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" is time to bring the body back into the information field": En undersökning om icke-verbal kommunikation på bibliotek och möjligheten att med skådespelarövningar höja bibliotekariers icke-verbala kompetens
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of ALM.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The aim of this two-years master’s thesis is to examine the role of the body and the importance of nonverbal communication in the library workplace and to explore the possibility of becoming more nonverbally skilled. For this purpose a course was developed and presented to nine librarians in a public library in the vicinity of Stockholm in February, 2011. Qualitative interviews with the librarians were conducted after the course.

Important theories for this work were Annemaree Lloyd’s thoughts on corporeality, Erving Goffman’s dramaturgical sociology and John Dewey’s learning by doing. Theories concerning what communication and nonverbal communication really are were essential, as was literature that shows that nonverbal communication is an important aspect in the profession of the librarian.

Nonverbal signals of importance in the library setting were identified as being mainly eye contact, smiling, bodily movement towards the library user, tone of voice, proxemics (spatial distances), chronemics (time) and haptics (touch). The study also shows that the design of the library and librarians’ worktools interact with the possibility to communicate nonverbally.

The course consisted of exercises normally used in the training of actors. This was based on the theory of Erving Goffman. The learning process was an example of situated learning in that it took place in the library. It also gave the participants an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience of nonverbal skills with each other. After the course the participants were given questionnaires with questions about their attitudes and experiences of nonverbal communication and their view on the course. After a week a follow-up questionnaire was distributed, in order to find out if the course had in any way had an impact on their work performance.

The investigation shows that nonverbal skills play an important role in the work of the librarian. Training in these skills has long been neglected, since they have for the most part been taken for granted. This study shows, however, that this kind of training is important. The librarians who took part in the course testify that the exercises gave them valuable practice. Nonverbal skills can be taught and learned: and “it is time to bring the body back into the information field”.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 91 p.
Uppsatser inom biblioteks- & informationsvetenskap, ISSN 1650-4267 ; 534
Keyword [sv]
icke-verbal kommunikation, kroppsspråket, bemötande, bibliotek, bibliotekarier, kommunikation
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155170Local ID: 534OAI: diva2:424543
Subject / course
Library and Information Science
Educational program
Master Programme in ALM
Humanities, Theology
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-18 Last updated: 2011-06-20Bibliographically approved

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