The project aims at studying the public libraries' potential of functioning as public spaces and meeting places with a capacity of fostering social capital in multicultural urban communities. Citizenship implies a feeling of community with fellow-citizens and with the polity in question. Community, in turn, is dependent upon a minimum degree of shared identity. These shared values are an integrated part of social capital. In today's multicultural and digital society, creating common arenas capable of fost ering 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 differen t cultures as well as different spheres of life meet - education, leisure and entertainment, work and business. This research project is aiming towards an understanding of the role of the public library in the making of social capital. The project aims at studying: 1. The extent of and ways the library is taken into use as a meeting place, e.g. as an arena for undistorted communication in the Habermasian sense, as a social meeting place preventing social isolation and as a meeting place promoting local id entity, history and culture. 2. Perceptions regarding the librarys potential in generating social capital. 3. The library's role as a low-intensive meeting place. 4. The interplay between digital and physical arenas, and 5. Community differences. Barriers to community participation and citizenship and, thus, the character of the meeting places needed, may vary between communities/urban spaces, e.g. according to the proportion of ethnic minorities, education, age-distribution, employment, local history and local traditions etc. The study aims at generating knowledge about such variations and the research will therefore be undertaken in three different communities in Oslo varying along such dimensions and in Tromsø.