Dr. Svanhild Aabø is Associate Professor at
Multiculturalism, digitization and the need for crosswise meeting places. Do we see ?the other? in the local library? The variety of meeting types taking place in the library
In a society becoming more heterogeneous, establishing that minimum of common norms and values that is necessary for being a community is not a trivial task. As both a public space and a centre of knowledge and culture, the public library has a potential for being a vital part of a local community. It is used by most segments of society and it is a junction where different cultures as well as different spheres of life – education, leisure, work and business ? meet. A Norwegian study tries to elicit what kinds of meetings that really take place in the library and finds that the physical library is used as a square, a part of the public sphere, a channel to other meeting places in the community, a digital meeting place, a place where one goes with friends or colleagues to perform joint activities, and a place where one is exposed to otherness.