Shinyaeva Ol'ga Viktorovna, Doctor of sociological sciences, professor, head of sub-department of political science, sociology and public relations, Ulyanovsk State Technical University (32 Severniy Venets street, Ulyanovsk, Russia), E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Slepova Ol'ga Mikhaylovna, Postgraduate student, Ulyanovsk State Technical University (32 Severniy Venets street, Ulyanovsk, Russia), E-mail: email@example.com
Background. The changed social realities have transformed the nature of social adaptation of Russians. The old ways of adaptation stopped giving expected results, and the new are developing slowly and spontaneously. Social institutions, traditionally performing the functions of education and socialization, can take on the task of developing compensatory behaviours, effective in the emerging digital economy. The article aims at determining the role of informational and educational activities of public libraries in the process of social adaptation of different groups of Russians.
Materials and methods. The analysis was built on the basis of generalization of theoretical positions of foreign and domestic sociologists about the nature of social adaptation in the conditions of transition to information society; interpretation of the results of the author’s research of the demand for public library services in the context of adaptive production practices. A sociological study was conducted using a questionnaire survey of the population of a large city from 18 to 60 years old; the sample is representative and random.
Results. New conditions of adaptation in the Russian society result in the development of a “culture of inequality” which is manifested in the social pessimism and low cohesion of the population. Remaining free and mass, the public library should take on the implementation of not only educational, cultural, communicative functions, but also service, information technology and rehabilitation functions that are topical in modern conditions.
Conclusions. Among the population of large cities such functions of libraries as educational, cumulative developing are in demand. However, public libraries are insufficient to implement the communication, service, information technology functions; namely, they define a successful practice in a digital society. Reasons for the lag of Russia from the social demand associated with problems in personnel, financial and logistical support that need to be addressed in the short term.
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