As the biggest cycling event of the season draws near, it’s time to start looking at preparations for your time in and out of the saddle. We, the team behind this years ”New Nordic” will help you cycle through a checklist as we get prepared together. Through a series of homework assignments you’ll be top tuned towards being able to enjoy your cycling for libraries as much as possible. No, you don’t need to be super-fit to attend the tour, but investing in you fitness level before the tour, will help you get the most out of the experience. Not much use having the most engaging and exciting programme if we all fall asleep as soon as we get of our bikes. Smart and Hard!
Cycling for Libraries is not a racing event, we do a steady clip in order to (hopefully) be in time for all our library, cultural and other engagements. This means that we’re not racing through the countryside but still have to keep a nice and steady pace. We always try to do this together so riding safely in a bunch and for longer durations of time. These are the two major focal points for this first homework. We’ll be doing this by running through a number of tasks and tours.
First of is being safe in a group, we’ll visit this topic for later but we’ll start of with some basic bike awareness. Hopefully many of you are already out enjoying the more forgiving temperatures on your bikes. Which of course means you have already gone through the following things:
• Checking your wheels – making sure you have the right pressure, check no rocks or pieces of glass are stuck in the threads. Good drill to do when we arrive at destinations, as it’s much better to be aware of the problems when we have time to fix it and not when 99 others are waiting for you…
• Brakes – do you have them? And are the working properly. We might start out in dry conditions- -we’ll of course end in dry aswell… but you never know.
• Can you change a tire? We usually dont patch on the road, instead we opt to change the tubes, do you know how? If not it’s time to learn a new skill. Don’t worry we help each other on the road so don’t despair. If you have more questions about bikes just ask in the mailing list or fans of cycling for libraries, we’re sure you’ll get the answer you seek.
• Internal or external gears? Become familiar with both especially if your planning on hiring. Know how they work, don’t pedal while changing on internal. Pedal whilst changing on external.
All ready to ride! As mentioned earlier Cycling for Libraries is not a spandex event, you’re welcome to wear it for comfort but don’t expect a great effect of the aerodynamical properties of your clothing. We don’t go super fast we go super safe. Which in turn also means you’ll be spending some time in the saddle, more than you’re used to, which is great because it provides you the opportunities to discuss funding for cultural events, decimal classification system or patron driven acquisition, with the cyclist next to you. It does mean that fitness and endurance is a factor so:
• Core Fitness -Free up you schedule or fill it in with 3 rides a week of 20-30 km. Try to start short and build up as you get stronger and quicker. 30km is a good mark as we’ll be covering distances of that between breaks. Your task is to repeat this for the next couple of weeks.
• Try to make biking a more integrated part of your daily routines, the most important is to get consistent and then build up slowly.
• Speed! Try to push your top-speed. Map out a distance and try to beat your best. No we don’t go super fast during the tour but eventually you’ll have to close a gap or catch up after a mechanical. Also pushing yourself and becoming familiar with faster riding is great for building fitness.
We’ll be back with more tips and pointers as well as gruelling homework assignments as we edge close to this years cycling for libraries international. Remember you’re not alone even when training for this. If you encounter problems or curious about details use the mailing list or fans of cycling for libraries Facebookgroup. Our experience is that other participants are happy to help and share.
Register for Next library here
My Name is Julia, i work not in but for libraries at one of the six existing german library consortias, called KOBV (Cooperative Network of Berlin-Brandenburg Libraries). We develop, host and maintain software and services for libraries within the Berlim- Brandenburg region and even beyond.
Since January this year we are working intensively on a new project named “K2” (KOBV-Portal 2.0), funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Berlin state for the next three years.
The KOBV-Portal has been around for more than 10 years, it was launched already in 2002. It is the research portal for library collections of the Berlin-Brandenburg region, and thus one of our central services for our consortial libraries. Its technologic architecture is based on the concept of distributed search, not wrong nowadays per se, but in comparison to known search websites as GOOGLE very slow indeed, as it queries all catalogs in web real time.
Now that is why we, as a modern service provider, decided to make the portal itself (not only its functions) faster and easier to use for everyone. Basically we aim to offer an easy search module, relevant results and an online interlibrary loan for everyone (whereever they might be located!) “under one roof, at one place” for all of our regional users.
And talking about users leads me to my homework: We know what kind of architecture we need to build the portal and which librarian needs we need to serve , but the individual user with his needs and wishes (for whom we finally develop the portal) is unknown to us. I hope to talk to colleagues from all over the world who meet “the user” everyday. And I hope to learn a lot by visiting different places, spaces, institutions, get inspired by the people I’ll meet on the trip.
Adding learning aiding functionality into the design.
Helsinki University Library
I’m interested to discuss and share ideas of how to implement new technology into the library space that somehow involves touchscreens and/or motion detectors. Currently, I’m collecting data for a master’s thesis in the subject, mostly concerning how touch and movement can (or can it?) add value to a library. Touchscreens are already there for self-service such as check out, how do we go beyond that? How do you develop services that are seamless and intuitive, fun and challenging – and not just “for show”? How do we do it on a library budget?
Looking forward to hear your ideas on the subject!
Topic i am interested in: events and activities for young readers and how to make them function (practical examples).
librarian, Children’s Literature Centre
Or how to engage the public by allowing them to change the public space. The librarian as a facilitator and expert on how and why we conduct our business in a certain way. I’ve recently started a new job as project manager in a public FabLab, the programs that we’re going to run out of the FabLab are focused on the democratization of the information contained in 2/3D design, prototyping and manufacturing facilities. As a part of the project we’ve declared our libraries and cultural centers as hackable, in the sense that we’ve decided to let our patrons influence the look and functions of the facilities. As part of this process it’s become obvious that the better we’re at communicating how and why our services run , the better and more engaging the experiences. My questions focus on the role of the staff in a process like this. What skills, tools and methods can be adapted towards facilitating the whole endeavor.
This is a formula which contains the quiddity of changing proceses. I’m studying and doing a research about book reading habits. I invite you to fill out a questionnaire: http://www.jotformeu.com/form/31645968182363
Looking forward to your response,
During our unconference I plan to find out about “home service” by public libraries. In Finland home service is basically just bringing books home to people unable to visit library due health issues etc. The service is free, but surely it could something more than carrying books. Many elderly people come to library to learn about tablets, laptops, smartphones. To update their skills. I reckon this kind of service should be provided by “home service” as well. People unable to leave home need this service the most? Experiences/ideas from other countries? Could library do this work together with social services, for example?
For most of us, it is daily routine to: stay in touch with colleagues and friends in Library Land; connect to new people; share news and stories; discuss ideas, problems, projects; work collaboratively on projects. This all mostly happens via informal learning networks that we create and maintain online and is further nurtured through wonderful events such as Cycling for Libraries.
Lots of library associations struggle with this situation because they used to be the main providers of an (offline) infrastructure that exclusively made these things possible for their members for decades. Even more, it seems they are not actively taking part in these informal networks today as described above, but rather react to what is happening around them. As a result, personal members often tend to perceive them as being too bureaucratic and lacking transparent and efficient decision-making processes.
Now library associations need to revisit their standing and self-understanding in the information profession and rethink categories like “membership” and “member participation”. One way to tackle this situation could be to become an active part of the informal learning networks. This could boost member enthusiasm and change the associations’ image into being more transparent. On the other hand, emerging trends and hot topics discussed by the online community could be early and more easily taken into account and supported in the associational context with better human and financial resources.
This, in short, is how I see the current situation in several cases based on my own experience and from what I know from friends and colleagues. I would love to hear about your views. Do you agree on this trend? Are these kinds of synergies already happening in some countries? What could be done both by library associations, by their members and by those using informal learning networks to put these potential synergies into practice?
Looking forward to seeing you all soon in Amsterdam!
I’m Oswald Kaipainen from Espoo City Library. I work as a librarian in the children’s department of the second largest library of Espoo called the Apple Library. The Apple Library is most likely moving to brand new larger premises in 2016. The new library will break many traditional library concepts as it will share the same space with other municipal and state services such as health center, dental care center, maternity clinic, Common Service Center, Social Insurance Institution and possibly youth services. Some political decisions are still pending, but the project seems almost certain to progress.
My name is Ināra Kindzule, and I work as a chief librarian in the Transport Branch Library of the Riga Technical University Scientific Library.
I’m curious about new ideas, how to make digital resources, like journal data bases, e-books databases etc. more interesting, attractive and exciting for our university students. I’m also interested in new technologies in scientific libraries, how do they influence and change them. And the third issue is continuing education for librarians.
See you soon!
I work in the City Library of Zagreb in the Serials deparment, mainly with old periodicals. For this occasion I would like to talk about ethical isssues that arise with changing positions of libraries and implementation of new technologies. As the community changes, the library need to reassess and adapt its collections to reflect new and differing areas of interest and concern. Although changes are necessary and inevitable, the purpose of libraries basically remains the same – libraries are repositories for humanity’s knowledge; they provide access to informations and preserve world’s heritage.
Through digitization and reformatting, we are able to retain valuable materials but this task implies new ethical dilemmas and difficult choices, especially for selection, storage, accessibility and preservation of original records on paper-based media. Do we consider enough the consequences of hastily made decisions with regard to global culture?
I’m working in a busy public library in Denmark where we work with the community in lots of different ways. One of my main tasks is to help bridge the digital divide by offering and supporting learning in the digital environment. In the end of 2014 all public letters to private persons in Denmark become digital. Many elderly people do not have the skills to use a computer and they will probably get a wild card and still be able to get their papers in physical form. My concern is: How do we make people more familiar or confident with digitization? … And how do we convince the younger people that it is important knowledge?
We focus more and more on learning and supporting learning in libraries. Which topics could be interesting and important in a library teaching lesson?
There are a few items I would like to explore on this adventure. I am currently serving on the advisory board of the university of north texas college of information so I am interested in learning what courses are taught at the library schools and what types of continuing education classes are available. I am thinking about the possibilities of adding private investigation classes and licensing as a course or certification. Another item is exploring and gathering information for the U.S. version of Cycling for libraries. The Texas library association will be developing a short ride next year before their annual meeting. So far we have about 100 interested librarians.
See you soon!
Librarian in the cloud, Inc.
Nowadays in our profession it’s more and more common sense that the main function of the academic library as a physical place is no longer so much that of a stock of books where people are using reference literature in reading rooms but more that of a learning space for students of all levels. That is seen as a chance for our institutions and includes ideas like lounge areas, cosy sofas etc. Rules shouldn’t been executed there as strict as it used to be to create a more open and friendly atmosphere. But the irony is: If, as a “modern librarian” you don’t enforce rules on silence etc. too much you’ll get complains like “We go to a library because we expect it to be absolutely silent and we want that and no discussion”. But if you enforce the rules, people often are not satisfied as well and use the “Psst!!!” stereotype etc.
So, how do you find a compromise between the demand for silent workplace and the aim to provide a lifely place for cooperative learning and lively personal contacts in your institution? What is your experience and/or solution?
Looking forward to great days in Netherlands and Belgium!
I am interested in up-and-coming public library services for children and youth. Here in Latvia, the jeremiads about the shrinking population are ceaseless, and talk of the importance and significance of each and every child never ends. Yet, were little cooperation and work is done to address the issues.
My goal is to better understand what helps with planning and developing services for these user groups in other countries. What is the government investment model for library programmes that target children? What are the local, regional, and state-level cooperation models?
See you soon,
As lifelong learners, and encouragers of lifelong learning, how do you stay organized? From your professional and personal reading, to conversations, training, and experiences like Cyc4Lib, what do you do with the information and ideas you collect? The resources other people recommend? Do you keep it all in your head, or do you have other systems?
I’m interested in learning tools, tricks, and tips for personal organization, whether low-tech or high-tech. In the past few years, I’ve gone from using a little notebook that I carried everywhere to Evernote on an iPod Touch. I’m wondering what other ideas are out there. This might also lead into the preservation of personal data, and sharing of data, but those could be other topics on their own…
My greatest concern for libraries is that they continue to be accessiable to everyone. I think that there is a technology gap between people with many resources and those with few resources. The library provides an important link to technology for people who would otherwise be out of the loop. I think that libraries are the heart of a community and should be a place where people of all ages can come for enrichment, education and discovery.
I attended library school in Tallahassee, Florida 40 years ago and worked as a school librarian for three years. I continued my career in museum education at The Museum of Florida History and The Florida Historic Capitol. I am looking forward to my bicycling experience and meeting people from many different places.
200 public libraries closed here in the UK in 2012 and the picture is similarly bleak in many counties across Europe and around the world. In some cases, the response of those who oppose the closure of their local library has been to step in and run it themselves. This is often simply the only option available to prevent the loss of the library altogether.
Questions have been raised about the sustainability of such projects, with some activists recommending a more entrepreneurial approach (this presentation from ‘The Punctuated Librarian’ gives examples of such social enterprises happening in the USA). The staffing of community libraries by volunteers is also regarded as a threat by some professional libraries who see this as “job substitution” and a step towards de-professionalisation of library service provision.
As someone working in an academic library, I am also interested in exploring what can be done in a more general sense to encourage co-operation between librarians from different library sectors and across borders… just one of the reasons why I have chosen to participate in Cycling for Libraries this year!
I look forward to meeting everyone in Amsterdam next week!
I am a scientist, working in biology, and I am joining for one day only mostly for cycling and chatting and meeting old friends! But from the professional point I could share my experience of interaction with scientific libraries – from the user side 😉
See you in Brugge!
My name is Lara and I am partially in charge of the collection development at the Lausanne Public Library, in Switzerland, which is actually a network of 7 libraries: one for adults, one for children, 4 neighborhood libraries, and a mobile library. There is a lack of coherence in the network and I really want to work on it. How can we manage this network?
At a strategic level: how can we create a spirit of network, or how to nurture strong relationships between these librairies? What about the relationships between the collections? How can we effectively create ties connecting the libraries and the neighborhoods? At a practical level: how can we organize the document circulation, from acquisition to the public?
Besides, I hope this “unconference” will be the perfect opportunity to share our experiences on the following subjects: strategy (mission, vision), management, collection management (tools, communication, space management), the services provided to customers, etc.
I’d like to discuss how libraries will handle issues related to downloading copyrighted material. Should we fight, ignore or promote piracy? Is it time to change and if so, how? And also, what about the role of school libraries in supporting curious minds? And the links between school and public libraries? And what about play? And what else? There’s too much to cover in one homework assignment. We need at least a week…
A lot of people get pleasure from the work of librarians. Many librarians do not imagine another destiny. They feel a sense of its usefulness to humans. Great fortune to be a librarian …
Best, See you soon
How can libraries in a small language minority area near the border of a country benefit from cooporation with libraries in the neighbouring country? How can these libraries cooperate to provide better media resources to the citizens of both neighbouring countries?
Background of the questions: I´m a user of the Stadtbibliothek Aachen (“Aachen Public Library, Germany) and of Medienzentrum Eupen (“Media Centre Eupen, German speaking part of Belgium) because that enables me to get the full range of literature/information/media in German (Stadtbibliothek Aachen) and French/Dutch/German (Medienzentrum Eupen).
This year is the 150th anniversary year of Turku City Library – it is just the right time to think about our library and libraries on the whole. Turku City Library is the library for the region of Southwest Finland. We also form Vaski conglomerate with 17 other libraries. It means great co-operation and responsibilities. Turku Cultural Affair was unified and library started collaboration with Turku City Theatre, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and city Museums. We co-operate a lot with schools. Later Turku Cultural Affairs merged with Sports and Outdoor Activities and Youth Services to form Leisure Affairs. To meet the challenges posed by these organizational changes we are continuously revising our plan of operation. And in the midst of these various reformations the main library is busy to serve 5000 daily customers!
To summarize: I’m interested in the position of a library in the ever-moving tides of change. I’m interested in library networks and all kind of co-operation. And the question about the manner of education we ought to have is valid.
Children and Youth services, Turku City Library
The library was some sacred place where you could take a piece of knowledge in the form of paper book. Booming technologies make us face the challenge: innovate or die. Present library transformed into a hi-tech information provider, where all needed stuff is just one click away.What does future holds for paper books? Will they be left only for technofobes, should solid structures be replaced by virtual ones? Anyway, I guess people should at least have a choice.
Paper books lovers will always exist. And they might wish to meet their like-minded in the same “good old library” for sharing, discussions, debating … and socializing. As an opposite to hi-tech, can see libraries being transformed into sort of “communication centers” or “paper book fans houses” with tea parties, cake parties, whatever. One thing stays for sure: 21+ century libraries should be flexible enough to changing demands of their users.
Artem Artemenka (Facebook)
My name is Alireza Afshari (called Ali), and I work as a library manager for outreach library activities at the Public Library of Stockholm. In addition to this, I will as of the beginning of October also assume responsibilities for a couple of branch libraries. My question concerns one of these libraries.
As David, April and Caroline I am also curious about space and innovation. My case is somehow different from theirs because I work at a public library: In November this year Stockholm Public Library will open its latest and newest library within an area with many immigrants and a high level of unemployment among the youth. I think the best way to encourage our young users to come to the library is to offer activities which are somehow different from schools, such as Maker Space, fab lab etc. In Sweden, as far as I know, there is no public library which offers learning workshops in this way. Denmark and Finland have already started using library spaces for learning workshops with the help of laser-cutters, 3D-printers and so on. The question is how we can combine these kinds of workshops with literature? In other words: How do we combine innovation and tradition?
We’d like to know about Open access practices in different countries. First, are they widespread in your communities? Do you have special laws which determine forming, using and spreading of Open access information resources?
And second, how can the libraries involve researchers, scholarly societies, research organizations, universities etc in the Open access movement? How do they promote Open access policies and educate researchers about its advantages?
Best wishes and see you soon!
If your work is not attractive, you can do it. If people think that your work is not prestigious, you prove it.
If you are happy to go to work and your friends doubt that you work in the library, open your own secret.
I love to advertise and do my job fun. It’s not difficult, I just wanted something new, and adventures will find you.
Nadejda Zolotareva (Facebook)
Hi, all dears. I am school librarian for 22 years and would like to say – if societies have any hope of surviving and prospering, I believe that preserving libraries is vital.
There is no service in a society which does more for the advancement of a culture and education than libraries do. I am passionate about it.
Libraries are without question an amazing resource for transforming lives – we act in the world into which none of us had access before and we ran with the things we learned.
Public libraries are dedicated to providing services to all members of their community. However, librarians face many challenges in implementing this desideratum. From not being aware of special groups in the community, to budgets that force decisions that are exclusive to some populations, to allowing stereotypes to influence the librarians’ work, and so on, the reality is that in each community there are people who can be better served by the public library. During this unconference I will be inquiring my fellow librarians about the challenges they face when trying to serve different minorities and groups in their communities. In an increasingly global society, public libraries should and can serve their public in all its diversity.
As lifelong learners, and encouragers of lifelong learning, how do you stay organized? From your professional and personal reading, to conversations, training, and experiences like Cyc4Lib, what do you do with the information and ideas you collect? The resources other people recommend? Do you keep it all in your head, or do you have other systems?
I’m interested in learning tools, tricks, and tips for personal organization, whether low-tech or high-tech. In the past few years, I’ve gone from using a little notebook that I carried everywhere to Evernote on an iPod Touch. I’m wondering what other ideas are out there. This might also lead into the preservation of personal data, and sharing of data, but those could be other topics on their own…
- How can we stay motivated when we face e.g. a societal crisis, a dysfunctional organization or lack of funding?
- In hard times, how can we nourish our core values and re-discover our real driving forces?
I’m interested in how university libraries and librarians are working with digital humanities projects. There are so many thought-provoking projects involving data, text, GIS, and visualization being developed on university campuses right now, and I think it’s a really exciting area for libraries to move into. I would like to be more involved in this work, so I’m curious about…..
- What kind of infrastructure does your university and library provide for digital humanities work?
- What types of digital humanities projects have you and/or your library been involved with?
- How can libraries provide support for these projects?
- How can we market our skills to faculty for these projects?
After a hard year at work I’m so happy meeting you all and cycle with you! I want to be more playful and joyful and that’s why I’m interested in all kinds of surprises we and other libraries have invented and given to our customers and non-customers also: library bikes, pop-up-libraries, blind-dates-with-a-book, messages inside books or in the library space? What more could we do – inside and outside the library, by us or by our clients or together with our clients?
I work in an academic health sciences library. Our national health sciences library conference has just ended, and one issue that arose was the desire and the need to do research in our field. The major hurdle is that most of us feel ill-equipped to do “proper” research, since the majority have just taken one research methods course during our library training. So how do we build capacity in research? One idea that came up was the concept of a “mentorship program”. I do sit on the Research Committee for the Canadian Health Libraries Association, so I would like to try to tackle this challenge. Any experience or ideas that you have for me would be most welcome!
Thanks, and look forward to seeing you soon!
Health Sciences Library
University of Saskatchewan
I work at a library consortium and do software development for libraries there. In the last two years a colleague and I established all kinds of services around VuFind, an open source “library resource discovery portal” (or just call it “catalogue” 😉 ) software. We offer hosted installations, all kinds of individual customisations, development, coding, consulting, everything you want… Because this service is not part of our consortial base services (which are free for consortium members), we have to charge libraries. We decided for a simple pricing model: There are low, fixed prices that cover basic installation and maintenance costs. All customizations should be billed to match (real) costs/effort. The overall goal is an affordable offer for different needs.
One thing we got completely wrong in the beginning was the calculation of effort for library specific customisations. We roughly looked at the implementation complexity, estimated the time needed, added an N % “overhead surcharge” and wrote an offer (call it the “naive software developer’s pricing model”). If we were a company, we would have gone broke within weeks, because our calculations were way too low.
Why? It turned out, we spend much more effort on communication with our customers than on software implementation. But even if we adjusted the N % surcharge I mentioned above (means: became more expensive), we wouldn’t have a sufficient pricing model. Because the software implementation tasks for our customers tend to be rather trivial, while the communication effort is rather high, and more or less independent of the implementation effort. Basically, we could give away coding/implementation for free and just charge communication. Because we want to continue offering an affordable service, we are trying to change our pricing model and make communication more efficient. We have some ideas how to do that. I am looking forward to discuss them with you from your customer’s perspective. And maybe you have even better ideas for us how to establish a cost-covering, but still affordable pricing model?
Till Kinstler (Twitter)
Is the idea of the public library itself a certain political act? Freedom, equality, the values of civil society, non-consumerism. Librarians are not just officials. Do we necessarily have to be politically neutral? And is it possible, really? (Inspired by Anne Waldman, a legendary beat-poet and an activist who performed on Saturday at Annikki Poetry Festival in Tampere, Finland.)
Ann-Christin Karlén Gramming: The importance of continuing education as a library and information professional
I have been thinking about the importance of continuing education for a while. Most professional organizations offer courses and another way is taking university courses or even getting a second degree. There are loads of available courses both online and physical. These course have the added benefit of university credits.
A third way is doing online e-courses via Udacity or Coursera or other MOOCs. While online colleges probably won’t replace in-person education it’s great way of combining work and studies. Last but not least, attending conferences AND unconferences like cyc4lib is also a way of exploring new issues and meeting colleagues. The biggest benefit as I see it is personal and professional development. Another benefit is the opportunity of networking, with librarians as well as other professions. I would like to discuss how you approach organize your continuing education. Does your employer recognise your effort?
See you in a week or so!
Hello, I’m already retired and now a collector of cycling trip stories and have been cycling with you since 2011. Looking forward to see you soon!
We are from St. Petersburg, working in the research department of collection development of The National Library of Russia. We think that in modern world the development of the book market and the market of electronic resources has a strong influence on the collection development. We would like to hear about this situation in different countries around the world.
Irina Eidemiller and Alexander Novysh
My institution The Royal School of Library and Information Science is just merged with the University of Copenhagen. This means that our library will be a part of the collected service for the much larger university library. The challenge for me – and probably for other small academic libraries in the same situation – is to unite the advantages from both library systems: to utilize the larger system to solve certain complex issues for instance access to huge electronic resources and to continue to be an active and integrated part of the institution where we are very close to our users.
Working in the library requires various skills. We organize events, produce web services, maintain databases, do administrative tasks, give hands-on guidance in using electronic devices, play with kids and answer all kinds of questions anyone can come up with, etc. Also the public living rooms have achieved their goal of getting very popular. My library has about 5000 visitors a day. Not all of these visitors come peacefully and we need to deal with serious disturbance problems every now and then.
Usually one does not have to manage all these tasks, but sometimes that is the case. How to keep up with the world? What kind of updating education should we get?
I’m curious how libraries in Europe are using space, specifically if they are incorporating Maker Spaces or Learning Labs into their libraries. University libraries often speak of information commons. Is there room for maker spaces or more creative labs in the commons? How do we best utilize space for users? What does the future of library space look like?
April Kessler (Twitter)
University of Texas at Austin
- Innovative uses for library spaces
- New roles for staff in light of the move to RFID and self check technology
- Taking the library to the where the users are
- Collaborative computing
- The impact of new technologies on libraries
- Digital literacy
- Becoming a more nimble organization
- The role of libraries in supporting content creation and helping users tell their stories
- Setting priorities and focus instead of trying to be all things to all people
- Transitioning into an administrative role
I’m looking forward to having some great conversations with everyone!
Hello. My name’s Grevcev Maxim. I’m from Russia, city of Stavropol (the Caucasus region of Russia). As I’ve a degree in Philology, I can definitely say I’m a book-lover. I’m a journalist, a chief editor of the local TV-channel, and a blogger. Via all these journalist’s stuff I try to convey to people about social innovations, which changes everyone’s life better, that’s why I would like to share impressions after bike ride of librarians and library lovers with all of my viewers and followers, back here in Russia.
My 3rd time cycling for libraries… partly in my home-country… I decide to observe all of you and learn, enjoy, share, listen, ask questions, laugh … and go home a better person and a better librarian.
Media, Arts & Design faculty, campus C-Mine
Due to the practical experiences in a public library of Sipoo where the customers have mostly either Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue, I’ve become to wonder how are the languages noticed in similar areas for example in Belgium, where the customers similarly have different languages sometimes in the same area? Or in the greater scale, elsewhere in the world? In which ways libraries have to pay attention to the different languages in their presence, will it be in library facilities and services or in the social media?
Languages used in the community where library functions plays here in Sipoo libraries a significant role in purchasing of material (near-equal amounts of material purchased in Finnish and Swedish), customer service, shelf signs and library design. Some basic facts and figures about Sipoo and our library: (2012)
- Amount of inhabitants: 18.526
- Language relation: twolingual municipality, Finnish as the major language
- 2 libraries with a staff of 19
- Loans: 292 917
- Visits: 153 940
I work in research and development for an organization that provides automation and support to all the public college and university academic libraries in my state. I have an interest in the changing role of libraries in communities. I’m especially interested in libraries serving as education and incubator spaces for people making stuff. Is it within the role of a library to provide public access to 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters and the like? Does it make sense for a library to include or collocate with a community workshop, makerspace, hackerspace or fablab? At one of the local universities, a library has moved almost all of the books to storage, replacing the shelves with collaborative workspaces, large computer monitors and whiteboards. To me, this is sad but also a bit exciting.
Nowadays libraries really have a lot of challenges! And more or less we all cope with the rapidly changing situation and its demands trying to keep up the pace with the time. We are always in search for the new ways, new trends, new solutions. But quite often the implementation of our projects depends on other people – decision-makers (bosses, administrations, ministries, etc.). These people are not always from the library world and sometimes we speak “different languages” with them… What is the best way to build up the communication with the decision-makers to keep them “online” with library life and needs? It could open a lot of doors for us 😉
Tanya & Kseniya
Jennifer Groff: How to work for an advocacy effort in my community, my state (Pennsylvania), and maybe even my country (USA)?
Ever since last year’s Cycling for libraries, I’ve been concerned with how a similar advocacy for libraries effort might develop where I live — but I’ve been lazy, wishing that “someone else” might organize it so that I could join in. No one has. 😉 Now I want to draw on the energy and insights of the group for good ideas that I can put to use in my community.
I am social activist from Kaliningrad working with local urban communities. One of the main projects is to transform Kaliningrad to bicycle friendly city by changing the culture and infrastructure. Being an expert in creative industries very much interested in marketing of non-profit cultural and social projects.
Almost everywhere (local) authorities have to economize as a result of the crisis. What impact does this have on the libraries ? Are they spared because their government considers them a basic need? Or do they head the list of low priorities ? And if libraries have to scrimp, how do they go about it ? What services bear the brunt ? Are there cuts in the collections or operations, the opening hours, the number of staff ? What does this mean for the users ? Are they expected to pay higher fees, for membership for instance or for some services?
Luc Bauwens (BauwensVideo)
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)
Lauri Holopainen: How to produce high quality manuals for customers concerning e-books and e-magazines?
My professional problem seems to be very pragmatical: libraries offer different kind of e-book and e-magazine services but the manuals and instructions are often indigestible. How can we produce better instructions (written and oral)?
“Excuse me, I didn’t find this book”, “Are you closed tomorrow?”, “How to get an interlibrary loan?”, … So much information available on website but none or less see it. I work mostly at reception desk and I’m in charge of website so I know information exists but it seems to be nebulous for users. How to place information to users’ disposal? How to highlight it? How to transmit information to get optimal results?
Originally, libraries were a place for highly educated people. Then, as the literacy became more common, libraries became a place of knowledge and conservation. Now, the public libraries are becoming a mix of different visions : a place to work, a place of general and local information but also a place of fun with a variety of activities for different age groups : animations, exhibitions, plus managing projects: educational and cultural programs with schools, nursing home, nurseries, local associations, training technologies…
Public libraries have many tasks and in the same time budgets have been reduced (in some countries many libraries have even been closed). Moreover, statistically, public libraries reach about only 5–10% of the local people (Belgian chiffres). Accomplishing all their missions seems more and more difficult: how to choose between different activities, which of them is the most important ? Isn’t that too much for a one service? How could people have a clear vision about the library services with this kind of dispersion? How to communicate and reach the right public with each action?
Kind regard Élodie Dehon
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.
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?” 
Looking forward to see you soon!
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
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
Librarian and usage of eBooks:
- Personal usage/type of reading materials (literacy, professional or else)
- Users and they reaction to the eBook
Marija Šimunović (Facebook)
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.
- Mozilla Launches Open-Source Digital Badge Software
- Test-driving Purdue’s Passport gamification platform for library instruction
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
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?
The balance between virtual and real. How not to lose any of these values.
Google books, e-books, , e-readers, paper format.
But .. what holds back?
Moowing forward- personal tranzision.
Kaisa Inkeroinen: What means good quality of customer service to us and what it means to our customers?
What means good quality of customer service to us and what it means to our
customers? Do we consider same things as good customer service? And how to measure it? I’d like to find some new revolutionary method other than surveys or these happy face or not so happy face machines.
How to organize events in the city center? I have good practice now but I will be pleased to know the experience of others. And languages practice, of course, too.
Where are we going and how can I keep up with the fast changing library world ? As a solo-librarian I’m daily challenged: I want to inform myself to keep my users informed … but also have to keep the library running. How do other solo-librarians manage ? I hope to learn from you all about databases and interesting websites. And of course I’m specially interested in learning from university- and scientific libraries.
I recently engaged myself to a group who’s doing project in developing countries. I really want to work on this topic as well because this is again, like this biketrip, a professional and personal challenge.
I’m ready to share my experience and learn from you all so I can start working again after this trip with renewed energy !
Dierk Eichel: how might we adopt the toolkit of design thinking to solve the pressing needs of the library community while on the road cycling?
Having spent the last year learning everything about “design thinking”, an innovation toolkit for solving all kinds of problems, I decided to try it out in a live field test while cycling for libraries. So my Challenge would be: How might we adopt the toolkit of design thinking to solve the pressing needs of the library community while on the road cycling. So lets start with some of the problems articulated in the cyclists homework.
Ingrida Bučionytė: what do you need to do or know to become a helpful information tool for a doctor?
I’ve just started my job in the library of medicine. So it’s very interesting how coleagues from other medical libraries work these days. What do you need to do or know to become a helpful information tool for a doctor?
I‘m working in academical library. And we have a problem with the students who terminate their studies – they leave university and forget (or don‘t want) to return books to the library. Maybe someone of you have valuable experience how to recover books from these debtors?
Harri Annala: how can events such as these become more common among those in the library profession?
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?
Richard Hawkins: how we as librarians and information professionals can best demonstrate the value of our libraries & collections?
Since I don’t work in a library myself anymore I’m mostly interested in how we as librarians and information professionals can best demonstrate the value of our libraries & collections as well as the work we do (whatever that might be) to the general public and those in positions of power.
I’m therefore interested in hearing about ways in which we might be able to achieve the above – both old and new.
Hopefully I will be able to take what I learn from cyc4lib and use it to help make National Libraries Day in the UK more successful than in previous years.
The academic libraries often get older (scientific) books as a gift, but it’s clear – we cannot take them all. Each book needs time and a place, but can we invest our time in something, what’s outdated and not interesting for the most of our users?
Clearly – there are rules. For example: the prints older than 1850 have to be catalogued, but what can we do with one, printed after 1851, already in our library and just plain text? The decision is often not easy.
Must we take each book just as a thing, or a part of our history? As a silent witness of a person’s life? Is a short handwritten sentence on the site edge worth to be mentioned then? An underlining, a drawing, a bullet hole?
What’s precious and what’s just old? And how can you explain your decision to others?
Historically, the function of libraries in Colleges and Universities has been to store printed media and provide it to teachers and scholars for learning and research. As it was often not allowed to take books on loan to work at home, the library also has a long tradition of being a „Learning Centre“ where students sooner or later will have to come to work.
All that described above has changed a lot since a couple of years. Online ressources, E-books etc. have become more and more important, students have become more and more mobile in their work with Laptops etc.
Interestingly, as the library environment has the reputation of beeing a good place to learn, at least in Germany the use of library buildings as learning space has to the joy of the library officials,not decreased, but in the contrary, significantly increased, much aided by the provision of of highspeed W-Lan, Power Sockets etc.
With that developments in mind, it seems easy to argue: „We (as Library/Librarians) will remain very important in the academic world as we are the preffered learning environment which we provide to the students together with our information ressources, print and online.“ But will that be the case? University officials in Germany sometimes argue: „Well, objectively seen the refectory can provide learning space as well, as can multi-function seminar rooms etc., there is no need to focus on the library when it comes to learning space, its just a question of the right technical equipment, furniture etc.“
Nontheless it seems that students prefer libraries for their learning, even if the university provides learning space somewhere else. Undoubtedly thats a nice thing for us as librarians, but that leads to important questions:
Is being a „Learning space“ the future of the library? Can providing space for learning really compensate the possible loss of the importance of physically accessed media?
And more practical: What makes a library such a good learning space that it will be the long term winner of the „competion of the different learning spaces“? What can, on the long run, the library offer that other service providers can’t?
I work in the Belarus Agricultural Library (www.belal.by) in a department of Personal Users’ Service (Personal users are what come to library. Except them we have collective users. There are the organizations and institutes which our library serves under contracts, giving the information on “desktop”).
Last years, despite comfortable conditions (use in service of modern technics and the technologies, open access to printing fund and electronic resources, free preservation of the information, scanning, copying, the order for delivery of documents from domestic and foreign information centers, etc.) the steady tendency of reduction of users’ quantity coming to library was outlined.
The professional purpose of my trip – is an exchange of experience in service of users of scientific branch libraries.
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…
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…
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!
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 ?
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) http://www.savonlinna.fi/kirjasto/en/municipal_library
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.
In city of Lahti, Finland, the politics decided that branch libraries will be closed down and transformed into library stands that will operate mostly in lobby premises of other civic services, eg. health centers, maternity clinics and senior houses. A public library is of course a place where many communal services can be provided. However, in this model the library is only in position of an additional service, not the main actor. This has been seen as a step to a path where libraries can be closed down easily, without resistance of loud and annoying citizen acts.
Can these kind of libraries – or joint stands – be seen as a tool to maintain at least some library services in cities with economical difficulties or are they just a political trick to get rid of costs when needed?
Library is still strongly tied to a certain place. A branch library creates different practices of everyday life when compared to main library, it’s part of social ecology of its area.
What could the staff of public libraries do to make an influence that libraries as physical spaces wouldn’t extinct in situations like this?
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?
I will start my new job at Karolinska Institutet University Library (a medical institute) in August, as a web content manager. I’m interested to hear stories and ideas on how to develop a research library website, and how to use free online software and digital services to enhance and improve the content. Or if it’s not free, how do we know that we’re spending money on the right services? I’m also interested in how to further explore the power of social media to better communicate with our users. Which tools for who and why? I want to explore the endless possibilities, and hopefully end up having a subject for my thesis in the master programme I’m also studying at the moment, “Digital services: culture, information and communication”.
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?
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?
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.
I’m deeply interested in the development of a collaborating on a regional and international level in the field of documentary heritage digitization. So I’d like to discover successful examples of such cooperation, to discuss its problems and perspectives, as well as to get to know about the policy of access to digitised resources in different countries. And also how the problem of copyright preservation is solved in the libraries, in view of using all these digitized materials.
We librarians are smart people 😉 but I´m still wondering if we really know what our patrons and citizens need and want from us. So I would like to learn which could be the best ways for searching the real needs and interest of different kind of people. How could we get them together with us to discuss about the future of the libraries and to plan our services and activities? And how could we reach even those who don´t use our services so often or not at all? In recent years there has been arranged some nice workshops and discussions for patrons and citizens in Finland and surely in other countries as well and I would be happy to learn more about them.
My knowledge of this concept is all theory and no application, and I want to try to implement something – even something modest – in order to better understand the potential of library linked data because it seems to me to have much in common with the goals/purpose of cataloging. How do I recognize what type of thing might make a good candidate – local digital collection, online university faculty bibliography, a subset of one of these, something else, something overarching? I am at a university library, not a national one. How do I make a plan that is most likely to succeed? What skills and resources will I need? What partners? How does one measure success
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!
There is an ongoing discussion whether results of the research which is publicly funded should be also publicly accessible. On the one hand, several recently started open-access journals (like PLoS, Silence, F1000Research) are not too popular among scientists to submit their papers to. On the other hand, subscriptions are too expensive, and less and less libraries even in big research institutes can afford subscriptions to many journals. On the third side, as an author I still have to pay the same amount of money whether I submit to subscribed journal (where publication costs are officially supposed to be covered by subscription money) or to open-access one (which are non-profit and which publication costs are paid from author’s fees). Why? Might there be a solution to make everybody (public, authors, publishers and libraries) happy?
I hope to know more about the libraries what we will visit: their services, e-resources management systems and future developments. How libraries are coping under economic and social pressure (e.g. decreasing population in the three Baltic States, budget cuts, transition to digital content)? Whether it creates a need for new forms of collaboration and cooperation between libraries and other institutions?
I hope we can exchange experiences and ideas on these topics during our trip!
Jennifer Groff: how to reach children & teens who aren’t using the library, perhaps in part because they lack transportation?
After our conference, I will begin working as a Youth Services Librarian in a community library (in the U.S.) that currently is accessible primarily by car (the surrounding neighborhood isn’t really meant for walkers, and I don’t believe that bus service comes to the library).
I am interested in reaching out to children and families who don’t use the library and am looking for ideas on how to draw them in and also how to serve them if they do not have a car (or a parent who is interested in driving them, or can’t because of work schedule, etc.).
Apart from working as a systems librarian in a project related to search engine based catalogues I am an assistant lecturer in library technology and information retrieval for LIS students.
In my opinion, every position in a library nowadays requires at least a slight understanding of and interest in technological issues. There is, however, still a number of students who want to deal mainly with patrons and/or physical media. But I believe that even as – for example – a childrens librarian you must not be completely ignorant of the technology related changes going on in the library world. I strongly belief that every student will have to deal with at least some of those changes at some point in their library career.
So during Cycling For Libraries I would like to learn about particular methods and ways to make topics like data formats, catalogues, databases, library management software, linked open data etc. interesting for students who otherwise do not much care about information technology. I guess among the many participants there will be quite a few who do teaching themselves or are just creative and have some good ideas. I am looking forward to it!
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.
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.
Yes, libraries are important to our customers in many ways but we also have to convince the decision-makers about our strengths – again and again. I want also to clarify my vision about librarys new services for next 10 years. I’m also interested in values. Could it be possible to provoke more discussion about the meaning and importance of values? If the values are only theoretical, something is wrong. What are the values in different libraries? How are these values expressed in daily life? Why these values have been chosen? (For your information: Values in Espoo City Library are education, courage, know-how and social responsibility.)
In my library printed books are still very much in demand but e-books and datdatabases are becoming increasingly important.
How can we bridge the gap between the physical library and the digital resources? I would specifically like to discuss ways of making digital material more visible in the physical library.
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
Electronic resources keep the public away from the library. Students or researchers think that they don’t need specialists to search information. How do librarians reposition themselves today : new services, new skills, customization ?
I want to know why, with such great developments in semantic web, linked data etc., libraries continue to use and develop strictly text based search interfaces. Many of the big library system providers are extolling the virtues of their ‘next generation’ search interface products but when I look at them, I’m bored and certainly do not believe them to be ‘next generation’. As librarians we should be the leaders in search and discovery, not Google, so why are we not innovating to create a real next generation of search interface that involves visualizations, using open data etc.?
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?
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, elib.se, 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
What is the ideal school librarian? What are the qualities, both personal and professional that the best suit for school library work? For me the school librarian is really good if personalize humanity of Mother Teresa + Bill gates experts brains + wisdom of Solomon + Kissinger diplomacy. How to combine these 4 qualities in daily work?
I work in a health sciences library serving medical students, nursing, physiotherapy, pharmacy, nutrition, kinesiology and dentistry. Many of these students already have degrees in other disciplines, and feel that they “know how to research”. When I look at their assignments, however, they are quite abysmal. They rely on keyword searching, and often have flawed searches, not quite understanding Boolean logic. Yet they are confident in their searching because they find “something”. My challenge is…how do I convince them to be more discerning when searching, and focus on quality?
I would like to get to know before the 7th of August what librarians and friends of libraries (who participate in CFL) think about the “e-book” and the challenges (value added tax, the copyright, life expectancy of an e-book in the library) that libraries are facing with it, how are these challenges handled in their country.
How can we, as an academic library, partner with and better promote the public library to our students, staff, faculty and alumni? When students graduate they no longer have the same kind of access to the university resources. The public library provides excellent resources, but our customers are often unaware of how the public library can serve their needs. We are also the primary resource of leisure reading for 30,000 staff members – reinforcing the idea that the academic library is their only library option even though we purchase a limited number of popular materials. How can we provide the best service to all users while maximizing limited resources?
Something I find very interesting and worth investigating is the unification of search engines and databases. It’s a utopia, but what I want is a single search interface for all libraries and article databases worldwide. Is that even possible? Does it have disadvantages? What would you have to do (in theory) to accomplish something like that?
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, seeded with a little collection of books about Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania? Are all books to be read?
 Librarybox: subspecies of Piratebox – 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.
 Piratebox: http://wiki.daviddarts.com/PirateBox
My question is not how to use all new ways and tools (e.g. social media etc.) in work and in communication both with customers and with colleagues. My question is: how to get out of ones comfort zone in the first place and still plan and implement the changes and innovations in the professional field when your colleagues and clients are satisfied and happy with the current situation and solutions? How to overcome ones conservatism, both of librarians and of their clients? Maybe also a question how to keep the balance between “old” and “new”?
I want to learn about new and different ways of connecting with librarians and information professionals from all over the world. We can learn so much from each other everytime we meet in person but it would be great to continue this exchange via Internet. Facebook may be a beginning but not everyone has an account. So, how is it possible to network and keep in touch with all the great people from C4L, IFLA Congresses and other meetings?
The Open Data -idea and the movement have been active now for several years. Libraries, and their bibliographical metadata seem like the perfect data to make available in a wider variety of ways; it’s systematically created and maintained, (supposedly) coherent and high quality, well documented, the concept of Open Data is quite easy to understand, the data is propably outside of copyright or the copyrights belong to libraries, it’s creation is typically tax-funded and is of wide interest, Open Data is politically endorsed, there are step-by-step guides how to do it, most if not all of the data is already available online via OPACs and possibly Z39.50 APIs too, libraries claim they are an “open platform” and easily accessible, technological innovation in libraries seems to be quite low… and finally, very few people seem to outright oppose libraries going Open Data.
A handful of libraries have taken the initiative to go their own way and go Open Data. However most libraries haven’t. During the Cycling for libraries -unconference I intend to find out why not.
I believe i can identify top 5 reason why libraries are still not Open Data. Also i hope i can figure out some counterarguments, and perhaps formulate counter-counterarguments to them, together with some other participants of Cycling for libraries.
Irmgard Schmitt: Balance of professionalism and empathy in social intercourse with colleagues and clients
The more we are interested in personal matters of our colleagues and the creative background of our clients (authors, translators, editors, publishers) the less time will be for strictly speaking professional and administrative tasks. On the other hand it is not a good feeling just doing the job without any personal feedback. And one day comprises just 24 hours … So we have to find a solution for our individual professional situation beyond time management and social networking.
Hal Loewen: find the most effective ways to teach students and patrons to be life-long learners by selecting the best resources and methods for searching those resources
My homework is to find the most effective ways to teach students and patrons to be life-long learners by selecting the best resources and methods for searching those resources.
Most of my students and many of the patrons I deal with will only search Google and WIkipedia to find their answers. Both are great for finding information but it is important for them to know that there are many other great and specialized databases out there that are better at finding the information they need. They need to be shown how to understand what they are looking for, that is, how to properly define a question. Then they need to be shown how to select the best databases to answer those questions – the trick is to teach them to be successful at using those databases so they know how and when to use something other than Google and Wikipedia.
Here is hoping the volcanic ash does not keep from making the start of the ride.
University of Manitoba
I am part of a working group which is preparing a new website for the library of the University of Poitiers (25 000 students). The current website adress is http://scd.univ-poitiers.fr it’s quite old-style. We are working on a complete redesign. More specifically I work on the query interfaces, metadata harvesting, valorisation of the digital production of the University, Web 2.0 functionalities. I have many issues and will appreciate to exchange on Library websites and to get feedbacks on successful re-design projects.
I would like to hear more about the 23 Ting project which has been experienced in Denmark according to a newspaper report in “Bibliothèque(s)”, the journal of the “Association des bibliothécaires de France”.
And finally, I was at a meeting last week in Montpellier (France) where Poul Erlandsen from the Royal Library of Copenhague gave a presentation. His conference was about sharing resources and delivering books to your doorstep. I would appreciate to collect some information on this service.
Poitiers University Library
Libraries have always been the keeper of the cultural heritage of mankind. But with the advent of the industrial era mankind threatens the very foundation of our existence, nature. Now, libraries as keeper of knowledge and educators of society can play a key role in saving the environment and allow for technical advance at the same time. What can, what has to be done by libraries and librarians to reach that goal? Is there room for exchange of ideas regarding the green libraries at cyclingforlibraries? Can this be the starting point of a global green library movement?
I’m looking forward to this adventure
IFLA New Professionals Special Interest Group (NPSIG)
Mobile devices and their applications are transforming the landscape of personal computing and information access. I want to start thinking about how we can incorporate mobile apps into the information services that libraries provide to users. What are the tools, skills, and resources that librarians need to build mobile applications for our libraries? How should we teach ourselves new practices for tool building? How can we preserve what we learn, circulate new ideas, and document our failures? What apps do our users need? What apps do they already use?
These are some of the questions I would like to answer during our time together.
Dept. of Information Studies, UCLA
For my homework I wanted to propose something that is related to my recent interest in understanding how/if informational needs change in time. I have a question that i would like to ask each of you – so you’ll probably see me cornering you with my voice recorder to ask you this: how did the “library” of your grandparents looked like when they were your age? And when I say “library” I don’t necessary mean a formal institution with books and so on, but a space where sharing of information was possible. What was the library of your grandparents like?
In a fast-changing technology age and in the struggle to provide new services in our libraries, I think is interesting to think about what are the informational needs we try to address and how did they change in time.
University of Illinois
One of my favorite professional problems is the question how we librarians are able to go on with our librarianship in the changing library. How we can maintain the enthusiasm to work with many kind of customers and the patience to learn new techniques?
For me the cycling event is a good possibility to practice social media. And I want to talk with the participants about the ideas which we have in our library (e.g. regional wiki and virtual culture maps). And then I have to practise my poor English.
Hämeenlinna City Library
How to teach children to spend their free time? That there is no sense of omission?
I’m working at the National Library of Latvia in Children’s Literature Center. Our visitors mostly are children of the nearest schools and they spend part of their leisure time here – in Children’s Literature Center. At the Center they can read books and magazines, play various board games, use computer or just communicate with their friends and library workers. But still there are children who don’t know how to find a way to spend their leisure time.
How to teach children to spend their free time?
And one of the reason why children are difficult to choose leisure time activities is that they have too many opportunities and they get confused.
National library of Latvia
I am interested in exploring the “image” the library is “selling,” and developing alternative platforms to interface with the public, including library artist residencies and locally elected classification systems. Branding and marketing are popular approaches many libraries feel forced to adopt to stay competitive, keep their image fresh and relevant, and maintain funding. In an over-saturated ad culture where it is increasingly necessary for the recipient to tune out messages entirely, let’s use our medium, information, creatively. If we are losing patrons to the internet and digitization, in our strategizing to invite them back in, let’s consider what libraries offer which online searches don’t: physicality, qualia, architecture, politics, community, light, human guidance, local historical archives, public space, etc. Let’s utilize the challenge of relevance as a means for institutional innovation.
The challenge I’ll try to solve, is to find new ways how small public libraries could co-operate and share ideas more openly with large libraries and how both could benefit from co-operation
Espoo City Library
What should the public library provide to the customers in the internet? I mean besides an access to the library database and the services concerning the customer account (renewals, reservations, payments…)
Should we recommend novels? Recommend music, games, language courses, links to internet sites etc? Give online homework-help? Some educational entertainment to children? What?
See ya all soon in Rostock and have a good time in Denmark!
Turku City Library
Council services, such as social and health care, education, child-care and culture/the arts, depend on the money available. In small towns there can be a main library and several branch libraries in different districts. People can come to a library to read newspapers and other publications, free of charge. People have access to computers, as many services are run online. The Library is a place to meet people and spend time and, of course, to borrow books, cds and films.
Many councils need to save money and one alternative is to shut down branch libraries. This is alarming as libraries offer services to the elderly, families and those who do not work. They will miss out on a place where they can get information and spend time for free. Not everyone has easy access to the main libraries that are often in the centre of town. How can we save the small, but vital, local branch libraries?
The National Library of Finland
I would like to think alone and together with you about what are the strengths the public libraries. What are those strengths today and what could they be tomorrow? I’m sure there will be a competition of public funds and it could be useful to be able to describe our strengths anytime in one’s own words & enthusiastically!
Secondly, i’m also interested in the possibilities of open data. What kind of mobile apps are possible by using open data?
Espoo City Library
I have to say that it is quite difficult at the moment to specify some only one professional problem I want to solve. But well… for me was always very interesting inter-cultural cooperation and communication, so one professional challenge to be solved during the trip I would specify as getting new ideas and thoughts about multicultural work in the libraries: from library and customer points of view.
Society in big cities nowadays is not anymore homogeneous and in the library as in a public place different cultures have an opportunity to meet by different means. So I’d like to find among Cycling for libraries people those who work with “multiculturalism” in their libraries and share the experiences, get some ideas/ point of views/ new working methods.
My another mission is to write a colorful and talkative report about C4L for Russian library magazine. Be aware of paparazzi with a pink camera!
LIS student at Turku University of Applied Sciences
You all have some really interesting and good ideas about library work. I am looking forward to discussions about all the different issues. No doubt, we will come up with some good ways to solve the different tasks within the field of library work.
I have mainly been working at picture and media libraries. For a few years I worked in the archive at a Danish financial news paper (Børsen) and an image library (Scanpix). The last 4 years I have been working in the library at TV2. At TV2 we catalog the news programs, archive the footage and do research for the journalists.
The library is the ”memory” of TV2 and it is very important to be able to go back and find footage, interviews and other things that have been broadcastet. For some people it is difficult to ”see” the importance of the library because we work in the ”background” and behind the scenes. Other places I have work it has also been difficult to make the library more ”visible”. My questions are:
- How do we make library work more visible?
- Are we to ”silent”?
- How do we get out there and show people what we do?
- Could we be more visible by finding new areas where our library qualifications can be used?
Sonia D. Kirkaldy Nielsen
TV2 library, Denmark
Hi everyone! I’m interested in what libraries and file-sharing communities can learn from each other.
I became interested in this whole topic when trying to purchase sound recordings that students or faculty had requested at our library. You see, part of my job involves working as the music and dance librarian here at our university. I noticed that there were some things that I couldn’t buy, no matter how hard I looked, because they were simply out of print or were unavailable through second-hand sellers. But I was able to find many of those same requests through peer-to-peer networks using torrent-tracking sites. It made me realize that these sites and communities often play a valuable archival role and provide access to all kinds of important cultural and intellectual work.
I think that many of the positive aspects of these communities and sites are often left out of the discussion, and the conversation frequently shifts in other directions. Some positive aspects that I have discovered are: dedicated user groups, community spirit, and high-quality standards for both media files and the associated metadata. I think it’s worth thinking about the connection between libraries and file-sharing communities and what they can learn from each other.
Concordia University Library
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.
Library executives, staff and customers are confused. New methods of service and new partners should be integrated in order to survive in a world where library financing is being reduced. Some of us are ready to accept all kinds of co-operation and circulation forms while others are trying to prove that this way libraries are going to loose the last of their credibility.
My concern is how to get these two parties to come closer to each other?
Turku City Library
I think this homework is quite demanding ’cause there are so many multifaceted problems here … ; ) But thinking my perfect library – university or polytechnic library that offers access to vast collections of relevant printed and e-resources but still can provide expert personal information service – rises the question of resources. In practice we generally have either: Good collections or good professional service, how to have both? Questions of open access are my fav’ too.
Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
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?
Stockholm University Library
Does anyone remember the “old days”, not that many years ago, when there would be guys in a bar who used to make a bet with each other about some trivia question and then call the library to find the answer? Ever notice that those guys don’t call much anymore? Now that they have Google, Wikipedia, and a smartphone, they never think of calling the library. Are we no longer the ready-reference source of information for our communities?
At the same time, public libraries have always been the primary source of reading material for the recreational readers in our community and we have obsessively counted their every transaction; carefully noting the holds and circulation of bestsellers. And many public libraries have done the same with feature film videos and then DVD’s. Now, Netflix will send DVD’s into obsolescence and, perhaps e-readers will do the same to books.
When that happens, we have to be sure that we are still making a difference to the citizens of our towns. I have given two presentations this spring about envisioning the library one hundred years from now. My goal at Cycling For Libraries is to learn better ways to help my colleagues to envision a long-term future for their libraries, and to find the things they can start doing right now to reach that vision.
Vancouver Public Library
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
When I attended library school and the first twenty years of my career through the early 1990s, I adhered to the principle–as did my colleagues–of providing resources to a library user and let the individual decide which materials were best suited for the intended purpose. I did not and would not indicate which materials were best or prioritize them in any way. During that interim, the amount of information I could provide was finite. More than likely, the information in all of the resources I provided had been vetted by the publisher and then reviewers. I could be assured of the validity of the information I provided, no matter which resource the individual chose.
Now, with the World Wide Web, I can assist an individual by accessing any number of online catalogs and almost an infinity of additional resources which have been vetted in varying degrees from maximum to not at all. I have the extreme options of acting as an open flood gate that overwhelms an individual with materials or a gate keeper who, perhaps inadvertently, withholds information the individual could use. How do I balance these two functions?
Minnesota State Library Agency
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
First of all, a great professional challenge for me will be communication in English, because I do not feel free yet to communicate in English. However, there is one issue I am very interested in – it is bibliotherapy. I would like to listen to colleague’s view on it. Do other colleagues have experience in this field? Is this method used in practice in libraries? Are professional psychologists involved in bibliotherapy? I would like to establish personal contact with colleagues who use bibliotherapy in practice.
“Sunny Days Library” Service Point of the Riga Central Library
at the Children’s Clinical University Hospital
My 26 years of work in libraries has been very inspiring and it has given me much to think about. Not least about libraries themselves. Over the years my experience has increasingly confirmed the view that libraries compete with each other too much and cooperate too little, and this will lead ultimately to the detriment of the entire library field. That’s not all bad news. At the same time library education is losing touch with the everyday work in libraries – supply and demand are not balanced, or there are different opinions about the needs and areas of development. Library work is very pragmatic, but where are the creative new people who manage the development of library work? Our creativity and our visions have proved to be quite modest despite the wide range of great things we have produced.
The mission of our field is also lost. When asked, we do not know how to fit the traditional role of “organizer of information” together with the needs of experienced users of new technology. I would say that we have lost touch with our customers while we are increasingly intertwined with technology, formats and standards. Many players of the field have also become competitors and enemies to libraries, and this can be seen for example in copyright legislation.
We are missing an overview of the nature of the problems we face, but we still dive into the depths of more specialized technical expertise and deeper knowledge of cataloguing and classification. We are some sort of curious and incompatible factor in the current publishing world. I just cannot believe that the core of the problem can be found in either direction. We have already tried these and we can clearly see that they are insufficient to keep us alive for another two centuries, if even two decades.
These are strong statements, but I believe they are true. However, my homework is to find at least one completely new and different task or role which allows libraries to respond to current change while maintaining functional ability and being able to take advantage of the centuries old tradition. In short, I would like to try to find an answer to a question whether libraries really can act as producers and publishers on a larger scale. At least the role must be somehow connected to the traditional role of libraries and deploy it and at the same time give us access from the current impasse.
The National Library of Finland / The Finnish Library Association (2004-08, 2010, 2011-12)
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.
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?
CSC — IT Center for Science Ltd
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.
Advokatfirman Vinge KB
As my homework for Cycling for libraries, I’ve chosen to try identify four (4) game-mechanics that operate in the library. I think people are challenge-oriented and reward-driven, and all sorts of games are great tools for thinking about this.
I am strongly inspired by Jane McGonigal’s work, her book Reality is Broken: using games to improve the world – Boing Boing, her presentation at TED Gaming can make a better world, and by the critique she is receiving.
In an earlier conversation on Facebook i have said the following (edited):
I’ve tried to look at the library user regulations as a sort of a game… how we give feedback to users via fines, anxiety etc. I would love to spar this thinking with somebody, i’ve done some comparison on the rhetorics of the user regulations and i think at least many finnish libraries could do a whole lot better!
I’m not sure what i’m talking about but, but i’m spitting this out anyway: are students “gaming the system” when they are borrowing out books for their exams? The sooner they get their books, more likely the books will have reservations and they start running a fee (which they propably want to pay off) before te exam. On the other hand, if they hesitate too long, the books might run out if the libraries they use don’t have enough copies for everybody.
One other thing i’ve notied that library cataloguers delay cataloguing of materials in the hope that somebody else in the library consortia catalogues them first, and then they can just copy them. I’ve witnessed this in especially materials that are “annoying” to catalogue… “The best of Frank Zappa (20 cds, two leaflets, a book, DVD, a popup-book, accesscode to a website plus a poster… you know what i mean). The “damage” from an individual cataloguers point of view is the boss, who nags if library patrons have reservations for the material.
Here are some game mechanics i’ve seen at libraries. What else? I want to look at libraries with a gamer’s mindset?
Turku City library, Cycling for libraries etc.