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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


Michael Rathai: How to make library software more independent?

A big concern for me as head of the digital library department in the GBV library consortium is to support my colleagues to make better software for OUR libraries and we quite often feel kind of hindered by existing software solutions, partly quite monolithic old-fashioned systems we are bound to use. And the companies providing this software in fact react quite often only very slowly to our demands.

So I am happy that in the last 5 years we have build up our own development group using open source sw (vufind, solr, lucene, shibboleth). It is a good start, but there is still a long way to go and cyc4lib I’d like to use to think and talk about how we can improve this process, how we can become much more independent from the big providers and what can I do to help make both libraries and ourselves more brave to dare to use these open source solutions. Some libraries already are doing that by their own, some don’t dare and some simply don’t have the resources to do so. One chance with cyc4lib for me is to meet a lot of people from libraries worldwide and I hope to get a lot of stimuli from you and a better understanding of the libraries situation wrt. to my questions mentioned here.

Michael Rathai
GBV


Sara Lind: How do we communicate in a digital library?

I work with communication at a University Library in Sweden. Mostly there’s communication in an external point of view, to our end users, but to have a good communication to users there’s also got to be good communication within the organization.

I have several key questions I would like to discuss. How do you get “everybody” on the train with new ideas (within the organization)? Just the other day I got the comment “But we’ve already tried that, it didn’t work..”.

As more and more communication goes on via text we have to start talking about what good communication is in digital text messages. Our end users today is living “their whole life” on the web and taking care of their business online – but we still have to be there to support and help. How do we do that when we lack eye contact, voice, tone, gestures and body language? I’ve held a small seminar on my workplace in this subject but I would be glad to discuss it further. Is it different between different libraries? How can you express “more” than just facts when you communicate with text? How important is it?

I work a lot with social media and find it to be a very good way of communicating with users. I want to hear your experiences and ideas! I also like the way social media brings the work place together – the staff is talking about what’s going on on Facebook on their coffee break. Can we develop this even further? Can we use these channels to create a creative spot for the staff to share about their daily work and thoughts (that I’m very curious about – I work in such a big library that it can be hard to keep track of all the people who work there.)?

I’m also interested in strategic communication planning. Have any of you done a plan and a follow-up in strategic communication? What was it about? Did it work?

Sara Lind
Stockholm University Library


Silvija Tretkova: Time management in librarywork

The ideal library is a cooperation network rich in electronic resources. It enables everyone’s active participation in cultural and life-long learning processes and brings to fruition personal and community aspirations.

The network should be generously funded and promote cultural variations by region. In Latvia, I work on reading promotion programs which involve thousands of children as active readers and critics of the latest books. With that in mind, I see the ideal children’s library as hospitable place, both a virtual and a physical, with books and other media and information platforms. It should provide everyone with media creation opportunities regardless of whether the resulting product is a newly composed musical recording, a theatre show, writing, visual arts, an animation or a documentary. In this environment, every child would be knowledgeable and would feel confident of personal ability. The librarian would feel the same. The questions to ponder while I cycle:

  1. How to accelerate the development of child and teenager user services in the libraries?
  2. How to extend the day to 28 hours?
  3. How to successfully participate in social networking, without using too much time on them?

Silvija Tretkova
National Library of Latvia, Library Association of Latvia


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


Dace Ūdre: the role of new professionals within national library associations

Section of New Professionals in Latvia is implementing three main objectives:

  • Library advocacy and support of new professionals on a national and international level;
  • Organization of seminars, conferences and exchange trips;
  • Networking and international collaboration.

My aim is to ascertain how new professionals (LIS students and recently qualified professionals) can be involved in activities of national library associations, and whether national library associations support new professionals movement in their countries.

The main question is: What can be done to encourage recruitment and active involvement of new professionals in the library field and activities of national library associations?

Dace Udre
Library Association of Latvia, Section of New Professionals
Cycling for Libraries via Dace: http://udrite.wordpress.com/


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


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


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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