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Bo Jacobsen: To find the right path

I see a line of challenges for the libraries in the coming years both virtually and physically. How do we manage to develop our internet services, when Google is God and some of our basic services like book, music and film databases will be commercialized?

However, operating in a small municipality my main concern is how to develop the physical library as an attractive house for the local citizens.

I think it is absolutely necessary that the library is able to act in accordance with the local society and its needs. Being so, I predict that in the future we will see libraries moving in different directions.

Some will grow into local service centres and others will develop partnerships with other institutions and some will partly be operated by volunteers. The challenge will be to choose the right direction for just my library.

Bo Jacobsen
Vesthimmerlands Biblioteker


Anssi Sajama: invent 10 ways to make library more environmentally friendly

My home work for cyc4lib will be to find at least 10 new things that will make our library more “green” and environmental friendly. 5 of these things should be something that can be used in the near future.

Anssi Sajama
Espoo City Library


Jukka Pennanen: libraries as producers and publishers

My 26 years of work in libraries has been very inspiring and it has given me much to think about. Not least about libraries themselves. Over the years my experience has increasingly confirmed the view that libraries compete with each other too much and cooperate too little, and this will lead ultimately to the detriment of the entire library field. That’s not all bad news. At the same time library education is losing touch with the everyday work in libraries  – supply and demand are not balanced, or there are different opinions about the needs and areas of development. Library work is very pragmatic, but where are the creative new people who manage the development of library work? Our creativity and our visions have proved to be quite modest despite the wide range of great things we have produced.

The mission of our field is also lost. When asked, we do not know how to fit the traditional role of “organizer of information” together with the needs of experienced users of new technology. I would say that we have lost touch with our customers while we are increasingly intertwined with technology, formats and standards. Many players of the field have also become competitors and enemies to libraries, and this can be seen for example in copyright legislation.

We are missing an overview of the nature of the problems we face, but we still dive into the depths of more specialized technical expertise and deeper knowledge of cataloguing and classification. We are some sort of curious and incompatible factor in the current publishing world. I just cannot believe that the core of the problem can be found in either direction. We have already tried these and we can clearly see that they are insufficient to keep us alive for another two centuries, if even two decades.

These are strong statements, but I believe they are true. However, my homework is to find at least one completely new and different task or role which allows libraries to respond to current change while maintaining functional ability and being able to take advantage of the centuries old tradition. In short, I would like to try to find an answer to a question whether libraries really can act as producers and publishers on a larger scale. At least the role must be somehow connected to the traditional role of libraries and deploy it and at the same time give us access from the current impasse.

Jukka Pennanen
The National Library of Finland / The Finnish Library Association (2004-08, 2010, 2011-12)


Yulia Gushul: Partnership between teachers, librarians and volunteers library and state power

I am Yulia from Russia. I am librarian and the teacher of the librarian higher school. I teach courses: bibliographies, data bases, information resources and so on. I am bibliographer too. I work with databases and prepare bibliographic indexes, especially about person.

I study problems of digital divide, of the information of the future, of the information security. I think about such humanitarian problems as psychology of perception information.

I see that me and my students need to know the English language. And I am happy that I can hear the English language and I will try to speak English. In Russia such a possibility little.

I want to find the answers to the following questions:

  1. Our professional future in the networked world.
  2. Open access journals in college library collection.
  3. Information policy, it content and challenges for an effective knowledge society.
  4. E-metrics and library assessment in action.
  5. Metadata practices

And I’ll be happy to invite all to Southern Urals where there are lakes, mountains, mountain bikes, rafting on fast rivers and I ;-))))

Yulia Gushul
The Chelyabinsk State Academy of Culture and Arts


Kaisa Inkeroinen: can a library be too much of a living room?

My homework is quite related to one of the topics offered on the Themes for Cycling for libraries. One of the theme suggestions was the role of libraries in rural areas. Providing media, information, social contact space and meeting opportunities was mentioned on the website. As a head librarian of a small library I have often been thinking if we are that and what else we could be without losing our identity as a library.

I think it’s all about being a partner in cooperation especially in a small municipality. Our strengths are long office hours, customer service, being free of charge, system for lending etc. We should find the ways to use these things more so that we could be a fixed part of our community. Still there may be a risk to lose our identity. So my task is to solve if a library can be too much of a living room. Or is it really a risk if we borrow sport equipment or sewing machines etc. In my point of view everybody who comes in is a potential library user or becoming one. So I wouldn’t like to see it only as fishing visitors. When you come in you can accidentally borrow a book if we do things right. And this is also related to the question if only a borrowing customer is a good customer?

Kaisa Inkeroinen
Municipal library in Posio


Till Kinstler: understanding libraries for better software development

I do software development for libraries. I help them getting on the web, to become part of this great, global virtual library and be usable for people on the net.

Over the years I have built up a broad knowledge on technology, data formats, processes, work flows etc. in libraries. But sometimes I feel, I still don’t understand how libraries really work and what they really do 🙂 (beyond the obvious, like lending books, giving reference, helping to find knowledge resources etc.). How do libraries “see” themselves? What is their spirit, what drives them? In my daily work at a service centre of a library consortium I only get a limited and filtered view of libraries. So understanding libraries better, will help me making better software for libraries.

I think, cycling for libraries will be a great opportunity to get more insight into these questions.

Till Kinstler
Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV)


Arto Teräs: How can libraries collaborate with museums and archives in the digital domain?

The Finnish National Digital Library public interface will offer a uniform view to digital content in libraries, museums and archives. Custom views for various purposes can also be created. On a wider scale, Europeana provides access to content on European level. This offers great new possibilities for collaboration between participating organizations.
I am interested for example in the following questions:

  • Which challenges (especially related to digital content) are common between libraries, museums and archives, and which are unique to libraries?
  • What can libraries give to museums and archives and vice versa?
  • How can we best take advantage of the new user interface? What kind of custom views could be useful?
  • What kind of new experiences can we offer to customers by combining the content and knowledge of libraries, museums and archives?

Arto Teräs
CSC — IT Center for Science Ltd


Ella Mustamo: how far we’re ready to go?

For me,  theme library & society is on focus.  As we know, western society is changing incredibly fast and libraries may drop out.  What about library, financialization, poverty and subcultures, the questions of responsibility?  Library as a public space. etc etc. –themes on our Cyc4lib  map.

Libraries has many functions and activities,  some are even dreaming about sauna in a finnish urban central library. For me, The Question is how far we´re ready to go?  What is a necessary condition / sufficient condition of a library?

yours  ella
picture: Turku 2011
Burning  Love-happening <3

Ella Mustamo
Turku City Library


Ann-Christin Karlén: identify 3 ways for cross-sectoral networking

I am a law librarian and as a solo librarian it is very important to network with other colleagues. For the  last 9 years or so I’ve been quite involved with SFIS, The Swedish Association of Information Specialists which has been a great way of networking with colleagues. But my goal is to interact more with colleagues from other libraries, like public libraries, and as my homework for Cycling for libraries, I’ve chosen to try identify 3 ways of reaching this goal. Obviously just participating in cyc4lib will count as a big step towards my goal so I’m not counting that 🙂  Also have recently joined the Swedish Library Association.

In december I attended an interesting session at Online 2010, Helping The Hybrid: Leveraging Personal Networks to Support Changing Roles. Sara Batts, Senior Research Librarian, Reed Smith LLP, UK and Olwen Walker, Information Services Manager, Kirkland & Ellis International, discussed among other things the importance of externa networks and being open to new ideas and  new challenges. I think that cyc4lib encompasses both in a great way.
You can download the paper here.

Please connect with me through linkedin and let’s discuss more ways of networking and breaking donw the barriers between different types of libraries during our ride towards Berlin.

Ann-Christin Karlén
Advokatfirman Vinge KB


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