Change and stability in archives, libraries and museums: mapping professional experiences in Sweden

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Isto Huvila

Source:

Information Research, Volume 21, Number 1 (2016)

URL:

http://www.informationr.net/ir/21-1/memo/memo5.html

Abstract:

Introduction. One of the most prominent topics of professional and academic archives, libraries and museums related literature revolves around the questions of change and continuity of the institutions. The aim of the study is to find how professionals conceptualise factors that contribute to continuity and change at their institutions. Method. The analysis is based on a qualitative analysis of 131 open-ended questions included in a Web survey of Swedish professionals conducted in February-March 2011. Analysis. The data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Results. Borrowing from Lewin's field theory and its derivative, force-field analysis, the professional articulations of the strengths and future prospects of their institutions are interpreted in terms of strategic forces that influence change and stability at archives, libraries and museums. The study shows that the forces that impede and catalyse change are overlapping to a significant degree that indicates the possibility of disparate alternative strategy formulations for the institutions. Conclusions. More focus on defining the ownership of the strategic goals at archives, libraries and museums and defining the operating space and core domains of the organizations is essential for formulating their future strategies.

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