This bachelor thesis’ purpose is to investigate how purchase librarians work with foreign language collection management. Since about 15% of the citizens of Sweden are born abroad or have a foreign background, the subject of investigation becomes relevant because it touches a wide user group of the public library.
Interviews were conducted with four librarians responsible for purchasing of foreign literature. The purpose of these interviews was to investigate which underlying strategies and thoughts are used as a basis for purchasing.
Since the library act does not include guidelines regarding the content of the foreign literature collection, how is the literature chosen and to what purpose?
As a theoretical framework a self-developed model was used to categorize the foreign literature into its different functions. The foreign literature was divided into two main categories; entertainment reading and literature with an informative purpose.
To display the librarians room for interpretation factor in the purchasing of literature a theory from sociology studies was applied, the theory of room for maneuver.
The findings in this paper have revealed that literature with the purpose to entertain was prioritized in the purchasing. Even though the libraries included multicultural activities in their organization, by prioritizing the entertainment literature the library tended to deprioritize the potential integration purpose of the literature.
The paper also revealed that the individual responsible for the purchasing was left with a large room for interpretation, which meant that one individual had the responsibility to ensure that the literature was relevant and versatile enough for the user group.