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Hva bestemmer utlånene fra svenske folkebiblioteker?
2010 (Swedish)In: Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidskrift, ISSN 1403-3216, E-ISSN 2000-8325, no 1, 7-21 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This article presents the main findings in an analysis of the determinants of borrowing demand of books and AV media at local public libraries in Sweden, using balanced panel data for libraries at the municipality-level for the period 1995-2007. One particularly intriguing finding is the negative impact of the share of women on borrowing demand for children books, while it has no significant impact on the borrowing demand for books for adults. On the other hand the share of women has a positive impact on the demand for AV media. These results are completely different from corresponding results for Norway and it is quite hard to find a reasonable explanation for these differences in borrowing behavior of women in two neighboring countries with about the same culture and socio-demographic structure. Another notable finding is that while the share of children in the population has the most positive impact on borrowing demand of books among the age groups, the share of youths has the most negative impact on both books and AV media. Thus the loss of interest in the public libraries when children grow up seems to be one of the more challenging issues in Swedish library policy. We also find a substantially bigger effect of travel time on the borrowing demand for AV media and books for adults than for children books. A likely explanation of this finding is that the shadow price of time is higher for adults, and that it is also higher in communities with high income levels. On the other hand we obtain substantial and highly significant negative effects on borrowing demand for both categories of books as well as for AV media of both the share of the population outside the labour force and the unemployment rate. This is quite surprising since both groups are likely to have a low shadow price of time. Thus whatever positive effect this might have on borrowing demand, it is by a large margin outweighed by other forces. The groups concerned are possibly dominated by people who are marginalized, not only in the labour market, but in society more in general. If so, they obviously represent a demanding challenge for Swedish public libraries. An even more striking finding is the strongly reduced effect of income over time, making both categories of books as well as AV media inferior goods. Both findings could be due to Linder’s disease with an increasingly negative effect over time of the shadow price of travel time, but it could also be due to other but related forces such as a more complex change in the interaction between the demand for these goods in their ordinary markets and the borrowing demand from the libraries. Anyway the role of the Swedish local libraries seems to be basically changed during the period analysed. Since book reading and knowledge is important for the income prospects in the future, our findings suggest quite strongly that the local public libraries have an increasingly important role to play in equalizing income opportunities. But our results suggest that this concerns the low income insiders of the labour market only. The outsiders in the labour market seem to be outsiders in other contexts as well.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Borås , 2010. no 1, 7-21 p.
Keyword [en]
Folkbibliotek, etterspørsel, sosiodemografiske kjennetegn, Public libraries, Sweden, Demand, Sociodemographic attributes, Linder's disease, Opportunity cost, Time, Kulturpolitik
Keyword [sv]
Sverige, Linders sykdom, skyggepris, tid
National Category
Information Studies
Research subject
Library and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-1499Local ID: 2320/12130OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-1499DiVA: diva2:869556
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13

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http://www.idunn.no/ts/nkt/2010/01/art03
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Nordisk kulturpolitisk tidskrift
Information Studies

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