Books about the good and / or evil nature of humans

In these days, with reports of atrocities from far and wide, it can be easy to think that the world is a bad place, that mankind is evil and that all hope is gone – but is it really so? In our display cabinets, we currently have an exhibition on the theme Humans – good or evil?.

A central book of the exhibition is The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Pilip Zimbardo. The book is divided into two parts and the first part is about Zimbardos study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard, often called the Stanford prison experiment. The second part of the book deals with the events that took place inside the Abu Ghraib-prison in 2004. Zimbardo writes that it doesn’t take much for a person to perform evil acts, but he also states that it takes as little for a person to be good or heroic. In this 23 minutes long presentation on TED.com you can listen to Zimbardon when he speaks on the subject.

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The exhibition contains books about human origins and development, good and evil. In addition, we have picked up several novels on the theme. You are free borrow the books in the glass cases, or look up one of our many e-books on these subjects. Here are some examples of e-books:

The question whether humanity is good or evil might not have an answer, maybe because the question is a bit black and white. But reading various theories and books that deal with these issues is one way to deal with the thoughts we get when the news about atrocities in the world never seems to end.

Text: Katharina Nordling

Hello Katharina Nordling!

In a series of portraits we are going to introduce the staff at the Library to all our readers and customers. Who are the people working at the library? And what are they doing there? Read our portraits and get to know your librarians! We asked Katharina a few questions.

porträtt_KAK_bloggenWhat are your main duties?
A large part of my time is devoted to communication. I lead the team at the Library working with communication. To be more concrete we’re talking about planning and writing blog posts like this one, writing news for our web site and maintaining our feeds in social media. We also have a newsletter for employees at the university that needs planning and writing before we send it away. Besides communication, I also work a little bit with some of our systems (especially our system for maintaining loans) and research support.

What made you apply for a job at the University of Borås?
I was a student at the university when I applied for a job here, and the thought of working at the university library was quite attracting for a student at the School of Library and Information Science. I mean this was the library where I had gone looking for books and articles so many times; just the thought of working here was thrilling. Plus it was such a nice library, just a few years old! Besides, I was at that time fairly clear that I wanted to work at a university, college or business library. The reason to this was partly the kind of people using these kinds of library, but also that I had a feeling that the technological development was faster within these libraries. And since I also have training as a computer engineer, I was drawn to it. If it is true that technological development is faster at these types of libraries or not, I leave unsaid today.

Today, I would gladly recommend others to apply for a job at “my” library. In my eyes, this is still a very good library, with the small organization’s advantage when it comes to speed and agility. It’s easy to change things, and your voice is listened to and taken into account. Plus it works a bunch of incredibly skilled (and funny) people here. Who doesn’t want that kind of colleagues?

Did you know from the start that you wanted to work with the things you do today?
Not at all! And I’ve worked with quite different tasks since I started here almost 10 (!) years ago. Purchase, teaching, programming, research support, web and communication. I think this is fun, there is the opportunity to try different things and develop in different directions. And if this question is rather about whether I’ve always wanted to be a librarian, the answer is still no. I became a librarian by coincidence, but it was still lucky, because it is a really fun job.

What do you enjoy most about the job?
I don’t know if it is possible to say that “this is the most fun,” but one thing that I appreciate very much my job is to try to work out how we can best inform our users about our business. So concretely it’s to reflect on how we will get our users to understand the extent of what we can do for them. And that applies both to students, researchers and other staff. And then it’s also very fun to meet users that already has realized that we can help them, and actually help them in a good and professional manner. For example, it is a very nice feeling when you helped a student to manage a database and the student receives articles that make sense from their perspective, and you see that the student really understands. In moments like that, it’s very fun to work.

Do you have any book tips that you want to share?
Jennifer Government by Max Barry is worth reading. It’s a twisted, funny and terrifying vision of the near future, when the world is run by giant corporations and employees take the last names of the companies they work for. It’s a globalised, ultra-capitalist free market paradise! It gives you something to think about.

Text: Katharina Nordling & Lena Holmberg
Photo: Lena Holmberg

Merry Christmas!

Now the library blog takes a break over the Christmas and New Year holidays and are back again early in January. Do you want to get some tips for something to read when you got time off, check out our shelf He at the 4th floor. There you will find novels in english.

Keep in mind that during the holidays, the library has different opening hours, see the Web for current times. On the web you can search our information resources, use our guides and tips even the days when the Library is closed.

Have a really merry Christmas and a happy new year!
Greetings from the library staff.

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