Source: information research
The aim of the study reported is to examine user discourses identified in the Swedish public library field. The following questions are posed: What user discourses can be found and what characterises them? How are users categorised and what does this categorisation imply? The departure point in this paper is that the ways users are categorised may influence their information behaviour. Plausible consequences for the relation between the interest of the public library and the users are discussed.
Four user discourses are revealed: a general education discourse, a pedagogical discourse, an information technology discourse and an information management discourse. The discourses hold both levels of idealizing and experience-related rhetoric. The dominant general education discourse is based on a tradition of fostering and refining as well as educating the general public and thereby reproduces inequality between the user and the library.