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Dierk Eichel: how might we adopt the toolkit of design thinking to solve the pressing needs of the library community while on the road cycling?

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Having spent the last year learning everything about “design thinking”, an innovation toolkit for solving all kinds of problems, I decided to try it out in a live field test while cycling for libraries. So my Challenge would be: How might we adopt the toolkit of design thinking to solve the pressing needs of the library community while on the road cycling. So lets start with some of the problems articulated in the cyclists homework.

Dierk Eichel


Ingrida Bučionytė: what do you need to do or know to become a helpful information tool for a doctor?

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I’ve just started my job in the library of medicine. So it’s very interesting how coleagues from other medical libraries work these days. What do you need to do or know to become a helpful information tool for a doctor?

Ingrida Bučionytė


Raimonda Mockutė: debtors

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I‘m working in academical library. And we have a problem with the students who terminate their studies – they leave university and forget (or don‘t want) to return books to the library. Maybe someone of you have valuable experience how to recover books from these debtors?

Raimonda Mockutė


Harri Annala: how can events such as these become more common among those in the library profession?

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I assist with the International Tasks at the Helsinki City Library, but I do keep myself on the floor of the library and thus in contact with the average library user. So I am interested in events such as these: sharing knowledge and experiences between people of the same profession, yet whose areas of expertise can be (and are) quite different.

In simple terms my question is: How can events such as these become more common among those in the library profession? And are there events or other ways that we could include actual library users as well?

Harri Annala


Richard Hawkins: how we as librarians and information professionals can best demonstrate the value of our libraries & collections?

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Since I don’t work in a library myself anymore I’m mostly interested in how we as librarians and information professionals can best demonstrate the value of our libraries & collections as well as the work we do (whatever that might be) to the general public and those in positions of power.

I’m therefore interested in hearing about ways in which we might be able to achieve the above – both old and new.

Hopefully I will be able to take what I learn from cyc4lib and use it to help make National Libraries Day in the UK more successful than in previous years.

Richard Hawkins


Anastasia Prokhorova: just a library or a cultural centre?

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I am sure that a library is not only a collection of books and documents but also an amazing public space. So how can we develop and influence on cultural life and which special events can we offer our visitors in the walls of the libraries? Can public libraries keep the leadership in organizing leisure-time? I would like to adopt different practices in organizing cultural projects from the colleagues from all over the world.

Anastasia Prokhorova


Olga Lachenmeier: what’s precious and what’s just old?

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The academic libraries often get older (scientific) books as a gift, but it’s clear – we cannot take them all. Each book needs time and a place, but can we invest our time in something, what’s outdated and not interesting for the most of our users?

Clearly – there are rules. For example: the prints older than 1850 have to be catalogued, but what can we do with one, printed after 1851, already in our library and just plain text? The decision is often not easy.
Must we take each book just as a thing, or a part of our history? As a silent witness of a person’s life? Is a short handwritten sentence on the site edge worth to be mentioned then? An underlining, a drawing, a bullet hole?

What’s precious and what’s just old? And how can you explain your decision to others?

Olga Lachenmeier


Sören Niehäuser: The library as the main learning space in university – chance or risk?

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Historically, the function of libraries in Colleges and Universities has been to store printed media and provide it to teachers and scholars for learning and research. As it was often not allowed to take books on loan to work at home, the library also has a long tradition of being a „Learning Centre“ where students sooner or later will have to come to work.

All that described above has changed a lot since a couple of years. Online ressources, E-books etc. have become more and more important, students have become more and more mobile in their work with Laptops etc.

Interestingly, as the library environment has the reputation of beeing a good place to learn, at least in Germany the use of library buildings as learning space has to the joy of the library officials,not decreased, but in the contrary, significantly increased, much aided by the provision of of highspeed W-Lan, Power Sockets etc.

With that developments in mind, it seems easy to argue: „We (as Library/Librarians) will remain very important in the academic world as we are the preffered learning environment which we provide to the students together with our information ressources, print and online.“ But will that be the case? University officials in Germany sometimes argue: „Well, objectively seen the refectory can provide learning space as well, as can multi-function seminar rooms etc., there is no need to focus on the library when it comes to learning space, its just a question of the right technical equipment, furniture etc.“

Nontheless it seems that students prefer libraries for their learning, even if the university provides learning space somewhere else. Undoubtedly thats a nice thing for us as librarians, but that leads to important questions:
Is being a „Learning space“ the future of the library? Can providing space for learning really compensate the possible loss of the importance of physically accessed media?

And more practical: What makes a library such a good learning space that it will be the long term winner of the „competion of the different learning spaces“? What can, on the long run, the library offer that other service providers can’t?

Sören Niehäuser


Marina Vazhnik: what future at scientific branch libraries during a digital epoch?

I work in the Belarus Agricultural Library (www.belal.by) in a department of Personal Users’ Service (Personal users are what come to library. Except them we have collective users. There are the organizations and institutes which our library serves under contracts, giving the information on “desktop”).

Last years, despite comfortable conditions (use in service of modern technics and the technologies, open access to printing fund and electronic resources, free preservation of the information, scanning, copying, the order for delivery of documents from domestic and foreign information centers, etc.) the steady tendency of reduction of users’ quantity coming to library was outlined.

The professional purpose of my trip – is an exchange of experience in service of users of scientific branch libraries.

Marina Vazhnik


Katrin Kropf: why not deliver library materials directly to homes by bike?

In March my library began to deliver media to immobile and elderly library users for free. Last week we started to deliver media to every library customer for a small fee. Media from the central library will be delivered on the next weekday, if ordered before 2pm ? so you can say it’s an express delivery service. We have a few volunteers here, mainly pensioners, who deliver up to 3 media units per library user. Some use public transport, some use their own car. But noone rides the bike… Why?

Does your library deliver books/media by bicycle? Do you get help by external professional courier services? What are the advantages/disadvantages of delivering media with volunteers, with external delivery professionals or with library staff? Why did you go for the bicycle or for other transport options in the end? I’d love to share experience on that issue, because it looks like our current solution (delivery with volunteers) turns out to be not as (cost) effective as initially thought… But I might be wrong, too…

Cheers.

Katrin  Kropf


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