Category Archives

Vitaliy Datsenko: do we need a radical reform in the library?

There is much talk about the changing mission of the library. If the library was previously science center, but now it’s more like an entertaining place. Is this correct? Perhaps a healthy conservatism is needed for the library, otherwise this place should be called differently?

In any case it is necessary to preserve the best traditions of the past for the library? Or not?

Vitaliy Datsenko

Patrick Otton: library influence?

With so much of our information coming from corporate or powerful lobbying sources can libraries be an alternate resource and be effective in providing information to enable us to make our own opinions? Can libraries be the “go to” resource for straight talk on climate change, health care, finances, and political objectives? Can libraries be pro-active or reactive rather than passive information holding resources? Can libraries promote critical thinking? Can libraries effect change?

Patrick Otton

Palash Sarkar: Why are university libraries confined to books only?

My question is that why libraries (not all but most of them) are confined only to books? They can have other ‘things’ also: for example, movie-dvds, video-games, models and graphics, activities, puzzles etc. Most of the university libraries have books only; it seems that the libraries are meant only for the nerds. How can the library attract students with different interests?

Palash Sarkar

Leila Juusola: how to improve the forms of communication?


Although I am not responsible in our library (Aalto University Library) for communications, I am interested in improving the forms of communication. It seems that many of our customers do not know about all our services, and our website could be better. Also, I would like to develop our self-study guide, and help our students and researches to search information and materials. I do not expect to solve this issue by the 7th of August, but I hope to get some new ideas when cycling across Estonia and discussing with other librarians.

Leila Juusola

Karen Holt: how we can foster the entrepreneurial spirit within libraries and how can we better market our services?


Libraries are awesome places. Every time I think of all the amazing things I can learn in the library, I get goosebumps. That said I think that we could be doing some things even better. I want to know how we can foster innovation to make sure that we are not only getting patrons what they want, but also what they never knew they wanted until they got it. Then, how do we promote all the cool and relevant things we are doing, so that people know about them. I look very forward to meeting you all and learning about how you promote innovation at your library!

Karen Holt

Rebecca Allsopp: self-publishing and library collections


My problem is about library responses to changes in the publishing industry, specifically with regard to the increasing popularity of self-publishing. As the number of self-published works increases so too does the variety. The extant collection of self-published works now includes everything from traditional “vanity press” titles to (a few) genre best-sellers by first-time authors to established authors who reject publishers’ offers in favor of a DIY approach.

Collection development policies typically do not include self-published works unless there is a high public demand for a particular title. This is a responsive policy, but as the publishing world changes and self-publishing becomes more established and respected, libraries will need to be more pro-active in their selection of self-published works.

My question is how to develop new policies that allow for greater inclusion of self-published titles while still maintaining the role of the library as an arbiter of quality. This is not so much a question of which titles to add to the library (this will still be subject to local needs and purposes and gets to the theoretical heart of what a library should be) but how to identify and acquire relevant, quality self-published works given limited staff, time, and financial resources.

Rebecca Allsopp

Antti Impivaara: content description library systems


Everyone knows how far behind libraries lag considering the advances made in the information technology.Why are we so fixed to aging formats and thesauruses that are so behind what’s happening that it’s ridiculous? Where is FRBR? Where is the patron in our data?

A lot of information used to describe content is there only for heritage-reasons, how do we break up from this and start anew? To answer some of the questions would be for one that we might consider hiring outside help, e.g. from the IT-professionals. We can’t all of us be expected to be technically up to the challenge, but we could be in charge of what we want in the first place.

Antti Impivaara

David McDonald: the success of public libraries

In the age of the Internet public libraries have prospered, but special libraries and academic libraries have been floundering. What, if anything, can special libraries and academic libraries learn from the success of public libraries? Are their methods transferable?

David McDonald

Åke Nygren and Alireza Afshari: Libraries and digital entrepreneurs – tug of war or creative partnership?

Swedish Library Association (SLA) recently launched a campaign, depicting the largest Swedish commercial aggregator of e-books,, as a ruthless capitalist that step by step, through monopolism and blocking of access to new e-books, is trying to take over the role of the librarian. According to SLA, this state of affairs is threatening the free and non-biased public libraries, and consequenlty, the free and open access of digitized information and culture.

The campaign has received massive support from the cultural sector and also some political support. But what happens when trust between the public and the private sector is under strain? What impact does the hardening debate climate have on the oppportunities for creative cooperation between public libraries and private entrepreneurs? Are we prepared for the public/private tug of war in the digital age?

Åke Nygren and Alireza Afshari

Graham Seaman: The Five Laws and the LibraryBox


I’d like to know how Ranganathan’s Five Laws relate to the electronic world. That’s too big a question, so I’ll try to create a practical example: what do the laws imply for a portable Librarybox[1], seeded with a little collection of books about Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania? Are all books to be read?

[1] Librarybox: subspecies of Piratebox[2] – tiny computer with a USB
stick for memory and it’s own local wifi, not connected to the internet, so it may even work on a bike ride.

[2] Piratebox:

Graham Seaman

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