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  • Publication
    Open Access
    An actor network analysis of libraries as informal learning environments
    (2020) ;
    Nichols, Sue Mary
    Libraries have been traditionally viewed as places to support the community development of literacy skills, but their importance in a networked and global world is constantly being contested by alternative visions of their social and technological relevance. Whether public and school libraries thrive in particular contexts depends on more than the presence of a space labelled “library”. This article uses Actor Network Theory (ANT) as the primary framework for analysing the relations between libraries, literacies and change in two contexts, one in Singapore and the other in Australia. Using a trans-local dialogic approach, the two authors engaged in place-centred, immersive and sustained conversations about their research cases, tracing how people, objects and ideas are received and travel across contexts to effect change. The ANT analysis of the process of innovation and change in both libraries through the minute tracing of the network relations and effects between objects, spaces, emotions revealed the interconnectedness of human and non-human objects in moving people and ideas, highlighting the distributed effect of the social and material. Through tracings of things, people and ideas using ANT, the assemblages that make the transformation possible are made visible enabling greater clarity.
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