Category Archives

Anastasia Prokhorova: How to make an interesting and interactive photo exhibition?


In September we are holding an annual festival called Park of Intellectual Entertainment. It is an educational project during which we present resources and cultural activities of the library and our partners. This year I would like to organize an exhibition devoted to the idea of Cycling for Libraries within the framework of our event. During this trip I’ll be looking for ideas in designing exhibitions (especially I’m interested in any eco-ideas). Besides I would like not to forget about the role of promoting books and reading.

Anastasia Prokhorova (Facebook)

Bo Jacobsen: Reinventing the local library

Bo Benchmark 2013

The topic that I am most focused on to-day is the revitalization of the public library. If you could imagine a local community without a public library, what would make you feel the urge to develop a brand new one? In Vesthimmerland, Denmark, we have asked ourselves and  both users and non-users that question. This spring we have arranged three ideashops for the staff and generated 350+ ideas. We have also asked 864 citizens about their opinions. We are now analyzing the results of this work. Then we will reorganize the us, and then we will act. Our work is based on the DANISH “four-room model”described in Folkebibliotekerne i vidensamfundet (Public Libraries in the Knowledge Society, 2010). The model consists of four overlapping rooms: Inspirationroom, Learning room, Meeting room and the Performative room.


Facts about Vesthimmerland and our libraries
Population: 37.500
4 libraries with a staff of 16
5 bookcafeés in villages (managed by volunteers)
Visits (2012) : 256.000
Loans (2012) : 333.000
Opening hours: 7-22 (each day)
Annual budget: 1.7 mio EUR

Bo Jacobsen (Facebook LinkedIn)

Lisa Hardy: Making the Invisible Visible – Displaying Digital Resources in Physical Spaces

As our digital collections grow, we have found creative ways to display them on our websites, so that our users can find them from their desktop or phone.  But is it also important to find ways to display them in and around our physical library spaces as a way to extend our hours of operation, or even other spaces where people are (transit stations, hospitals, schools, apartment buildings)  I am interested in learning about creative ways that libraries and other organizations are using technology and screens to introduce more people to virtual resources.
Lisa Hardy (Twitter)

Molly Schwartz: The Role of the User in Digital Libraries

I am proposing to explore the ways that digital libraries can or should adopt crowdsourcing techniques in the creation, curation, organization, and access of content. Specific issues I plan to explore are the benefits and dangers of de-professionalization, the possibilities for integrating social data into digital library functions, and ways that the public can build their own digital library experience regardless of where the materials come from.
I think it would be very beneficial for participants to share their personal experiences using crowdsourcing for library functions. It would be particularly interesting to look at platforms such as Wikipedia, Kickstarter, and others to see if their success could be replicated in the library world.
I would also like to relate this topic back to user-focused services, usability and user experience, and the concept that users can build their own experiences for how they receive their information.
Molly Schwartz (TwitterLinkedIn)

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…


Katrin  Kropf

Till Kinstler: who needs these catalogues?


Sometimes my work seems rather pointless to me. As a software developer I implement all kinds of search interfaces for libraries. Every day I process crappy data and fight with broken library systems… Don’t get me wrong, that’s fun, I like my work very much, so much that I even spend part of my spare time on an open source project building one of these “next generation catalogue 2.0 discovery interfaces…”: VuFind…

But who really needs these catalogues and search tools – the old style OPACs as well as the new “discovery interfaces”? Yes, these new catalogues can improve user experience and are definitely more usable than the old boolean OPACs. But even if they are more user friendly, where are the use cases? Where are the users? We know well, that discovery of knowledge resources happens everywhere, all the time – but hardly ever in library catalogues or so called discovery interfaces. People don’t come to the library to use the catalogue or discovery interface. They come to the library to enjoy the great services it offers: to access knowledge resources, to take something home, to get work done, to get solid advice, free internet, to browse shelves, to enjoy the spatial experience and atmosphere, or just a coffee,… But the catalogue is just a leftover from times, when we had nothing better to show people our holdings.

And while we are good at running libraries, we are not good at building search engines… So why do we show users a “search box”, when they already know, what they want? Why do we frustrate them with our ideas of discovery (tools) when they know best themselves how to discover stuff? And why don’t we make our real services more easily accessible? Why don’t we deliver instead of making users search? We spend so much effort and resources on providing search interfaces, that nobody needs any more…

I have some ideas, why we struggle here and I am happy to discuss them while cycling. And please, if you think I am wrong, try to convince me! 🙂

And I have some ideas, what we could improve. Wouldn’t it be great, if you could get a checkout link to your local library in a Google result when you search for a book? Just as you get a link to your favourite book seller? Or as you get a link to your local cinema when you google a film title, including screening times and a map showing how to get there by bike or public transport from your current location? I think, that’s possible…

Till Kinstler

Pekka Heikkinen: what do the libraries have to offer to rights-holders in exchange for so-called e-rights, except money?


As a lawyer working for the national library I am often involved in negotiations with collecting societies, representing rights-holders, on making digitised material available to the public. As you can imagine, usually our position in these negotiations is not too strong.

My question: what do the libraries have to offer to rights-holders in exchange for so-called e-rights, except money? Is it skill, long-term preservation solutions or what? What could the win-win solution be?

If only we had money to offer, everything would be so much simpler!

Pekka Heikkinen

Jean-Marie Feurtet: recovering from a metadata schizophrenia?

How could we step out of the dichotomy between classical catalogues (“classical” : are they bound to be dedicated to heritage documents ?) and repositories of digitized surrogates (supposing that it is the general fate of collections prior to the end of XXth century) ?

Is this distinction still necessary and sometimes relevant, or is it a historically-based schizophrenia to get rid of ?

Jean-Marie Feurtet

Sebastian Slotte: why wasn’t I invited to the foundation stone laying ceremony of the new Savonlinna public library?


I was a tourist in the city of Savonlinna in Eastern Finland on June 13. and I was eager to visit the physical main library. Well I found it on the streetmap but I could not see any library around. So I stopped a patrolling police car on the street and asked. They pointed at a hill just behind my back. Yes, there it was hidden behind some trees on the top of the hill.

Inside the library a member of the staff at the counter informed me that the foundation stone of a new main library in Savonlinna was bricked in a ceremony that same day.

Today I checked out a blog about the making of the new library in Savonlinna. Now I know that the event was not public. It was a “private party” with 60 guests and a brass band.

My question is: Why people of Savonlinna and tourists like myself were NOT invited to join the foundation party of the new library in Savonlinna on June 13; to drink the non-alcoholic sparkling wine; to listen to the local brass band and finally to get a glimpse of the new physical library in the making?

I am grateful for any help from Savonlinna Municipal Library Chief, mr Tapani Boman, to get an answer to my question.

For more information about Savonlinna Library (in english)

Sebastian Slotte

Christer Skog: online library services


In biblical terms we have this Diaspora at the moment when considering the library online services. There are all kinds of somewhat dated commercial OPAC systems and at the same time some great open source concepts are available but not in wide use. Are we in fact old fashioned when we think that customers would like to visit our web pages? Is there ways to integrate our online services to the social media? Or should we implement some other ways to develop a concept of The One Ring to rule them all. I’m really interested to be hearing of all kinds concepts that are being used to serve our customers online.

Christer Skog

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