– what to purchase and why?
Ingrid Atlestam & Randi Myhre
Gothenburg 14 August 2010
– what to purchase and why?
A study of how immigrants use the public
library, by Ann-Christin Brunnström,
Gothenburg City Library
”More for useful purposes than pleasure”
(Mer nytta än nöje, 2006)
• Study of stocks and statistics on
media loans in 12 languages at the
public libraries in Gothenburg
• Focus group study: ”What is important to
make the library a good library for you and
your family and friends?” (N=154)
1. Easy access to reading materials:
What matters is what the visitors find on
the library shelves.
It is a priority to establish extensive and
updated media stocks in as many
languages as possible in the local
2. It is important to find immigrants among
the library staff.
• It has a symbolic value.
• It gives a greater sense of security.
3. Purchase of second language learning
media is top priority.
Materials in easy Swedish for school
assignments are requested.
Pedagogical support is needed.
Good practice exmple: the learning
environment One step further
4. Supply newspapers and magazines in
different languages for newcomers,
women and youth. Most users today are
5. It is important to purchase literature in the
Literature from and about the home
country is interpreted as a sign of respect.
Keep in mind the small publishing houses
in countries of exile.
6. For children, primers, schoolbooks and
non-fiction in different languages are
important, not only fiction.
Cultural activities for children in the mother
tongue are requested.
Good practice examples are found at:
7. Non-fiction for adults in different
languages is requested:
• ”Everyday life handbooks”
• Schoolbooks, textbooks
• Civic information
• English language learning media
8. Leisure reading in the mother tongue is
mostly requested by well established
9. It is important that the library offers
• inviting premises
• a calm and quiet environment
• study places
• computer access
• access to newspapers
• copy, print, scan and fax facilities
A. Engage in dialogue with users
Set up local multicultural advisory boards
with librarians and residents
• For developing library services, activities
and events together
• For reaching target groups
• For new purchases and weeding
B. Two main patterns of library
• Well-established residents ->
cultural purposes, borrow mostly fiction
• Newcomers -> integration purposes,
borrow mostly non-fiction
Prioritize newcomers’ needs of non-fiction
C. Pedagogical task
Show resources available online such as
dictionaries, language courses, translation
tools, newspapers etc
Improve marketing of educational services
and activities, such as basic computer
courses, homework support, language
support and conversational groups
D. Collection management
• Examine how the stocks in different
languages are used for evidence-based
decision making for new media purchases
in relation to the changing demographic
• Adopt focus groups and user satisfaction
surveys targeting immigrants for fine-
tuning evaluation and planning of library
E. Improve national/supranational
support of library services for
Local libraries need assistance
• Reliable sources and channels for
• Skills and networks for good library service
in multiple languages
Time for questions!
Thank you for your attention!
Thank you to our interpreters!
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