International Think Tank: Choosing the Future of Libraries

In a week I will be enjoying the company of librarians from all over the world at my library. I am looking forward to welcoming the conference Cycling for Libraries. I can´t wait to meet you all!

While the conference are at my library the theme will be “Choosing the future of the library” and you can help contributing to the topic by making comments here or writing me at twitter. My take on this is that we as library professionals are the ones that shall choose what the future of libraries will be – so let´s get to work and make it happen.

Can we stand any more talking about the future? I think we can because we will have the wisdom of almost 100 library brains from different cultures, but the core of what we do as libraries in our local communities are the same. This could bring us further.

We will be discussing the theme in different settings during the day – but we have two hours to:
Develop a framework for the discussion
Have a Skype in session with my very valued colleague and friend Buffy J. Hamilton who is an advocate for idea and learning-driven libraries and for embedding the librarian in the community.
Have some time to self-reflection
Generate Ideas  together

The outcome will be documented and I can´t wait to share it with you.

This video of R. D Lankes . The author of The Atlas of New Librarianship is the best possible introduction to why I think this is important and why we should use the opportunity to discuss this theme when the international think tank of library lovers park their bikes for a few hours.

The future of libraries – Why Seth Godin and Bobbi Newman are both right

I really  like when libraries escape the echo-chamber big time like with Seth Godins post about what libraries should be be in the future and the importance of librarians. I also like Godins post a lot and I agree with him on what should be our focus in the future.

I am glad that not all librarians agree with everything Seth Godin said in his post, because we need the debate to be even sharper on the future of libraries – because we are the ones deciding that future. We as library professionals.

I don´t think Bobbi Newman is wrong when she advocates for access to (e)books and online databases for those who cannot afford to buy access themselves. It´s not “defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future”
Actually I think it is exactly what Seth Godin advocates for when he says the mission is to “take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value. ” –  for all people – those who can afford to buy it themselves and those who cannot. That is still the base of democracy and libraries have a role to play here.

The goal is connecting people with information and helping them navigate it.  Connecting people to other people in their communities and experts worldwide. Being a center of idea development, facilitate learning  and knowledge creation and being “librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario” – One of the means is providing access to  information until everything is free.

Some good posts (among many) about Godin´s “The future of the library”
Bobbi Newman “Seth Godin Misses the Point on Libraries, Again”
Buffy J. Hamilton: “Are Librarians, Not Seth Godin, The Ones Missing the Point on Libraries?” 
Andy Woodworth: “Bring Me the Head of Seth Godin!”
P.C Sweeny: “Seth Called Us Out On Our Bullshit And Folks Got Mad”