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?
Rapid changes happening in the society nowadays require rapid changes from the libraries as well, or maybe even more rapid… And here comes a question of staff motivation. Most people are afraid of changes, it’s natural but we – librarians – don’t have a choice. We must develop our libraries developing ourselves. What are the best motivational tools that can be used for library staff?
Tanya Tupota & Ksenia Timofeeva
My task for the tour will be to form a view on volunteer work in libraries against the background of closing libraries and job cuts.
In the past a lot of libraries in Germany have been closed and libraries in rural areas and branch libraries in bigger towns and cities are still threatened with being closed. To get an impression of the situation you may visit http://bibliothekssterben.de (only in German). In many other libraries there have been job cuts.
To fill the gaps thus produced there are many volunteers working in libraries, sometimes they are the only staff and there is no trained librarian anymore.
Now there is the dilemma:
- On the one hand we as librarians want library services everywhere and for everyone. And we want it to be of high quality. So that would mean that we must help and support those volunteers to enable them to offer good library services.
- On the other hand, if libraries are managed mainly or completely by people without any professional training, the responsible bodies might think: “Well, libraries are working just fine with less money. We cut down even more jobs, we also could close some more branches. Etc.” Do we sell out our profession if we support volunteer work in core areas of the library? What can we do to make it clear that we are not only just lending books anymore and that library service cannot be offered by just anybody? How can we do both, support volunteers in their work and make sure there are trained staff who guarantee up-to-date library services?
I wonder whether this is an issue in other countries as well and how libraries and librarians and their associations deal with it.
I want to find out what others think about that matter and which arguments could be brought forward in a discussion with colleagues or responsible bodies.
Max-Planck-Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences
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.
Espoo City Library
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:
- Our professional future in the networked world.
- Open access journals in college library collection.
- Information policy, it content and challenges for an effective knowledge society.
- E-metrics and library assessment in action.
- 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 ;-))))
The Chelyabinsk State Academy of Culture and Arts
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?
Library Association of Latvia, Section of New Professionals
Cycling for Libraries via Dace: http://udrite.wordpress.com/
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.
Gemeinsamer Bibliotheksverbund (GBV)
Questions for the library world. Here are some that I like to think about:
- Since I work for a library software company that is vigorously trying to emulate the google experience in their primary discovery tool: Primo, why not just let Google purchase Ex Libris and let Google develop a library app? Call it GoogleLibrary: All content, all the time, in an interface that works! Google knows how to index, Google knows hardware and software, why should Ex Libris be doing this task? I would not mind a few adds. The only possible downside would be the supremacy of google.com. But, why couldn’t google.com become google.gov?
- We all live in a democracy. The basis for democracy is the freedom of access to information. Why not install a wikileaks app on all library home pages. An automatic feed of all the information that we should know about, the hidden agendas of the corporate world, the secrets of governments, the power of lobbyists, whatever the military doing? etc, etc.
- How can libraries be agents of change? Especially, at this time of global environmental change. Can libraries be a grassroots groundswell demanding the end of the corporate dominance of our existence? End advertizing, (adverse teasing), consumerism, single stream consumption, and our present environmental disasters?
- Libraries are dying. What is the future of the library?
- Libraries are single modal: primarily addressing the needs of the rich, educated, mobile, northern white society. Maybe at best addressing a small percentage of the global population which by September will hit 7 billion people. So, what about the non library user? Those people who do not even know that a library exists but are perhaps the most in need in terms of access and knowledge. We’ll pass non-library users on our ride. What can we do for them?
I don’t have any answers. Looking forward to sharing some ideas.
So, few words about my favorite professional problem. I suppose I could identify it as getting people interested and involved in activities of library. More over all the materials in my library are in English, It means that our activities more or less connected with teaching and learning English, and practicing the language skills in general. So, I’m constantly in search of new forms and possibilities for it.
I consider other libraries and librarians experience, ideas, suggestions would be very useful and precious for me and my work.