treated within in four areas of general priority for public libraries stated in the act; (1) promotion of reading, (2) relevant collection development, (3) accessibility and service including digitization, and (4) collaboration between the variuos parts of the national library system, such as regional libraries, academic libraries and specialised library resources.
One such specialised library resource is the Sámi Library, situated in Jokkmokk in the Norrbotten county, financed through the Sámi Parliament. The Sámi Library has its main function as a depot library for the Sámi minority, and it provides libraries and schools in all of Sweden with Sámi materials, literature and advice. It is also a documentation centre, co-located with Sámi museum Ájtte, which holds large collections of artefacts and documentary resources reflecting the various traditions and cultural expressions of the Sámi people. In a recent official report to the Swedish Government, the Sámi Library is described as being in a problematic state (Sikku, 2018). Production and distribution of Sámi media, the ability for language revitalisation, indigenous competence among librarians, and the structure of general library work is all deemed insufficient, resulting from a lack of interest by libraries and schools outside of the designated administrative areas, and also from lack of interest within the Sámi population itself. Issues are tightly inter-twined as the limited publication of books and reading materials in Sámi language varieties influences the reading habits among the Sámi population – 76% of the 411 Sámi informants asked in the report do not read Sámi literature as they do not feel that they command the language enough. The lack of literature is also said to make it difficult for public libraries to meet the requirements in the Libary Act, both in terms of promotion of reading and language revitalisation.
Results in the report corroborate findings in a similarly recent report produced within the work to formulate a national library strategy (Kungliga biblioteket, 2018). From a majority society point of view, it concludes that issues need to be dealt with in three main areas for public libraries to meet the requirements of the Library Act when it comes to the priority of national minority languages. Public libraries need to;
- Make minorities visible regardless of demand. Libraries must work independently to inform, increase knowledge about and understanding for the national minorities among members of the majority society.
- Increase collaboration concerning media and library activity. Increase efficiency in media distribution and develop regular exibitions and program activities both in and about the national minority languages. Increased use of specialised library resources such as the Sámi Library is encouraged.
- _Prioritise childre_n in promotion of reading as a means to revitalise minority languages and cultural practices.
In the spring of 2019, these areas became included in the finalised national library strategy suggestion of Sweden, which also clearly made the distinction between the Sámi status as an indigenous people and the other national minorities (Kungliga biblioteket, 2019).
The moral basis of social recognition
When Anna Kuhmunen emphasises in her lávvu the historical struggle she is still experiencing as part of the Sámi people, she points to a fundametally moral conflict where the main battle concerns recognition of ones role in contemporary society. Such recognition entails secure rights for individuals to live full lives within the cultural realm set up by traditional practice and geography. On a more general level, the problem of recognition may be seen in many ways, for example in how the Sámi people is treated through the conflictuated disciplinary distinction between history and anthropology. History traditionally relates to the study of national state conceptions, where all areas outside of Europe and the European experience are regarded as being without social progress (Africa), structurally inferior (the Americas) or, if nothing else, simply geographically too far away to matter (the so called Far East). An effect of this distinction is that historical study of anything else than that which relates to national (colonizing) states or non-western perspectives on the world traditionally has been confined to anthropology. Even if such perspectives today are challenged by post-colonial schools in both history and anthropology, they still influence how indigenous peoples are treated in, for instance, the education of history teachers as well as in libraries. Swedish historian Gunlög Fur illustrates this enduring influence with regard to the Sámi situation by example of how classification of media on Sámi and Native American peoples (”indians”) found in Swedish public libraries and school libraries. Books on Native American peoples are generally found to be more numerous in libraries than those on the Sámi people, and classified with a combination of classes on History and Anthropology, while Sámi are classified primarily under Geography and Anthropology. In the first case, this emphasises a them-and-then approach without much significance for contemporary society, whilst the latter emhasises a them-and-now perspective with no significant historical value (Fur, 2013, p. 170). School children and the general public can be said to, in the light of this, be presented with the Sámi people as included in Swedish society, but the historical process leading to this inclusion is much kept in the dark, as is the history of the Sámi as such. Indigenous recognition is thus difficult to obtain, as legitimacy for inclusion is built more on political imperatives than on historical and moral ones.
German sociologist Axel Honneth has developed a framework for understanding social conflicts based on Hegel’s concept of struggle for recognition, emphasising the connection between personal needs and relations and social progress, where the impetus for social change takes departure in the individual’s sense of being morally unseen (Honneth, 1993). Despite increased interest in critical theory within library and information science, Honneth’s writings have gone largely unnoticed within the discipline, with the exceptions of Kann-Christensen & Andersen (2009) in a suggestion on how to rewrite the democratic role for public libraries, and Hansson (2019a) in promoting an ethically founded humanist basis for library and information science as a scholarly discipline.
In the present context, Honneth’s argument points to a pattern where libraries in Sápmi may be seen as representing the majority community social structure. From an indigenous perspective, the struggle is, in Honneth’s words ’[a] practical process in which individual experiences of disrespect are read as typical for an entire group, and in such a way that they can motivate collective demands for expanded relations of recognition’ (Honneth, 1993, p. 162).
Such demands from indigenous experience of opression thus are,
[m]oral experiences stemming from the violation of deeply rooted expectations regarding recognition. These expectations are internally linked to conditions for the formation of personal identity in that they indicate the social patterns of recognition that allow subjects to know themselves to be both autonomous and individuated beings within their sociocultural environment. If these normative expectations are disappointed by society, this generates precisely the types of moral experience in cases where subjects feel disrespected (Honneth, 1993, p. 163).
In public libraries, the relation between individual sense of belonging and social structure, and between moral impetus and practical agency, takes form on a daily basis. This is implemented in at least two ways, deeply connected to each other, not least with special emphasis on rural libraries; (1) the significance of an individual relation between the library/librarian and library user in rural communities (see e.g. Haggis & Goulding, 2003, Du, 2016, Hughes, 2017), and (2) that this individuated relation is important for libraries and users in increasing the social capital and trust among users (Vårheim, 2014, 2017). The concept of recognition-oriented relation between local libraries and the Sámi population will here guide the reading of the empirical study, creating a perspective out of which the Sámi experience can be transcribed into the ability of rural libraries to fulfill the prioritised areas of the Swedish Library Act.
The empirical setting and methodology
Methodologically, this work is inspired by the concept of institutional ethnography as developed by Canadian sociologist Dorothy E. Smith (Smith 2005, Smith 2006, Stooke 2010). Institutional ethnography allows for daily routines and work experiences to be formulated as ways to implement insitutional power structures and institutional practices not necessarily decided by those who are responsible for their implementation – in this case, public librarians and library assistants. It also allows for groups outside of the institutional processes, but that are subjected to them in any sense, to be seen in relation to these processes; in this case, the Sámi minority. The method directs research towards ’institutional capture of work knowledge’, through which individual experiences are dialogued with institutional settings (Smith, 2005, pp. 151-163). Here, this is formulated as three levels of practical librarianship that help create an understanding of the experienced relation between rural libraries and the Sámi minority in the tension between the institutional and the personal:
- Textually defined institutional level; public libraries securing democratic development and the right to freedom of expression as seen in legislation and policy documentation,
- Performative level; promotion of reading, collection development, availablility and service, and collaboration,
- Experiential level; competence and experience needed to carry through the performative means to reach the institutional aim.
Results are comprised from data collection made within the wider context of a study on the ability for rural libaries in Sweden to, in full, meet the general requirements of the Swedish Library Act (Hansson, 2019b). As work related to national minorities and their languages is a prioritised area in the act, issues concerning Sámi culture and language revitalisation proved an integral part of the data gathered in the northern parts of the country. Data was gathered through ten individual interviews and four full days focus-group workshops, gathering 47 librarians from 33 rural municipality libraries, in the northern counties of Sweden. Of these, 19 librarians represented municipalities in Norrbotten county. Each workshop participant wrote down their individual interpretation of each prioritised area in the Library Act, formulating their personal experience of them, before semi-structured discussions took place. These written were complemented by open whiteboard notes during discussions. The corectness of these notes were agreed upon by all participants. notes were transcribed and used together with the individual statements as the basis for analysis of the focus-group discussions. Individual interviews were carried out to complement the workshops, gathering perspectives from librarians on county level, and the Sámi community through representatives for the Sámi Parliament/Sámi Library and Àjtte, the National Sámi Museum and Documentation Centre. Interviews were 60-90 minutes long, recorded digitally and transcribed. Abbreviation of quote sources refer to individual library organisations such as municipality libraries or special library resources, and follows the abbreviation policy developed in Hansson (2019b). Quote translations from Swedish are by the author.
General library activity directed towards minority groups in Northern Sweden is scarce. Reasons for this relates in most cases to size and resources. The Library Act rooms a combined priority of serving everybody and the priority of national minorities. For rural librarians this combination may sometimes become conflictuated. A typical sentiment is formulated as such:
The concept of ’everybody’ is problematic. We know what service and what collections our users like, but what do non-users want? We simply don’t have the resources to find out. Physical accessibility is also problematic; with so few working at each unit, we can’t keep open as much as we would like (NBÄL).
Two principles clearly dominate service to national minority populations: proximity and administrative designation. As resources are scarce, the presence of a minority population in the local community is a core factor in the motivation for libraries to engage in service directed to this group specifically. Being approved status as designated administrative municipality for a certain minority group is of vital importance for the ability of libraraies to engage with service for the community present within the area. In Norrbotten, this is seen in for instance Haparanda, on the border to Finland, and Kalix, both designated municipalities serving the Meänkieli speaking Tornedalians, in close collaboration with the city of Torneå on the Finnish side of the border. A Kalix librarian tells that ’[w]e offer free childrens books for families speaking Finnish and Meänkieli, we offer children activities such as theater and loud reading in their own languages. For adults we arrange Meänkieli karaoke-dance aftenoons with free coffee’ (NBKA).
In Haparanda it is ’more or less’ a requirement for all librarians to be able to speak at least Swedish and Finnish, and preferably also Meänkieli:
For us ’everybody’ includes also the people of Torneå in Finland. We collaborate with collection development , and co-arrange various activities. When our librarians go out to schools in the area, they always go in pairs, with one speaking Swedish and one speaking Finnish or Meänkieli - if we want the children to learn and develop their own language we must be there to meet them and speak with them in that language (NBHA).
The same can be seen in relation to the Sámi community. One of the designated adminstrative municipalities serving the Sámi minority, has developed a broad range of services for its Sámi population as well as a presence within the Sámi community itself:
In the main library, we have a Sámi department, where we have collected both fiction and non-fiction books in most of the Sámi language varieties. One week per year we have a ’Sámi week’, where we invite the non-Sámi majority through schools, pre-schools, churches and other places engaging people to learn about, and engage with the Sámi minority living among us. We also give away books to Sámi families with pre-school children in three varieties; northern Sámi, southern Sámi and lule Sámi. Oh, and we always have staff that speak Sámi (NBAR).
Jokkmokk, the county where the Sámi Library is situated also hosts one of five Sámi schools in Sweden (the others are located in Gällivare, Karesuando, Tärnaby and Kiruna). Here, the local public library has established collaboration with both the Sámi school and the Sámi Library in providing services to the local Sámi community. For example, public librarians join those at the Sámi Library on acquisition trips to Norway, where most literature in Sámi languages is published. Here too, thematic weeks and cultural exhibitions about Sámi culture are presented in collaboration with the local Sámi community.
In non-designated municipalities, activities and collaborations are much more scarce, even if there is a strong local Sámi community. Promotion of reading is generally directed towards pre-school children and families with new-borns, mostly in collaboration with local maternal care/child health care units. Normally books are given away as gifts, but few have the resources to offer them in other languages than Swedish as standard ways of book distribution do not include Sámi literature.
Collection development is said to be problematic for two reasons: there are no resources allocated for minority languages and where there is, it is mostly for immigrant minority languages such as Arabic, Farsi, Tigrinja or Kurdish. Implementing collection development for minorities, none of the informants outside the administratively designated municipalities treat the Sámi community in any prioritised way on the basis of their status as indigenous people. Instead it is seen as just one of the current local minorities.
Turning to the Sámi library community, much of this is confirmed. The significance of having designated areas where public services to the Sámi are co-ordinated between local authorities and service facilities is emphasised. In non-designated municipalities, library services are depending on the initiative of the minority itself within the local community:
It is all very sporadic. What we see is that there is a somewhat higher interest, more activity, and knowledge in the designated municipalities, where they have a local consultation with the minority group itself, which makes it easier to plan activities. Where the Sámi minority is visible, active and with a local consultancy, there is more activity and more books in the libraries. In other places, there is much less activity, and even if there is an interest from a local library, it is sometimes difficult to know what books to buy. It is not easy to get hold of Sámi books (SAMT).
There are stuctural problems within the Sámi library community as well that come into play:
It is difficult to meet the needs of the Sámi people. In Sweden, there is very limited production of literature and four languages. We are lagging behind in basic cataloguing. Everything is neglected in librarianship, such as for instance digitisation; as we hardly have anything to digitise, there is not much being digititalised (SAMB).
As consciousness of Sámi library resources are scarce and the situation at the Sámi Library itself is described as being seriously neglected, there may still be ways for libraries to meet the requirements in the Library Act as to make the Sámi minority visible in the local community, for instance through exibitions, progam activities and events. Most participating libraries limit their service to the Sámi population with a minimal holding of childrens books and irregular exihibitions, most of which take place on and around the annual Sámi National day on february 6.
One issue that is brought up by both librarians and Sámi representatives is, that the fact that the Sámi people is treated on the same terms as the other, non-indigenous, national minorities, and in most local libraries also more temprorarily placed groups of refugees, may influence designated work negatively. Refugees are for instance well known to use local libraries more actively than the Sámi minority, also within Sápmi. The relation to the other national minorities is described as conflictuated. Main reason is Sweden’s long ambiguity towards the Sámi status as indigenous. Both librarians and the Sámi representatives refer to the situation in Norway, which is based on a much stronger recognition, resulting in both international relations, literature production, library infrastructure and economic resources designated for Sámi library development. Sweden is claimed to be far behind on these matters. Consequences are seen in local libraries:
The interest and knowledge [of library services] within the minority is perhaps sometimes not so big, as you are used to simply not exist. If service is there, demand increases; if you have these books, can you get hold of more? To see attention being paid to your language, cultural activities and reading promotion being offered without the need of consultancy, or nagging, shows that society takes resposibility, it shows that libraries take responsibility and that you don’t have to bear the task of integration only on your own shoulders (SAMP).
In this creation of a shared burden both librarians and Sámi library representatives are in agreement that the most important group to target are the children, and most library collaboration is also seen with local maternal care units and pre-schools. It is considered a way of getting to grips with sensitive issues such as discrimination and a
[s]chool legislation that has not been supportive of these [Sámi] languages over the years, so it is not even sure that you even want to express an interest, but if there is a book that belongs to ones own language one can sneak out with it (SAMT).
In the often small communities of the participating municipalities, this becomes real as most local libraries serve as school libraries as well, integrated or not.
Both librarians and Sámi library representatives emphasise the need for indigenous librarianship competence, which is seen a largely neglected by both library and information science programs in the country, as by national and county levels of the library sector. There is a need to address the minority community in their own language, and extend this practice outside of the designated municipalities, something which is seen as practically impossible as access to educated librarians is difficult also in a more general sense. Lack of educated librarians in the rural north is actually seen as a bigger problem than maintaining service for the various minorities in the county.
There is a wide agreement that, on an institutional level, public library services to the Sámi community within Sápmi is of importance, and both librarians and representatives of Sámi library resources formulate a situation where the requirements of the Library Act are difficult to meet. Strained economic resources force librarians to actively choose when and how various prioritised groups are selected for initiatives, as sufficiently serving the majority community is problematic in itself. However, the ´_deeply rooted expectations regarding recognition_´ that Honneth writes about is echoed in the statement that ´_you are used to simply not exist_’, defining a moral obligation for public libraries in a way that may well stretch beyond the minimum requirement of the law.
Difficulties in acquiring Sámi literature due to lack of infrastructural support for publishers in Sweden (which forces libraries to buy books in Norway) is seen as a major obstacle for maintaining other than a minimum holding of books in any of the Sámi language varieties. This situation also affects the ability to develop services such as promotion of reading, digitalisation and production of, for instance, e-books or streaming services. In terms of recognition, this prevent libraries to keep the stories of Sámi tradition as well as current experiences interpreted through fiction and research in the Sámi languages.
The establishment of designated adminstrative areas is seen as significant also for the performative level in public libraries. It is here we find strategic work, efforts for language revitalisation in collaboration with maternal care/child health units and pre-schools as well as a more active collaboration between schools and public libraries. In non-designated municipalities, activities concerning the Sámi community are scarce, and largely restricted to short term exhibitions and program activities. Lack of activity is experienced to, at least in part, depend on lack of interest or knowledge about what to expect from public libraries in the minority group itself. Here, both the Sámi Library and Ájtte see an important and difficult task, to get through to the wider Sámi community to market both services and support of their own organisations, but also of that provided by public libraries in the wider community.
On experiential level, the Sámi library situation relates to deeper structures of oppression and lack of recognition that both historically and today colours off on the very prerequisites for library development within Swedish Sápmi. The experienced lack of recognition of the indigenous status seen in the grouping together with non-indigenous minorities in legislation is not only important in legal terms, but more so in moral. It is said to prevent full recognition in the context of indigenous librarianship and the enforcement of services based on the moral imperative that the indigeionous status give the Sámi people. As the Swedish school system neglects the need for language revitalisation except for in singular designated municipalities, libraries are potentially important for establishing a link to Sámi history, but more so to the survival of Sámi language varieties. However, practical implementation of basic institutional recognition is difficult to maintain due to lack of librarians with indigenous librarianship competence alonf with the general lack of resources. Until these issues are resolved, situation will most likely remain problematic.
This research project was funded by the Swedish Arts Council, Dnr ADM 2018/74.
About the author
Joacim Hansson is Professor at the School of Cultural Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Linnaeus University, Sweden. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
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