Themes 2015 New Nordic

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New Challenges -new skills and competences.

Seeing I’m rather alone with these themes I don’t mind using my personal experiences to hopefully set the frame for the greater picture you’ll will canvas as we go. This time around we’ll be touching upon the soul of librarianship. We’re always claiming to be information specialists but do we really have the skills to validate this rather boisterous claim? And how do make sure these skills remain relevant to the public we serve? This of course never should be a stand alone project and we can of course rely on relevant educational outlets that we’re spawned from for this, or can we? Do our hallowed educational facilities provide us with the right skill we need in a rather fast changing reality that makes up libraries in general?

I’ve worked in what can best be described as a rather changing setting, some due to personal choices, some due to restructuring and a lot due to the changing challenges of the profession I happened to ply my trade in. One question seems to linger: How does one remain relevant and up to date on the skills needed to provide the best possible access and services for our patrons?

One could obviously rely on peer-to-peer learning at the local facilities and we sure do that. I have some of the sharpest colleagues around and they are above and beyond what one could expect, both in skills and willingness to share information. Unfortunately we seem to share information surrounding certain services and systems, what we never seem to get to is that deeper understanding of makes up the core of our trade and how we utilize it. Not throwing anyone under the buss I do have a telling story to tell.: As you may have glimpsed from previous posts innovation workshops and 3D printing and I are no strangers. So it goes for some of my dearest colleagues. So creating an information skill seminar based on retrieving, validating and using 3D print files should be a breeze?

It really turned out to be something we both shirked away from, surprisingly the problem wasn’t rooted in tackling new technology but rather in the shift of our profession we faced. For me it boiled down to the chasm between utilizing and communicating search to landing on the side of actually teaching others to improve on their skills on those topics. I’m not thinking in the ways of didactics or pedagogic, rather, and with much more forceful impact, it was a question of core skills. What really led to our reluctance was not standing in front of a class it was standing in front of a class with the skillset that we wielded. There is a quite the gap from sitting behind a screen holding the “keys” to information to empowering others to use the same systems and trains of thought that makes up the role of an information specialist. The question is :does this come with our education as a somehow innate ability, or is this something we should seek out actively? Who’s going to help us with coping with new themes and still maintaining our skills albeit wielding for the power of information.

I’m a generalist, I’m a specialist, Am I any of the above?

At the end are we still stuck thinking of what libraries are instead of exploring what libraries can?

Questionable Rasmus

New Nordic – isn’t that a cooking movement?

Yes indeed! So with us purloining that name we were of course obliged to include a food theme. We’re trying hard to please your palates. Through our setup we’re making sure that you get to enjoy some of the local cuisine along the route.

This set-up includes free breakfast and lunch as always, but also provides you for a chance to sample the local specialities as we roll. It also provides for a natural theme along the route, what the stomach is full off. Food is such an integral part of integration and a disarming way to meet new people. Does your libraries employ this as an active strategy? We’re starved to learn.

Nippe is once again at the business end of the pots and pans and will make sure we get those roadside meals that makes you pedal a bit faster. Watch out for the seathorn juice at breakfast, a veteran trick is to fill your bottle in the morning with some and then dilute it as we go. Nippe is as always using local produce but we’ll also make sure to provide you with the opportunity to sample some of the delicious roadside freebies provides by the rugged landscape.

In Sweden we’ve a kelp workshop slated with Caxalot. Time to work those arms instead of the legs, that illusive kelp is best harvested from a kayak. We however feel confident that some amongst us will shirk of all the gear and go dipping for that natural flavour somehow else. Remember to bring a towel!

In Denmark we’ll taste a bit of history as we go near Limfjorden. The legends goes that French monks once seeded those waterways with mussels to improve on the usual staple diet of well…. porridge. So we’ll fire up the barbeque and grill some of the local fruits.

At several locations we’ll have the opportunity for prearranged dinners these are paid dinners and we’ll have to charge you a fee for these. We do our best to keep the costs as low as possible and the price is around 10 euros per sitting. We’ll advice you in advance when this opportunity is available. At some locations we’re going to set you free and let you forage on your own.

We’ll of course ride out with a BANG! So we end it with a party. We’re pleased to tell you that Viby Library is providing room for our rowdy final where we will fill stomachs and glasses alike. We’ve prebooked dinner for everyone and the library bar will supply you with your first drink, all at a cover charge of 20 euros.

You are as always welcome to make other arrangements but we’d like to know of this in advance so we don’t have food wastage and are able to keep the prices as low as possible. Other than that don’t just cycle through the Nordic countries –eat your way them as well!

-Team New Nordic

”No brewery visits? Really!?!”

New buildings

As a part of our collection of themes for this years tour, we’re happy to give you an introduction to the
theme that makes up our focus on architecture and how to create the frames for new libraries.
This theme is one of the cornerstones of this years tour as it early became apparent that through alligning Oslo-Gothenburg- Aarhus we’d already created a strong narrative around how we create new frames for our services.

Starting with Oslo where the planning of a new Deichmannske library is in the works. Raising the question of which servuces is relevant in a new library and how that impacts planning the facilities.

Gothenburg main library isn’t as such new but has recently undergone an update of the building at the
same location a task which provided special challenges and opportunities as the different departments of
the public library was housed in different other facilities around the city. We’re looking forward to learning about what kind of impact it had on the different sections and what the take aways were from dispersing only to reassemble under one roof. Did this lead to a different balancing of functions, new partners and a change in services?
Read more about the renovations here!

Aarhus ’s new mediahouse Dokk1 (”dåkken” in lokal dialect) just openend and a treasurethrove lessons in anything from cityplanning to makerspace. The library houses a wide variaty of services and opportunities for the public. The location right at the end of two axis of the city, new harbour front and the reoppening of a stream provides for a beautiful and impressive setting. We’re looking towards hearing the honest story about the experiences surrounding creating one of the largest libraries in Scandinavia.

The library in Dokk1 gives you free access to a world of information, inspiration, learning and entertainment. The library at Dokk1 is a center for knowledge and culture which disseminates and makes a variety of media come alive across genres and formats. The library is the citizens’ house. Staff and management of the organisation continually work with public involvement.

At Dokk1, you will find about 350,000 media for children and adults. Examples of media are books, audio books, ebooks, magazines, music and games. Such a large number of media in one place requires a logical and clear structure of media that makes it easy to navigate and find what you need. We work hard to make media easily accessible and easy to find.
In the library, we make digital media a priority and we are constantly keeping abreast of the future. We still have lots of books as well, of course.

Every day we hold events, exhibits, debates and many other things at the library. You can read about future events in the libraries’ website (in Danish only). See the library’s opening hours at:
Watch the timelapse of the building here

Byggeriet af Dokk1 – februar 2012 til oktober 2014 from Aarhus Public Libraries on Vimeo.

Makerspaces -the new black in libraries?

Roll with a veteran and explore the multitude that makes up engaging co-creation hubs both in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. For the last 2 years I’ve been heading up an effort to run library related programs as a project to explore the relevance between libraries and makerspaces. We’ve played with information and copyright. Changed the digital and physical function of the libraries by providing a change for the public to ”Hack YOUR library”. Empowering librarians to change their facilities. Creating engaging learning tracks in corporation with schools.

”Get a 3D printer and save the library!” I hope we’re not quite there yet. At times though it seems like we look at technology as the sole source towards saving libraries. Well if you get a machine what is there to save ? To be completely honest most 3D printers, about 90% of the ones I see, and I do see a lot. Makes me ponder, we’re talking about a 30 year old technology that’s mostly becomme relevant due to a drastic lowering of price and a fascination with Startrek. The types of 3D printers most libraries acquire are a simple FFF-models which are basically a gluegun controlled by a computer, they all utilize the same technology as a 3rd grader making a clay bowl in arts and crafts- by rolling sausages of clay and putting them on top of each other. That being said, there is a saving grace for these machines they all make use of digital design files. From a information specialist point of view that is a huge grace, it’s what makes for exploring how we perceive the world, cooperate and transition from information to relevant knowledge. Very ethereal, I know but I’ve taken 5 points with me where makerspaces and libraries makes sense together.

* PR.
* Informationskills in context.
* Community building and incoorporating volunteers.
* Sustainability and understanding the world around you. Democratizing technology.
* Stemlearning vs. informal inspiration.

I’ll be happy to share my thoughts about both libraries, makerspaces, FabLabs and even the mix of them during the tour. We’ll also be providing the opportunity to have yourselves 3D scanned for future print. As we’ve been sponsored an I-sense 3D-scanner I’ll set-up a 3D-selfiebooth when ever it’s convenient. The scanning can be used as a part of chesspieces workshop we’ve been instruction scores of librarians and teaches how to conduct. So not only do you get yourself in 3D you’ll also have the chance to learn a new skill!

During the trip we’ll be visiting the innovative hubs amongst others: Fellesverstedet, OsloCollaboratory, Gothenburg, IVA, Aalborg & Dokk1, Aarhus.

Team New Nordic- FabLabster Rasmus