Literacy Skills as Local Intangible Capital

Literacy Skills as Local Intangible Capital

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Kotilainen, Sofia
Literacy Skills as Local Intangible Capital. The History of a Rural Lending Library c. 1860-1920
Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura
Studia Fennica: historica 21
Turenki 2016, 364 pp.


Literacy Skills as Local Intangible Capital studies the “grey area” of the success story of rural lending libraries in the Nordic countries through the activities of people’s libraries in one area of Central Finland, in the parish of Kivijärvi and its neighbouring parishes. The study explores the influence of social, cultural, geographical and economic phenomena on the reading habits of the local population, and reveals interesting reasons why the establishment of elementary schools and popular libraries did not automatically increase the informational capital of the common people of remote regions or lead to their social advancement. The combination of collective biographical and transnational comparative methods with rarely utilized original sources is innovative and has not been used before in Finnish historical research on functional literacy and popular libraries. It represents a methodological experiment in describing the life history of people’s library.


ISBN 978-952-222-739-3
ISSN 1458-526X