Category Archives

Leila Juusola: Service design including customers


Once there was a nice and big library space with very little usage. Now there is a comfortable Learning Hub Greenhouse with amazing usage – user-driven learning space co-designed with by students, staff and the library.
This is an ideal example of what we librarians can do together with our customers – and it is true. Now there are growing many other Learning Hubs all over the Aalto University campus.
But there are still many needs that we do not know about. And even knowing what your customers want is not enough… We have to understand their needs and include them from the beginning. How can we better do this? Library is nothing without customers. We have to get to know each other better.


Michael Rathai: “Thinking the unthinkable: a library without a catalogue…”


I was thinking over and over about homework 3 without success, without finding THE issue I feel being worth or relevant to our event next month… But today while following ELAG2013 on twitter I came across the article from Simone Kortekaas “Thinking the unthinkable: a library without a catalogue — Reconsidering the future of discovery tools for Utrecht University library” and I immediately realized: that is my problem/issue/challenge to focus on during cy4lib13. The article almost perfectly describes and summarizes a lot of my thoughts about the future of our catalogues and role as a service provider for academic libraries, although it threatens our existence at the same time. If we leave the job of providing search interfaces and discovery tools to Google etc., what will our job be in the future. We as service provider for libraries, not endusers do not own a single object being searched for. Ok, we could provide the electronic journals and e-books, but this can be done by others too, who own the direct sources and access rights.

“Our users are on the Internet and use Google or Google-like discovery tools. They find the content they need and then expect the library to deliver the content. We concluded that if, indeed, this is the world of our users, if this is reality, if big commercial companies are able to offer freely accessible search engines containing scientific content, there really is no need for libraries to try and pull their users back to the library systems. What would our users miss out on if we should decide to leave the discovery side of our services to parties that are far better equipped to build, keep up and constantly update their products? What would happen if we, as a library, should focus on the delivery side of the job instead?” [1]

Looking forward to see you soon!


[1] see: S. Kortekaas,


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)

Marija Šimunović: Librarian and usage of eBooks


Librarian and usage of eBooks:

    1. Personal usage/type of reading materials (literacy, professional or else)
    2. Users and they reaction to the eBook

Marija Šimunović (Facebook)

Annie Pho: Incorporating game design elements into library services

Annie Pho

Recently my colleague and I were awarded a grant to implement a digital badge pilot program at my work. Librarians often try to think of innovative ways to engage our students in teaching information literacy concepts, and trying out a digital badge program is one of them. For those who are unfamiliar, people can earn digital badges for skills they develop online, receive credit for their activities, and display them to their peers. In video games, players are often awarded badges or unlock achievements when they have met certain milestones in the game. This helps to motivate the player to continue on with the game, or explore alternative quests. Digital badges take that concept of benchmarking achievements in games and puts them in a real life setting.

I’m interested in seeing how libraries can use this kind of system to motivate learning and assess what our patrons learn along the way. Mozilla recently released their Open Badges project and so the badges that I develop for my library will be able to be integrated into the Mozilla infrastructure. In my opinion, the skills people learn in the library are translatable and empower our patrons to be lifelong learners.

Further reading:

Annie Pho (@catladylib, Facebook, LinkedIn)

Eeva Rita-Kasari: The collaboration between (public) libraries and local schools


In my current job I collaborate a lot with local schools by teaching information/media literacy skills to primary and secondary school students (from 7- to 13-year-olds). I’d like to share experiences and ideas with people from other countries and with different backgrounds. Do you collaborate with schools? How? What kinds of skills are relevant for today’s schoolchildren, in today’s information society? Information retrieval skills, copyright issues, how to efficiently use Google, social and new media skills, something else?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

See you in June!

Eeva Rita-Kasari (Facebook)
Vantaa city library

Pirjo Kangas: Teaching library systems in library education


In autumn 2013, will be teaching a course about library systems in Turku University of Applied Sciences for future librarians as part of my teacher education course. The course will discuss the role and functions of library systems on general level so the focus is not on technical detail or building databases.

So my focus is library systems in library education: what did you learn about library systems during your studies in librarianship? What do you wish you had learned or what topics would you cover should you teach or course like this?

Pirjo Kangas (@pirjopk, Facebook, LinkedIn)

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

Page 6 of 6First...456