Participants 2013

The participants introduce themselves and their interest here.

Julia Goltz: KOBV-Portal


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.

Julia Goltz

Melanie Groh: the location of resources

My name is Melanie and I am working in a small scientific library. There are a lot of free resources like open access journals or PhD thesis on the internet. Unfortunately they are not collected in one single catalogue and they might change location and/or the restriction of accessibility. So, how can we, the librarians, first of all find the different resources and then keep the overview of all, their location and their change of accessibility to provide the best service for our customers? Is there a way?
Melanie Groh

Sara Lind: Touch and movement – how does that fit into a 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!

Sara Lind

Helga Tormane: In & out library


Topic i am interested in: events and activities for young readers and how to make them function (practical examples).

Helga Tormane
librarian, Children’s Literature Centre
National Library of Latvia


Rasmus Fangel Vestergaard: Patrondriven innovation, how to facilitate changes in the library?


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.


Agita Virsnīte: Libraries + readers = reading culture & variability


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:

Looking forward to your response,

Sanna Koskela: “Home service” by public libraries


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?

Sanna Koskela

Sebastian Wilke: Synergies between library associations and informal learning networks

seb cyc4lib 1

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!

Sebastian (@listraveler, blog LIS Traveler)

Oswald Kaipainen: Time for innovation


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.

Our greatest challenges include forming solid and innovative cooperation between the different service providers and building the best possible services for our existing and new patron groups. We have gathered a team to defeat the upcoming challenges and I hope to learn and bring something to the table from the great library minds riding with me in the Cycling for Libraries 2013.
See you soon!
Oswald Kaipainen

Ināra Kindzule: New ideas to make digital resources more exciting

Inara Kindzule

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!

Ināra (Facebook)

Vesna Stricevic: Preservation of historical collections and new ethical dilemmas

Vesna Stricevic

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?

Vesna Stricevic

Stine Grabas: Supporting learning in the libraries


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?

Stine Grabas

Barbara Fullerton: Courses and continuing education classes at the library schools

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!

Barbara Fullerton
Librarian in the cloud, Inc.
Richardson, Texas

Sören Niehäuser: The Library as a learning space – ideas and experiences

Sören Neu

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!


Silvija Tretjakova: Public library services for children and youth


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,


Emily Meyer: Learning tools, tricks, and tips for personal organization

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…

Emily Meyer

Jane Brightbill: Continued accessibility of libraries

Jane Brightbill

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.

Jane Brightbill

Phil Segall: The role of community libraries

Phil Segall

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!

Phil Segall (@lirarybod, blog The Wandering Librarian)

Svetlana Lebedeva: Interaction with scientific libraries – from the user side


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!


Lara Greffet: How can we manage a network of 7 libraries in a city of 130 000 inhabitants?


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.


Joe O’Brien: Pirates and readers


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…

Joe O’Brien
Amsterdam International Community School  (Facebook)

Vitaliy Datsenko: Librarian as a path to happiness


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

Kyiv, Ukraine

Marianne Plum: Cooperation

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).


Marianne 🙂

Merja Marjamäki: Position of a library in the evermoving tides of change

Merja MM

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.

Merja Marjamäki
Children and Youth services, Turku City Library

Artem Artemenka: Customer view

Artem Artemenka

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)

Alireza Afshari: Library space and innovation


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?

Alireza Afshari

Nastassia Zharskaya and Aliaksei Zhylik: Open access practices


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!

Nastassia Zharskaya (Facebook) and Aliaksei Zhylik (Facebook)

Zolotareva Nadejda: Librarian – is not only a valuable brain


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)
Ukraine (Lugansk)

Aija Jankava: Libraries are essential resource for transforming lives


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.

Aija, Latvia

Claudia Serbanuta: Is Everyone Welcome at the Public Library?


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.

Claudia Serbanuta (Twitter Blog)

Emily Meyer: How do lifelong learners stay organized?

Emily Meyer

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…

Emily Meyer

Åke Nygren: What makes you motivated to go to work?

Åke Nygren, photo by Gitta Wilén
A couple of weeks ago, at IFLA Camp/Library Creative Laboratory in Kaliningrad, my collegue Ali and I gave a short talk on the subject of Motivation: “What makes you motivated to go to work?” Check it out here:
I’d like to continue the conversation around this topic:
  • 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?
Let’s gather good examples on how to deal with hard times in order to convert the obstacles into new exciting possibilites! Looking forward to seeing you all next week! 🙂
Åke Nygren (

Karen Holt: University Libraries and the Digital Humanities

Karen Holt

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?
Karen Holt (Twitter)
Formerly of Northwestern University in Qatar and currently looking for a new position

Tarja Vuorinne: More surprises!

Tarja Vuorinne

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?


Vicky Duncan: how do we build capacity in research?


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!

Vicky Duncan
Health Sciences Library
University of Saskatchewan

Till Kinstler: What is the price of software development for libraries?


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)

Ella Mustamo: Library and politics


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.)

Ella Mustamo


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!

Anki (Facebook Twitter LinkedIn)
Gothenburg Sweden



Philippe Orgebin: Collecting cycling trip stories


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!

Philippe Orgebin (Blog Check also Cyclo-Camping International)

Malakoff, France


Caroline Baab: Libraries incorporating non-written resources into their collections

I’m interested in libraries incorporating non-written resources into their collections. It seems like seed ‘libraries’ have been springing up recently and tool ‘libraries’ can be found in some cities. Similarly, hackerspaces have become linked with some public libraries. What is the place for these types of resources in a public library? How would these or other similar resources benefit the community and add to a library’s programming? Do they change the public’s perception of their local library? And how so?
Caroline Baab
Recent MLIS graduate
McGill University

Irina Eidemiller and Alexander Novysh: The book market and the market of electronic resources

C4L 2012 Eidemiller Irina Novysh Alexandr NLR SPb

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

Lisbeth Rasmussen: “The embedded librarian”


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.

Lisbeth Rasmussen

Susanna Sandell: Updating education in public Libraries


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?

Susanna Sandell (LindedIn Facebook)

April Kessler: Libraries as Space


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

Cory Stier: Innovative uses for library spaces (among other things)

I’m interested in so many different topics, it’s hard to pick just one. Some of the issues I’d love to talk more about with everyone else include:
  • 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!

Cory Stier

Maxim Grevcev: I try to convey to people about social innovations

Grevcev Maxim

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.

Maxim Grevcev

Hilde Nelissen: I’ll be an interactive observer


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.

Hilde Nelissen

Media, Arts & Design faculty, campus C-Mine


Mikko Heliölä: Of libraries and languages


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

Mikko (Facebook Twitter LinkedIn)

David Brightbill: the changing role of libraries in communities


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.

Cheers, David (Website, Flickr, Blog)

Tanya Tupota and Kseniya Timofeeva: How to get the decision-makers?


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.

Jennifer Groff

Maxim Mikhaylov: transform Kaliningrad to bicycle friendly city


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.

Maxim Mikhaylov

Luc Bauwens: What is the impact of the economic crisis on libraries?

Luc Bauwens

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)

Anastasia Prokhorova: How to make an interesting and interactive photo exhibition?


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)?

Lauri Holopainen, Espoo City Library, Finland

Chris Skog: What services should we integrate to the social media?


With the explosion of social media usage, we are feeling extreme pressure to be where our customers are. Most of our social media activity involves inviting customers to our home pages with links and such and we are also recruiting Facebook and Twitter followers. At the same time the customers are far more pragmatic and want value to their time, attention and data. It is time to get involved to understand our customer needs to reach their hearts and provide them with better services.  So how do we provide value in our solutions?

Chris Skog (Twitter)

Jean-François André: From website to users – how to explain it to them?

“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?


Élodie Dehon: How to get over the crisis of adopting too many roles in libraries?


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

Leila Juusola: Service design including customers


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


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


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

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

Looking forward to see you soon!


[1] see: S. Kortekaas,


Bo Jacobsen: Reinventing the local library

Bo Benchmark 2013

The topic that I am most focused on to-day is the revitalization of the public library. If you could imagine a local community without a public library, what would make you feel the urge to develop a brand new one? In Vesthimmerland, Denmark, we have asked ourselves and  both users and non-users that question. This spring we have arranged three ideashops for the staff and generated 350+ ideas. We have also asked 864 citizens about their opinions. We are now analyzing the results of this work. Then we will reorganize the us, and then we will act. Our work is based on the DANISH “four-room model”described in Folkebibliotekerne i vidensamfundet (Public Libraries in the Knowledge Society, 2010). The model consists of four overlapping rooms: Inspirationroom, Learning room, Meeting room and the Performative room.


Facts about Vesthimmerland and our libraries
Population: 37.500
4 libraries with a staff of 16
5 bookcafeés in villages (managed by volunteers)
Visits (2012) : 256.000
Loans (2012) : 333.000
Opening hours: 7-22 (each day)
Annual budget: 1.7 mio EUR

Bo Jacobsen (Facebook LinkedIn)

Lisa Hardy: Making the Invisible Visible – Displaying Digital Resources in Physical Spaces

As our digital collections grow, we have found creative ways to display them on our websites, so that our users can find them from their desktop or phone.  But is it also important to find ways to display them in and around our physical library spaces as a way to extend our hours of operation, or even other spaces where people are (transit stations, hospitals, schools, apartment buildings)  I am interested in learning about creative ways that libraries and other organizations are using technology and screens to introduce more people to virtual resources.
Lisa Hardy (Twitter)

Molly Schwartz: The Role of the User in Digital Libraries

I am proposing to explore the ways that digital libraries can or should adopt crowdsourcing techniques in the creation, curation, organization, and access of content. Specific issues I plan to explore are the benefits and dangers of de-professionalization, the possibilities for integrating social data into digital library functions, and ways that the public can build their own digital library experience regardless of where the materials come from.
I think it would be very beneficial for participants to share their personal experiences using crowdsourcing for library functions. It would be particularly interesting to look at platforms such as Wikipedia, Kickstarter, and others to see if their success could be replicated in the library world.
I would also like to relate this topic back to user-focused services, usability and user experience, and the concept that users can build their own experiences for how they receive their information.
Molly Schwartz (TwitterLinkedIn)

Marija Šimunović: Librarian and usage of eBooks


Librarian and usage of eBooks:

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

Marija Šimunović (Facebook)

Annie Pho: Incorporating game design elements into library services

Annie Pho

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

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

Further reading:

Annie Pho (@catladylib, Facebook, LinkedIn)

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


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

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

See you in June!

Eeva Rita-Kasari (Facebook)
Vantaa city library

Pirjo Kangas: Teaching library systems in library education


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

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

Pirjo Kangas (@pirjopk, Facebook, LinkedIn)

Pekka Heikkinen: what do the libraries have to offer to rights-holders in exchange for so-called e-rights, except money?


As a lawyer working for the national library I am often involved in negotiations with collecting societies, representing rights-holders, on making digitised material available to the public. As you can imagine, usually our position in these negotiations is not too strong.

My question: what do the libraries have to offer to rights-holders in exchange for so-called e-rights, except money? Is it skill, long-term preservation solutions or what? What could the win-win solution be?

If only we had money to offer, everything would be so much simpler!

Pekka Heikkinen