Libraries as a Support of Informed Citizens – The Balancing Act Between Library’s Good Quality and Austerity Measures
Chapter, Conference object, Peer reviewed
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In a time of rapidly expanding information possibilities, including “fake news”, libraries as guardians of the quality of information have become even more important. In our era, however, it is the guardians of confirmed information themselves and information literate citizens that must be enabled to decide what facts to rely on. At the same time, new public management (NPM) is changing the way libraries, both public and academic, are allowed to act in their local communities. The effect of the “age of austerity” with libraries being closed due to an ongoing economic crisis must also be taken into account. The changing circumstances call for new leadership, new competences and new tasks in libraries. In this paper the authors will present results of European studies on changes in libraries as a result of implementing NPM. While it is evident that the environment and the libraries are changing, it is, however, not clear that the changes are going in only one direction, or how they actually will be impacting the need for more information literate citizens.