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.
Nøkkelord:Folkbibliotek, Sverige, etterspørsel, sosiodemografiske kjennetegn, Linders sykdom, skyggepris, tid
The European Union nominates cities as European Capitals of Culture in order to highlight the richness and diversity of European cultures and the features they share, as well as to promote greater mutual acquaintance between European citizens. For the chosen cities, the nomination creates a possibility to promote the cultural identity, originality and diversity of the region and city. The empirical focus of the article is on three cities which were chosen as European Capitals of Culture for 2010 (Pécs in Hungary), and 2011 (Tallinn in Estonia and Turku in Finland). The cities utilize various strategies in emphasizing and representing their cultural diversity. All of the cities stress their location as a historical meeting place of different ethnicities and nationalities. Additionally, the cities stress their architecture as an expression of multicultural layers of the cities. In the cities, cultural diversity is related to the global imagery of popular culture, street culture and contemporary art. In addition, the cities stress the canon of Western art history as a base for common Europeanness compounded of various nationalities and regionalities. One essential strategy is to represent different minorities and their visual culture as signs of cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is a complex and political concept. Its definitions and representations inevitably involve power structures and production of cultural and political hierarchies. Hierarchies and political tension are bound to the concept even though it is often introduced as equal and anti-racist discourse.
Large scale cultural events often have idealistic aims of affecting participants and spectators in a positive manner, by widening public’s cultural understandings and horizons. The ‘Open Port’ motto chosen for the Stavanger region as European Capital of Culture in 2008 explicitly signalled such ambitions. This article takes the idea of a positive link between exposure to broad-ranging cultural events and tolerance for cultural diversity as a starting point. Nevertheless, there is seemingly little empirical support in the research literature for such a postulate. On this background we suggest a different line of arguments, based on the idea of relative deprivation. Rather than expecting positive change in the beliefs of those more exposed, this alternative hypothesis presumes that inhabitants away from the main centres of artistic and cultural activities, could react. They will often see themselves as left behind and kept out from the grand events, it is contended. In this way we hypothesise that local inhabitants living outside of the central areas will react negatively, by becoming less sympathetic. Special survey data from the region for the period 2007-2009 indicate empirical support for this alternative hypothesis, based on the idea of relative deprivation. At the same time there is little evidence of a possible link between higher exposure and increased tolerance. Multiple regression analysis with an index of cultural scepticism as the dependent variable shows basically no change in attitudes for those living close to main centres of Stavanger 2008 activities. At the same time there is a significant increase in cultural scepticism among local inhabitants living farther away from the central axis. Moreover, results from surveys at the national level confirm a picture of stability in cultural scepticism for Norwegians in general during the same period. This makes an explanation of the observed change for inhabitants living within the larger Stavanger region but outside the central axis, especially challenging. Although the empirical patterns are consistent with the idea of relative deprivation, these findings could not be regarded as a strong test of the hypothesis at this stage. Further research, in alternative settings and with supplementary measures is needed.
Key words: Large-scale cultural events, Cultural festivals, Cultural scepticism, Cultural openness, Relative deprivation, European Capital of Culture, Stavanger 2008
There are numerous discussions on how the emergence of the concept of creative industries (CI) has influenced different policies and developments during the last decades. This change has not been much analysed in its broader social and institutional context. The aim of this article is to analyse the change of policies due to the gradual process of CI ideology taking root using the principles of the social innovation concept. Using Tallinn as a case study the authors explain how there has been an intertwining and amplifying of applying foreign experiences in policy-making on one hand and local initiatives on the other. Describing the process of Tallinn’s CI policy formation, the authors follow the planning period of becoming European Capital of Culture in 2011 (Tallinn 2011) as a central signpost in this nearly ten-year period. Regarding methodology, the authors use document analysis, in-depth interviews and also secondary data from the completed studies and mappings on creative industries in Estonia and in Tallinn.
Rather than exploring culture-led urban transformations, media representations or city-image building, this article tackles the way in which the European capitals of culture (ECOC) has been a local, regional, national or European task. The responsibility for the event and the possibility to use it to articulate political identities is transferred from one level to another. This article discusses the ECOC as multi-level policy on European, national, regional and local levels. It works on the macro-level drawing from many of the recent ECOCs and hopes to inspire more in-depth analysis of case studies.
Moreover, the article recognises the difference between explicit and implicit policies. The European Union, having been legally deprived of the chance to run explicit official policies until the Maastricht treaty in 1992, has still provided support for culture through implicit cultural policies and cultural policies of display, such as the ECOC.
The cases considered in this paper vary, as the main emphasis is the exploration of the role of the ECOCs and the multiple levels in the process. However, quite often references would be made to recent Capitals of Culture, such as Sibiu and Luxembourg in 2007, Vilnius in 2009, Ruhr 2010 and Turku 2011. They highlight particularly well the conflicts between the levels, especially local and national, as well as the role of the region in the construction of a common reference point in the ECC process.
Keywords: European capitals of culture, Implicit policy, Policy-making, Legislation, Identity, European Union, Europeanization, Universalism and particularism