Libraries and their communities – an interview.

Should-a-public-library-be-more-community-focused

Libraries are all about the communities they serve. At the heart of Global Librarianship is the combination of global inspiration and local action. I was interviewed about community focused libraries for the Princh blog.

Here is a small sample 🙂

What is the definition of a library nowadays?
The library is the community’s hub for learning and knowledge creation. Libraries simply make communities smarter. In a world with more and more information librarians and libraries are vital, because they have access to and know how to distribute the right information and knowledge to the citizens in the knowledge economy.

You can read the whole interview here.

Advertisements

Libraries: The best possible shared space today and beyond for #SCLRevitalise

Thank you for the invitation to this wonderful conference. What a couple of days of learning, sharing, crying, laughing and… singing 🙂

What skills do libraries and librarians need to be a driving force in creating smart communities?
How can we use strategy to advocate for the importance that we know we have for peoples lives?
These questions and more are part of this presentation. A few humble answers too.

Help us “Build a Librarian” for 21st-century information work #nextlibrary2017 #LibraryChangeAgent

20140311-154338.jpgI am very excited to be able to learn with NEXT Library conference participants in Aarhus in mid June. Together with Dr. Michael Stephens and Mylee Joseph,  I will be leading an interactive workshop at the conference and we need your input to help us make this workshop really effective for the participants at this year’s conference.

“Change” and “disruption” are not only popular buzzwords. Technology, economy and politics are forces that are changing the world as we know it and our communities at a fast pace. Libraries are embracing and responding to these changes and have different strategies for maintaining and increasing their relevance to their local communities. But to embrace change, and be a driving force for what rapidly changing communities need, librarians must have skills to both anticipate and adapt to change as well as being effective community connectors to drive change.

CHANGE

In business and leadership literature “dynamic capabilities” describes the characteristics of a firm that can adapt to changes in the environment and survive, while businesses that fail to adapt can slip from world domination to bankruptcy with examples often mentioned like KODAK and NOKIA.

In the global economy our countries, cities and communities compete on skills, know-how,  adaptability and connectivity to get knowledge jobs in their area. Communities need assistance to anticipate and adapt to the world as it changes around them. Libraries can play a vital role in providing opportunities, tools and experiences for their communities to learn and to develop the dynamic capabilities needed. Librarians as effective “community learning connectors” can be change agents and drivers for development in our communities for many years to come.
How do we insure the folks serving our varied constituents have the skill sets and attitudes required of the modern library worker.

In our workshop we will use Michael’s “formula for success” to facilitate participants own ideas:

Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success

Each part of the formula is vital. The outcome does not work if any of them are removed.

What do you think:

  • What are your thoughts on the content in Michael Stephens Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success
  • In what way can libraries enhance a community’s adaptability to change?
  • Do you have examples of libraries in your community acting as community learning connectors and helping to respond and adapt to change?
  • What skills are needed for library staff to be effective community learning connectors?
  • What skills and mindset will help library staff continue to adapt to rapid change into the future?

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #LibraryChangeAgent  all kinds of contributions are welcome. Make a short video, use words – or draw your perfect set of skills… Be creative. We think that is one of the important skills needed 🙂

 

Upcoming talk: Libraries: The best possible shared space today and beyond.

trains
I am very excited to be the closing keynote speaker at this years SCL seminar under the theme Revitalise and Regenerate libraries. I am looking forward to learning opportunities and good debates in Coventry this early June.

The Society of Chief Librarians leads and manages public libraries in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
SCL is made up of the head of service of every library authority, and advocates for continuous improvement of the public library service on behalf of local people.
That is exactly what I believe libraries are all about.

You can see the entire program for #SCLRevitalise here.

Keynote: Smart Libraries Create Smart Communities for #ILI2016

Thank you Internet Librarian International for your kind feedback and for questions and comments after my talk and during the day. It has been a pleasure learning with you.

Like I promised – My slides:

This is a slightly reworked Q and A I did for CILIP Update before the keynote, and it provides some context to the talk.

Q. Firstly a little bit about you – Tell us about your current role and the projects are you currently working on.

A.
I am Assistant Library director at Guldborgsund Public Library in the South eastern part of Denmark. We are currently making a FabLab which will open to the Public early 2017.
In my spare time I work as a Global Librarian. I am currently engaged in The Library Avengers and The PL2020 Library Advocacy Lab that works with raising awareness on a political level about EUs 65000 Public libraries.

I am also studying Master of Public Governance at Copenhagen Business School and doing some Consultant work on crowdfunding and making presentations and keynotes about i.e. global librarianship, gamification and libraries and the Library professional development program 23 mobile things that we made in Guldborgsund and expanded world-wide in cooperation with State Library of New South Wales in Australia.

img_2658
Q. Your keynote is called ‘Smart libraries create smart communities – towards a visionary strategy for libraries’ – can you give us an insight into what you’ll be discussing?
A.
Last year the Swedish professor Hans Rosling said “You can’t trust the news outlets if you want to understand the world”.
This year the debate after the Brexit vote circulated around the same issue. Was the voters well-informed? The same debate is going on in the US right now with their upcoming election.
We need to invent a place where the public can seek and find fact checked and verified information – wait! We already have such a place. Libraries!
In a world where we compete about knowledge jobs libraries are more important than ever. They are the one place where everyone’s learning is actively supported. This is important to acknowledge when designing library strategy.
I will be discussing that and a whole lot more. You will have to wait until October at ILI to hear the rest 😉
Q. What are your thoughts on how libraries can raise their profile with their communities and with decision makers?
A.
In Denmark the “Open Libraries” where you can lock yourself into the Library for self-service between 7 AM and 10 PM has raised the profile in the community a lot.
Also presenting knowledge in new ways like Guldborgsund Public Librarys gamified treasure Hunt app “Hidden treasures” does.  Via the app you learn about the City’s history as you walk the City and solve puzzles and quizzes. The app is a fun way to engage with the community. Basically getting the Library out of the building and going where people are like we do with the yearly fruit harvest festival is a way to meet people and show them what the Library can do and why the Library matters in their lives.
This is also a good way to engage decision makers but I think working with Library strategy is even more important. If you can tell stories about how the Library changes lives and show politicians and decisionmakers that the Library raises the knowledge level in the community and thereby makes the community smarter. Then you have a good opportunity to continue the conversation with the decisionmakers and get the Library on their agenda.
Q. Times are challenging for many libraries at the moment – how can we stay inspired to focus on long-term strategy?
A.
Every time someone walks into the library or visit us online they need to be inspired or learn something new.
Noble prize winner Jose Saramago (my favorite writer) educated himself at libraries. For some years Cory Doctorow did the same thing.
Libraries change lives. That is very inspiring.
It can be hard to focus on the long-term when budget cuts are so bad as they are in the UK right now. I think it Helps to know that libraries are very well visited and used and that we support learning for people every day. There is more information in the world than ever before. Libraries can navigate this information and support the learning the community needs and inspire people to find good stories and new knowledge. That is a good foundation for a Library strategy.
That is the big picture. I have a “Keep calm and see the big picture” poster on my wall in my office by the way. That is a good reminder about all the above mentioned.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A.
Libraries need to work even closer with schools, museums and other parts of the community.
A lot of museums have experts with a lot of knowledge but not many visitors.
Libraries have a lot of visitors. We can work together to present expert knowledge in new ways at libraries – also knowledge about our communities. There is great potential in that kind of cooperation.

A reading of Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan

fotoFirst Published January 2013: See disclaimer below:
From the first guitar strums of Love Sick – to the seconds when the voice appears – I get the chills of rereading my favorite album in the world – Time out of mind by Bob Dylan – also it is hard to think of a better title for this months re-read topic – because time should be out of mind when you think about the best of art – music, games, movies or poetry…

The well known story of this album is that Dylan was not satisfied with producer Daniel Lanois sound – I have to disagree on that one, Bob – I absolutely love the sound and the feeling it provides… it is dusty and like the wind turning a bit chill after a warm summer day… and it is a very unique sound too

Sometimes the silence can be like the thunder

Read more:Bob Dylan – Love Sick

Yet again I don’t want every album to sound like this. There are lots of songs and albums where this sound would not fit – but like in a really good book… The tone of the words fit the story perfect. Daniel Lanois produced Dylans 1989 album “Oh mercy” as well – and it is an amazing album too… But in my world Time out of mind has that extra something that makes it even more of an album instead of individual songs..

Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun

Read more:Bob Dylan – Standing in The Doorway

Can you re-read an album? I think you can. The lyrics are very important and Dylan has been mentioned for the Nobel prize in literature several times by some of the finest literary minds on our planet… – but you shouldn’t limit his candidacy to the words alone because what he does is tell stories set to music in a way that has been done by bards for  hundreds of years but doing it in a way that tells not only stories about modern life and being human – but the story of modern rhythmic music at the same time… Blues, country and lots of folk…

I was born here and I’ll die here against my will
I know it looks like I’m moving, but I’m standing still
Every nerve in my body is so vacant and numb
I can’t even remember what it was I came here to get away from
Don’t even hear a murmur of a prayer
It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there

Read more:Bob Dylan – Not Dark Yet

The stories and lyrics focus on mortality, love and art in a way anyone can relate to and at the same time have different levels like a fairytale filled with muses who deliver divine inspiration and muses who don’t.

When the evening shadows and the stars appear
And there is no one there to dry your tears
I could hold you for a million years
To make you feel my love

Read more:Bob Dylan – Make You Feel My Love

It is feelings set to music – and stories of being a person in the modern life with all it offers us humans of choices, experiences and relations…

Gonna sleep down in the parlor
And relive my dreams
I’ll close my eyes and I wonder
If everything is as hollow as it seems

Read more: Bob Dylan – Trying To Get To Heaven

Time out of mind is Dylan’s 30th studio album released in 1997. It won 3 grammys including album of the year in 1998. The year of its release Dario Fo got the nobel prize in literature for his plays – mainly for combining satire and improvisation in his plays… (Just saying!)

It’s mighty funny, the end of time has just begun
Oh, honey, after all these years you’re still the one
While I’m strolling through the lonely graveyard of my mind
I left my life with you somewhere back there along the line
I thought somehow that I would be spared this fate
But I don’t know how much longer I can wait

Read more:Bob Dylan – Can’tWait

Disclaimer:
This post is written in one piece a Saturday evening with my headphones on and in the company of Time out of mind. It was an exciting new way to listen while writing – It confirmed me in my love for the album and my experience of it being a very important timeless piece of art – I will re-read again – for sure.

This post was first published January 22, 2013 . I wrote this about my favorite album for Read Watch Plays topic about re-reading and re-blogged it at this blog asking: Can you read an album? Iguess the answer is. Yes you can!

Libraries and Skills in Denmark

This infographic gives a fine introduction to Public Libraries in Denmark in a European Union context when it comes to literacy and skills.

cuy_pmewgaafqk9-jpg-large

The Infographic is made by Public Libraries 2020 and Danmarks Biblioteksforening.

You might also like the “Libraries Change Lives” infograhic.

World wide thoughts of a Danish librarian

%d bloggers like this: