published quarterly by the university of borås, sweden

vol. 24 no. 4, December, 2019

Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019

Public libraries as promoters of social sustainability?

Lisa Engström and Johanna Rivano Eckerdal.

Introduction. The aim of this paper is to critically examine how public libraries are portrayed as contributing to social sustainability. Meanings ascribed to the concept are investigated and if, and then how, the public library is shaped in relation to it.
Method. Library plans from five municipalities in Sweden are analysed and discussed in the light of previous research.
Analysis. Bacchi’s method ‘what´s the problem represented to be’ is used to scrutinize what problem the public library is supposed to be part of the solution of.
Results. Three policies represent the ‘problem’ as a current threat to democratic values, safety and stability. By favouring social sustainability, the library contributes to robust communities and to enable trust. In two policies, sustainability is related to development and change.
Conclusions. When libraries are put forth as places encouraging users to take responsibility for social sustainability a tremendous responsibility is placed on individuals. Our suggestion for disrupting this argument is to recognise social unrest as a consequence of inequalities and unequal distribution of resources and to acknowledge pluralism and difference. Thereby, libraries may contribute to social sustainability and democracy by being places where social antagonism can be transformed to agonism.


This paper critically examines the portrayal of public libraries as contributing to social sustainability. Sustainability is widely discussed, not least after the United Nations adopted the resolution “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development” (United Nations, 2015). Whereas the economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development often relate to the climate crises, social sustainability relates to the challenges of increasing social and economic gaps, segregation, and a growing mistrust towards societal institutions, as well as between individuals or groups of people. Sustainability is thus closely connected to the functioning of civil society, hence to democracy. In Sweden sustainability, in all three dimensions, is put forward as a general policy goal (Government Offices of Sweden, 2016), and consequently it shapes cultural policy (Nordic Council of Ministers, 2017). This exemplifies how culture to a growing extent is being viewed as promoting social inclusion in European countries and on an EU-level (Belfiore, 2002).

Within academia as well as in professional discussions, the library is considered to be a crucial cultural institution, contributing to social cohesiveness and sustainability. By offering spaces in local communities open to all and free of charge, this institution and its staff are understood as facilitating access to information and culture. Thereby the library is regarded as an entryway with low thresholds to the local community, extending a constant invitation to take an active part in it. At a time characterized by political and social instability, this role is emphasized.

Thus, when society calls for solving problems related to segregation and lack of social sustainability, the library is portrayed as part of the solution. This is evident in research, as well as in policy documents. For example, the International Federation of Library Associations and Affiliations (IFLA) launched an “International Advocacy Program”, aimed at promoting and supporting libraries’ role in implementing the Agenda 2030 goals (IFLA, 2018). Since then the IFLA helps libraries achieve these goals and further sustainable development. The document positions public libraries as ‘key institutions for achieving the goals’, since libraries make information accessible and promote culture and literacy (IFLA, 2018). In Sweden, libraries are viewed as invigorators of democracy and social inclusion. For example, the recently published national library strategy (Fichtelius et al., 2019) emphasizes the library’s role as an open space, enabling interpersonal meetings. Similar notions are prevalent in local policy documents.

The aim of this paper is to critically examine the portrayal of public libraries as contributing to social sustainability. We investigate the meanings ascribed to the concept of social sustainability and if, and then how, the public library is shaped in relation to it. The material for our analysis consists of a selection of policy documents related to Swedish public libraries. Carol Bacchi’s method what’s the problem represented to be is used to scrutinize what problem the public library is supposed to be part of the solution of. We ask:

Our research is situated in Sweden, but relevant in a broader context considering that public libraries, as well as other cultural institutions, are ascribed a role to strengthen social sustainability in many Western countries.


Internationally there is an ongoing debate about the consequences of increasing gaps and social divides between countries, groups of people and individuals. Political turbulence, often exemplified with the election of Donald Trump in the US and the growing right-wing and nationalistic movements in Europe, is linked to this development (Foa and Mounk, 2017, Rivano Eckerdal, 2017, p. 1011). Political instability and right-wing tendencies also influence the political climate in Sweden, where these tendencies are associated to arguments about gang violence, criminality and extremism, viewed as consequences of segregation and economic and social gaps (Schierup, Ålund and Neergard, 2017).

The debate about lacking social cohesiveness and sustainability during recent years follows a general worry about societal conditions, manifested by Putnam’s problem of decreasing social capital and rising loneliness. In Putnam’s (1995) frequently cited article “Bowling Alone” he argues that a weakening civic engagement in the US results in a decline of social trust. In a following article fifteen years later, Putnam and Sander point to the risk of increasing levels of resentment if the widening gaps in social capital and academic ambition are not addressed (Sander and Putnam, 2010). However, the hypothesis presented by Putnam, on how a lack of interpersonal interaction results in decreasing social capital and trust and, in the long run, increasing alienation and criminality, is disputed (see e.g. Uslaner, 2012, Larsen, 2013). Nonetheless, the force of Putnam’s argument is its alignment with a general problematization of lacking social cohesion in society, at a time when good governance equals collaboration and networks between social actors, institutions and private enterprises (Rose, 1999, p. 168). For example, Steans and Tepe (2012) conclude that even if the concept of social cohesion is ambiguous ‘…it is widely agreed that a lack of social cohesion in specific societies, particularly in the West, is a growing problem’ (p. 197). Increasing mistrust, exemplified in a growing dissatisfaction with the democratic system in western countries, including Sweden, and antidemocratic breakthroughs in European countries (Foa and Mounk, 2017, Lindberg and Steenekamp, 2017), may partly be understood because of a lack of social cohesiveness.

Trust, social cohesion, equity and social exclusion are related to the concept of social sustainability (Bramley and Power, 2009, Vallance et al., 2011). The concept has been recently been put to the fore in Agenda 2030. However, social aspects of sustainable development are highlighted already in the preceding UN report “Our Common Future” (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987), also known as the Brundtland report. This report emphasises three aspects of sustainable development; economic growth, environmental protection and social equity. Furthermore, the definition of sustainable development in the report is still influential: ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

Even if the concept of social sustainability, or social dimensions of sustainability, has been widely used for more than twenty years, its meaning is disputed (Vallance et al., 2011, Littig and Griessler, 2005). In the context of libraries, social sustainability is both used to discuss the sustainability of the institution (see e.g. Michnik, 2015), and with reference to libraries’ potential to contribute to the communities in which they are located (see e.g. Lankes, 2016). In this paper, we focus on the latter aspect. However, we do not start with a specific and a priori meaning of social sustainability. Instead, we aim to explore the meaning given to the concept in the policy documents we analyse.

Sweden got its first Library Act in 1996 (SFS1996:1596), stipulating that every municipality (the municipal unit below the County in Sweden’s two-tier local-government system) should have at least one public library. In 2004 an amendment of the law was approved stating that all municipalities must develop a library plan. Due to societal changes, including the consequences of digital tools and infrastructures for the ways people interact with media of various sorts, a revision of the law was suggested. Since 2014 a new Library Act is in force (SFS 2013:801, see Rivano Eckerdal 2017 for a detailed discussion). Library plans on both municipal and county level remain mandatory. However, an important change is in the phrasing of the preamble:

2§ The libraries in the public library system shall promote the development of a democratic society by contributing to the transfer of knowledge and the free formulation of opinions. The libraries in the public library system shall promote the status of literature and an interest in learning, information, education, and research as well as other cultural activities. Library activities shall be available to everyone. (Swedish Library Association, 2015).

Thus, a connection between libraries and democracy, the former being an important prerequisite for the latter, that is found in international documents such as the “Unesco public library manifesto” (1994) is now included in Swedish legislation. The first sentence in the preamble states that the mission of the public library system is to promote the development of a democratic society. The means put forward to do so are twofold. First, the library system contributes to transfer knowledge: by being a library user you learn things. Second, the library system plays a part in the free formulation of opinions: by learning things library users can make up their minds on issues that are important to them and to society.

Research on public libraries as social advocates

Researchers within library and information studies, building on the works of Putnam amongst others, argue for the democratic potential of public libraries and their capacity to contribute to and create social sustainability, often in terms of social cohesion or social inclusion (Aabø and Audunson, 2012, Buschman and Leckie, 2007, Hvenegaard Rasmussen et al., 2017, Rivano Eckerdal, 2017; 2018). In relation to this, there is a strong research tradition analysing the public library’s role for community building and social capital (see e.g. Bertot, 2016, Cart, 2002, Goulding, 2009, Granda and Machin-Mastromatteo, 2017, Hillenbrand, 2005, Johnson and Griffis, 2009, Ouligian, 2018, Scott, 2011). Since the notion of community building is closely related to social sustainability, we consider this research to be essential to ideas of the public library as promoter of social sustainability. Scott (2011) summarizes five areas in which the library contributes to community building, thereby capturing the focus of this research tradition:

1. Libraries serve as a conduit to access information and to learn 2. Libraries encourage social inclusion and equity 3. Libraries foster civic engagement 4. Libraries create a bridge to resources and community involvement 5. Libraries promote economic vitality within the community (p. 197).

According to Scott (2011) and others, the library’s role for community building is accomplished by making information accessible to all and by functioning as an open meeting place. The library’s role as provider of free information is considered to be fundamental for a well-functioning democracy. The argument is that library users’ utilisation of information in free discussions favours a greater understanding of the world and the establishment of a rational consensus (Scott, 2011, p. 200). This creates a foundation for positioning the library as vital for citizen involvement and as invigorator of a weakening democracy. During recent years, the library as a place connecting people and enabling interaction is emphasized in relation to social inclusion and community building (see e.g. Goulding, 2009). Research on the library’s role as a meeting place emphasize the library as a public and non-commercial space, used by a diverse population when it comes to income, age, level of education, and cultural and religious background (Aabø and Audunson, 2012, Scott, 2011). The Norwegian PLACE project is a manifestation of this focus in research. By using Putnam’s concept of social trust, the purpose was to investigate the public library’s function as a meeting place (Aabø, Audunson, and Vårheim, 2010, p. 16). In 2016, the extensive follow-up research project ALMPUB started. Thus, there is a strong research tradition discussing the library as a meeting place where inhabitants interact and freely access information, resulting in increasing mutual trust, social sustainability and a strengthened democracy.

However, previous research on the public library and its contribution to community building, social capital and social sustainability assumes libraries to be self-evidently and naturally safe and open places where a diversity of users meet. We will explore the assumptions underlying such conceptions. Furthermore, previous research emphasizes the library’s democratic potential as a public place where people interact and access information and thereby establish rational consensus. In contrast, we will discuss how pluralism and conflict can be accommodated and how the library thereby can contribute to democracy (cf. Mouffe, 2005; 2013).

Theory and method

In previous research, the democratic potential of libraries is often related to the free information (non-fiction material) and public space that libraries provide. Here, we are interested in libraries as democratic and pluralistic spaces that are open for alternative views, fiction, and imagination. Therefore, we engage in a subaltern perspective, viewing the library from an oblique angle, challenging the status quo (Bhabha, 2003, p. 32). By acknowledging conflict, not consensus, as our point of departure, we conceptualize libraries as spaces where diverse people come together and debate dissimilar views on shared matters (Mouffe, 2005, Jonsson, 2019).

Our analysis is guided by the method what is the problem represented to be, developed for critical policy research by Carol Bacchi (2009). The approach is suggested as an alternative or contrast to other modes of engaging with policies (Bacchi, 2016). With Foucault’s notion of problematizations at its foundation, the method does not engage in solving the problems that the policies are about, but aims to investigate why they are understood as problems in the first place. The method makes it possible to adopt a critical distance from issues close to us and to scrutinize how they are part of how we are governed:

’Objects’ such as ‘sexuality’ and ‘madness’ are central to how we are governed because they have all sorts of effects on the ways we live our lives – both directly and indirectly through the norms they install. Therefore disrupting their taken-for-granted status as truth opens up relations of ruling for critical scrutiny. (Bacchi, 2012, p. 2).

The approach is therefore a means to critically examine the status quo visible in policies. The method focuses on paying interest to how particular problems are framed and phrased rather than evaluating suggestions on how problems may or may not be solved. In so doing, it is possible to clarify why issues are thought of as problematic and suggest alternatives; if, and then how, things could be otherwise.

Six questions are posed by the researcher to the material (Bacchi, 2009, p. 2). The performance and structure of our analysis is guided by these questions, as reflected in the subheadings.


Our interest in the library as a contributor to social sustainability evolved in a project we are currently working on concerning risk at public libraries (BibRisk). We found it intriguing how social sustainability was put forth in discussions concerning libraries and in library plans. We decided to explore this relationship in a purposeful set of library plans. For the present paper we started with the library plan for Malmö which we knew included a discussion about social sustainability. We decided that a sample of five library plans would be suitable for the analysis. We googled the following search terms: ‘library plans’ ‘sustainable’ (biblioteksplaner hållbar). We did not include ‘social’ as a search term, recognising that the social dimension of sustainability may be expressed in various ways, which is part of our analysis of the material. The search result was qualitatively evaluated, looking for plans presently applicable, with a geographic spread across Sweden, including the word sustainable not only in a title or heading. Our final sample includes library plans from the following municipalities: Gullspång, Halmstad, Malmö, Sundsvall and Åtvidaberg.

The library plans have been analysed in two subsequent steps. First, the plans were read to find how sustainability is included and to what extent it refers to the social dimension of the notion, by looking for the following aspects: a) definition of sustainability, b) origin of formulating sustainability as a goal, c) why sustainability is put forward? d) how is sustainability created? e) means to create sustainability and f) the library’s role in relation to sustainability. Second, the material was analysed for the problematizations described above. It is important to note is that the library plans are not focusing on sustainability, but sustainability is one of the factors discussed in each plan. Therefore, the questions asked have been modified, the goal being to find out what problem the public library is supposed to solve when positioned as contributing to social sustainability.

Analysis and discussion

How has this representation of the ‘problem’ come about?

As mentioned, the library plans are stipulated in the national Library Act and refer to the law, but also to other documents on different levels. In four of the municipalities, sustainability is part of the official “vision and goals”, included in the plan when it states its mission to contribute to fulfilling those goals. In Gullspång the library plan includes four strategies from the document about values adopted by the municipality. One of them concerns sustainability (p. 5). In Halmstad the library plan refers to three principles that guide the municipal services and how the library relates to them. Sustainable development is one of the principles:

The development of the municipality of Halmstad shall be long-term sustainable. This implies that the development meets todays’ needs without endangering future generations’ possibilities to meet their needs. In Halmstad both the public and the school libraries work with spreading knowledge about tolerance and the fundamental role that democratic values have for a stable society. (p. 3, our translation).

In this plan the connection between sustainability and democracy is evident. This is also the case in the library plan of Malmö. In 2013 a report was published by the Malmö commission, set up to map and suggest solutions to increasing social and economic gaps in Malmö. The report’s title translates to Malmö’s path to a sustainable future – health, welfare and justice (Malmökommissionen, 2013) indicating the focus on sustainability. This report is put forward in the library plan since the city council of Malmö decided to work in accordance with its recommendations (p. 5). In regards to sustainability, libraries are considered important as a part of education, culture and leisure and social networks, to favour integration and social inclusion and thereby strengthen democracy (p. 6).

A rather different approach to sustainability is found in the library plan for Sundsvall. As in the previously mentioned plans, sustainability is connected to the vision and goals of the municipality, presented in a policy that translates to RICHER: a sustainable strategy of growth until year 2021. The library plan includes a section on how the plan relates to that policy:

Sundsvall’s vision for sustainable growth according to RICHER reaches beyond the traditional ecological and economic factors and includes a strong will to increase the social capital of the municipality. Social capital can be described as trust and value-producing relationships between people in groups or networks of different kinds, and is according to research the critical factor for establishing development and innovation. Social capital is an important factor for economic growth, less inequality, less criminality and better democracy and health. (p. 7, our translation).

In Sundsvall, sustainability is connected to social capital which is presented as the most important factor for development and innovations. The social dimension of sustainability is then suggested as a pathway for economic success, an instrumental view that reflects the rhetoric found in Agenda 2030 where the three dimensions of sustainability can be argued to have different weights. The proposition of social capital as an important indicator for economic growth is interesting as well as the general remark that this connection is ‘according to research’, since the understanding presented is a very limited one.

Sustainability is not included in the vision and goals of Åtvidaberg municipality, according to the library plan (p. 3). Instead, sustainability is introduced in the mission of the public library: ‘[The library] shall work in favour of social sustainability and stimulate people to contribute to the development of a safe and robust community.’ (p. 4, our translation).

The imperative for producing detailed steering documents for public institutions such as library plans for libraries can be understood as part of new public management tendencies that have had a huge impact on Western societies since the 1980’s. It is a challenging demand but also an opportunity to make the institution known internally and externally (Rivano Eckerdal and Carlsson, 2018). By focusing on the notion of sustainability and its prevalence in library plans, we notice how a single notion with strong connotations to an economic speak in international documents such as 2030 Agenda is spread throughout local documents, influencing the ways the library is understood. Therefore, when sustainability is related to a document where the emphasis is on the social rather than the economic dimension of the concept, as in the case of Malmö, the library is understood in a different way.

What’s the ‘problem’ represented to be in library plans?

In the library plans of Gullspång and Halmstad sustainability is put forward to ‘prevent jeopardizing living conditions’, which projects the idea that the present living conditions are under threat. In the library plan of Halmstad, knowledge about tolerance and democratic values are put forth as important for social stability (p. 3) and the library shall spread knowledge about this. Social unrest and democratic challenges are then part of what is endangering the present living conditions. Libraries shall also communicate the guiding values in Halmstad (p. 4) as well as promote freedom of opinions, which is presented as a potential challenge (p. 5). Lack of knowledge is then drawn up as a major problem that the library must engage in.

In Gullspång’s library plan the educational purposes are even more accentuated when the plan relates to the vision of the municipality mentioned previously, stating that it is crucial that people recognize the importance of creating a sustainable society (p. 16). A number of key areas for sustainable development are presented, including ‘peace and safety’, ‘equality’, ‘human rights’ and ‘natural resources’ (p. 16). The library plan presents three strategies contributing to raise the level of knowledge in these issues: collaboration with external parties in public education, development of a media strategy that favours key issues for a sustainable society, and conveying information from the municipality that promotes the democratic process (p. 16). In Åtvidaberg the library is given an active role in relation to social sustainability as it should stimulate people to contribute to the development of a safe and robust society (p. 4). Social sustainability is thereby associated with stability and safety rather than development or change.

Thus, problems in the plans from Gullspång, Halmstad and Åtvidaberg are represented as current threats to democratic values, safety and stability. By favouring social sustainability, the library thereby contributes to stronger communities and enable trust.

The problem is presented in a slightly different way in the library plan of Malmö, since a lack of equality and social inclusion are recognized as existent facts. Thus, social sustainability is not offered as a solution to a threat but as a solution to deficiencies in society. In Sundsvall, sustainability is likewise related to development and change. However, economic growth is the focus instead of social change. Thus, when education and inclusion is promoted, it is motivated by innovation and a strengthened economy (p. 8).

What presuppositions or assumptions underlie this representation of the ‘problem’?

In the above described problem representation, two strategies in particular are proposed to create sustainability; education and facilitation of meetings. Regarding education, the Gullspång library plan (p. 16) emphasizes the need to educate people, the Halmstad library plan (p. 3) discuss the importance of spreading knowledge about tolerance and democratic values, and the Sundsvall library plan aims to reconsider ‘our old way of thinking’ (p. 8). Thus, an underlying assumption is that social sustainability will increase as individuals increase their knowledge. Regarding facilitation of meetings, the Malmö library plan highlights the need for boundary crossing meetings (p. 8). The transcending character of the social interaction is also emphasized in the plans for Åtvidaberg and Sundsvall, respectively. The library plan of Halmstad (p. 6) states that libraries should bring people together, and thereby favour social sustainability. Thus, meetings at the library are associated with interaction across conceptualized borders and expected to generate tolerance and trust. Both education and meetings are targeting individual library users; it is the library user who must engage and change in order to favour social sustainability. Furthermore, when individuals are engaging in learning and building social networks in the library, they are also believed to foster innovation aimed at improving economic growth.

What effects are produced by this representation of the ‘problem’?

As mentioned, the library plan of Åtvidaberg (p. 4) emphasizes how social sustainability contributes to a safe and robust society. In Halmstad (p. 3) the library is put forth as contributing to stability in the local community. Therefore, these library plans present social sustainability as a solution to preserve the present. On the other hand, when the library is put forth as contributing to stability in the local community (Halmstad, p. 3) or as a stimulator of local engagement in sustainable development with the aim of creating a safe and robust society (Åtvidaberg, p. 4), the present societal situation is understood as unstable, frail, and brittle. What people experience is then supposed to be a condition that to some extent is dangerous, evoking dreadful feelings. At the same time, stability and safety are portrayed as threatened and potentially lost, but able to be resurrected. By creating social sustainability, a path is opened back to a robust and safe community.

In the library plan of Malmö, social sustainability to a higher degree is associated with development and change. Society is described as unequal and unjust, which motivates change. The need for change informs other aspects of the document as well. When safety and trust explicitly are mentioned in Malmö’s library plan they relate to the library as a meeting place. The library is envisioned as playing a key role as a meeting place, not yet fulfilling the potential that it has as a safe place in the city. There is still work to be done, the role can be strengthened and thereby the library can contribute to a higher degree of trust and safety (Malmö, p. 8). Thus, the concepts of safety and trust are considered ongoing processes while movement and change are emphasized rather than stability.

When the represented problem is targeting individuals and the solution is framed in terms of stability and values that shall be disseminated, social inclusion is given a predefined and fixed meaning that the library informs the users of. The consequence is hierarchical: the library and its staff are positioned as possessing knowledge that the library users need to fulfil their roles as socially sustainable citizens. When the represented problem to a higher degree includes the social context and the solution is framed as a continually evolving process, the meaning of social sustainability is fluid and open to subaltern perspectives, which we now will explore.

Conclusion: A suggestion to understand the ‘problem’ from an oblique angle

The final question Bacchi (2009) asks is where ‘this representation of the “problem” has been produced, disseminated and defended’ (p. 2). The library plans are a prominent venue where the library as an incubator of social sustainability can be found, this view being also salient in previous research. However, our interest here is to proceed with the continuation of the question: ‘How could it be questioned, disrupted and replaced?’ and furthermore ‘what is left unproblematic in this problem representation? Where are the silences? Can the ‘problem’ be thought about differently?’ (p. 2).

When public libraries are put forth as important places for fostering and engaging their users to take responsibility for developing the level of sustainability in their municipality to support democracy, a tremendous responsibility is placed on the individual library users. Our suggestion for disrupting this argument is to stress the importance of acknowledging social unrest as a consequence of inequalities and unequal distribution of resources of various sorts. Therefore, we apply theoretical concepts that enable us to investigate the library as a democratic space from new perspectives. The democratic focus of previous research takes its point of departure in democracy’s unrealized ideals, the library being viewed as contributing to realize those ideals. Paraphrasing Bhabha (2003, p. 29); ‘we consider democracy as something de-realized rather than un-realized’, meaning that we acknowledge internal conflicts of segregation and discrimination in liberal democracy (Bhabha, 2003, Mouffe, 2005). The same holds true for the library; instead of looking at the library as a public and democratic space with minor failures, for example unequal use or unequal accessibility, we place the library at ‘a critical “distance” or alienation’ (Bhabha, 2003, p. 29) and de-realize the library as a safe and democratic space. This enables us to investigate potential internal conflicts of inclusion and exclusion, accessibility and inaccessibility.

We do not consider conflict and division to be signs of a democracy unfulfilled, but constitutive of pluralist democratic politics (Laclau and Mouffe, 2001, p. xvii). Therefore, we propose that libraries fruitfully can be viewed from a subaltern and oblique angle (Bhabha, 2003). By acknowledging pluralism and differences, libraries may contribute to social sustainability and democracy by being places where social antagonism can be transformed to agonism (Mouffe, 2005; 2013). In our analysis of the library plans, the oblique angle enabled us to view the potential that exists in understanding social sustainability as a continually developing process; furthermore, how this transformative approach to the concept matches conceptualizations of safety and trust as continuously evolving notions. In our ongoing project, we will continue this vein of research by examining how fiction and culture enable individuals to transcend boundaries and communicate across proclaimed differences, keeping the border between a troubling past and an unpredictable future open (Jonsson, 2019).

About the authors

Lisa Engström is a Lecturer in Information Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Box 192, 22100 Lund. She can be contacted at: Lisa.Engstrom@kultur.lu.se
Johanna Rivano Eckerdal is a Reader and Senior Lecturer in Information Studies at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, Box 192, 22100 Lund. She can be contacted at: Johanna.Rivano_Eckerdal@kultur.lu.se


How to cite this paper

Engström, L. & Rivano Eckerdal, J. (2019). Public libraries as promoters of social sustainability?. In Proceedings of CoLIS, the Tenth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science, Ljubljana, Slovenia, June 16-19, 2019. Information Research, 24(4), paper colis1914. Retrieved from http://InformationR.net/ir/24-4/colis/colis1914.html (Archived by the Internet Archive at https://web.archive.org/web/20191217172256/http://informationr.net/ir/24-4/colis/colis1914.html)

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