Library activism – what it ought to become – Mikael Böök

Library activism – what it ought to become

by Mikael Böök

Prelude –

My Norwegian friend Anders Ericson, who is a librarian and a journalist, has minted an expression that summarizes a good deal of what I mean with library activism. It says that The Library Takes Up The Case (LTC), or Bibliotekket tar saka (BTS), in Norwegian.

Anders no doubt had some particular cases in mind. One such case which he thought that the librarians should take up was the transformation of a defunct military airfield in Rygge, near Moss, where Anders lives, into a third airport for the growing civilian air traffic to and from the Norwegian capital, Oslo.

Inevitably, some people in the region gladly supported while others vehemently opposed this plan. So what would the staff of the public libraries of Moss, Rygge and other nearby towns do in this situation? Would they just continue to do their usual job and let the heated discussion and politicized decision-making about the Rygge airport have their own course? Or would they take up the case?

When do librarians take up the case? And why should they? And how can they?

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