Category Archives: community

Keynote: Smart Libraries Create Communities Smarter 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.

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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.

Library Stuff… I respectfully disagree

I read this post by my friend and inspiration Justin Hoenke. I know that Justin doesn’t like to be an inspiration in that way, but he is awesome, and I have learned so much from his projects and the way he is an awesome human being. So Justin, please forgive me for respectfully disagreeing with some parts of your latest blog post and for admiring you.
I know that you will like that we are having a conversation 🙂
Jan and Justin

First, there is a lot of stuff in Justin’s post that I agree with as well. I agree that the library magic is in the meaningful conversations we are facilitating and having with our communities. Having shiny new stuff should never be the focus but by having this new technology we provide access and help people learn about new technology and thereby we are making a valuable democratic difference in our communities. This is amplified if we can have the conversations with our communities about how the technology can have a positive impact on the community.

My favorite 3D printing example so far is a project Copenhagen Libraries did with the theme “space”. School kids were going to 3D print a planet. Some chose colourful planets with lots of craters from a well-known big website for sharing print files. Others chose planets from NASA’s website.
This generated wonderful conversations about space, science and information literacy because just as in a normal search it is valuable to be critical of the sources from where you get your results. The planets from NASAs homepage was more accurate to what we know about the planets. This was a great learning experience for the kids and a great way to have conversations about space.
I am totally stealing that project, because I think it will be valuable to my community, and I am proud to be inspired by Copenhagen Libraries.

I think libraries should be inspired by each other and steal each others projects world-wide. That is what I call global librarianship.
An important point in global librarianship is that you can’t directly steal a project. You have to translate it in a way that fits your own community, and not all cool projects can do just that.
I also agree with Justin that we should be inspired by stuff from outside the library field, and as I am writing this I am listening to Tusk by Fleetwod Mac that Justin recommended. What a great song!

By the way. One of my favourite library programs is still Justin’s Hip Hop workshop program from back in the days, where teens made their own music. We could do something similar at my library but definitely not a complete copy, because the community is very different.

I hope you will forgive me for keep on looking up to other librarians like you, Justin. I have to! You inspire me. Thank you.

Open libraries: Self service libraries – The Danish way.

16456027771_09e3f04bf5_kAn “open library” is a library with a combination of hours staffed with professional librarians and hours with self-service.
That combination has proved itself successful because the result is more loans and lots of more visits to the library. In Denmark we have a lot of happy library fans using open libraries. Some are people who now use their local library instead of the main library. We know a lot of people commuting to jobs now have a better opportunity to use the library than they did before. We also know open libraries have reached people who did not use the library before. YAY new library members – How wonderful is that?

You have your own key to the library

My library in Guldborgsund in the southeastern part of Denmark consists of a main library and 5 branch libraries. The 5 branch libraries are open libraries and the main library will be as well from early 2017.
It is easy to use an open library. You simply lock yourself into the library with your library card and a pin code. You can use all the normal services at the library and check out books, music, games etc. at the self-service machines and of course meet with other people, learn, study and have a coffee. The open library is a community space with lots of opportunities.
The “opening” hours are 7 AM – 10 PM. At the smallest library we have 15 staffed hours each week. At the biggest branch library it is 23 hours.

The question people often ask is why do we dare to do this? Is there a lot of people stealing and making other kinds of trouble during self-service hours?
The answer is that there are less problems than we feared. People tend to gain ownership and take very good care of the library so there is very little trouble.
We combine radical trust with RFID technology that can tell us when people “forget to check out an item”. We always know who is in the building, and we use
video surveillance so we can see what has happened in the library – if necessary.

Strategy considerations

There are many things you need to consider when you expand the opening hours of a library and turn it into an open library.
These are some of the questions we have considered in Denmark regarding open libraries:

How can it be aligned with your library’s strategy?
How do you create a safe environment?
How do you encourage people to take care of the library?
How can the librarians be visible in the way they present books and other library materials during self-service hours?
How do you increase usability in order to make the open library attractive?
How can we encourage people to use the library as a local meeting space in the community?

We have used nudging theory in a project to try to be more present during the hours we are not there. Nudging experiments include encouraging people to help presenting books they liked to others and encouraging people to help each other at checkout machines.
We have good experiences with this and it has been a lot of fun working with nudging. (Note to self: Blog about nudging in libraries – would you read that?)

Facts

If you only have self-service hours and not staffed hours the use of the library declines (According to a national survey in Denmark in 2012).
One of the reasons we have so many open libraries in Denmark is because the alternative was to close them for good. The open libraries are a solution to keep them alive as  libraries and community spaces.

In Denmark 86 out of 97 library systems have open libraries resulting in 260 open libraries. Danish libraries have 32.000 open hours a year with 61 % being self-service hours. 

The “Open libraries” framework have  made our libraries even more active learning spaces in the community. It has given us a broader reach and thereby expanded our opportunity to do what libraries do everywhere: Make their communities smarter.

Note: I did a keynote on open libraries at the wonderful EDGE conference in Edinburgh, Scotland on 3rd March 2016. Here are my slides:


Libraries and Learning: Upcoming presentations – See you soon USA and #CILDC

CIL15_Hearme_ButtonLibraries make their communities smarter. This is one of my core beliefs as a librarian and it is what motivates me and gives meaning to the work I do. I know that libraries all over the world work hard every day to bridge the digital divide, support students learning and read to children and thereby giving them a love for and understanding of language to name just a few examples.

One of the reasons I am beyond excited to be a part of Computers in Libraries 2015 is that I am looking very much forward to sharing my thoughts about the library as a strategic learning hub in the community and to share my own learnings from 23 Mobile Things and other library learning projects and learn more myself from the participants in my workshop and session on 23 Mobile Things. These are, as stated above, themes that are very dear to me.
I am also looking forward to meeting up with a lot of people I have known for a long time online, – and it will be my first visit to the USA (Holiday in New York after the conference).
If you are at Computers in Libraries conference I hope to get the chance to meet you and talk libraries with you.

Here is what you can expect from my workshop on Libraries as Strategic Learning Institutions:
Libraries are about enabling people in our communities to learn, unlearn, and relearn. This workshop has a focus on the library as a strategic learning institution that makes the community smarter. Learn more about 23 mobile things and how you can build your own mobile learning experience for staff and customers or members. Take part in a discussion about how we frame the library as an important way to make the community smarter, and find out more about current trends in learning that affect our libraries and the way we enact with people who want to learn

In my presentation on 23 Mobile Things – This will be my focus:
This session explores the potential of mobile tools for delivering library services. It uses the 23 things framework for structuring a learning experience for library staff and customers or members. Learn how to create your own community learning experience, delve into the mobile library world, share experiences with your colleagues and be energized to try new learning methods in your community.

I will also be part of the panel: Decades of Innovation & Tips for the Future
With these smart people:
Marshall Breeding, Independent Consultant, Founder of Library Technology Guides
Jason Griffey, Founder & Principal Consultant, Evenly Distributed LLC
Meg Backus, IT Manager, Anchorage Public Library
Darlene Fichter, GovInfo Librarian, University of Saskatchewan Library

Libraries have experienced incredible change since the first small Computers in Libraries Conference thirty years ago. The realm of library technology likewise has seen dramatic transformation. Breeding, whose career has paralleled CIL, highlights some of the interesting, amusing, and important touchstones marked by this important annual conference. He offers tips on how to stay relevant over time through continual innovation! A panel then presents some technologies we need to be watching over the next few years!

Read more about me at #CILDC

Libraries Change Lives

There are 65000 libraries in Europe welcoming more than 100 million people each year. That is an amazing knowledge infrastructure to make our communities smarter.
In this short video some of these statistics and core values are shared.
Libraries connect people and their knowledge  – and support learning and knowledge creation.

Spend 90 seconds watching this video to celebrate and highlight the difference libraries make everyday across Europe and the rest of the world.
Libraries change lives.

The video is published by Public Libraries 2020 and The Reading & Writing Foundation. It is also strongly approved by the Library Avengers.

Global librarianship and Gamifying the library experience – My presentations at #ili2014

I was honered to present at this years Internet Librarian International in London, England. Thank you for an inspiring conference with sharing, co-learning and interesting talks with so many wonderful librarians and other library professionals.

For the other presentations I did there about Gamification and Library advocacy – Go to my slideshare page.

I had a very busy schedule at #ili2014

Sessions by Jan Holmquist
Day 1 – Tuesday, 21 October 2014   14.30 – 15.00   A104: Global inspiration, local action (presentation: Global inspiration, local action)
Day 1 – Tuesday, 21 October 2014   15.15 – 16.15   B105: Library labs and digital lounges (Moderator)
Day 1 – Tuesday, 21 October 2014   16.45 – 17.30   B106: Gamification (Presentation: Gamifying the library experience)
Day 2 – Wednesday, 22 October 2014   11.15 – 12.15   C202: Transformational teaching (Moderator)
Day 2 – Wednesday, 22 October 2014   14.30 – 15.15   C204: Extending engagement and remaining relevant (Moderator)

I also did a sharing session / Presentation at the X-track:
Lobby for Libraries – be a library avenger
And I was on loan in  BORROW AN EXPERT and had a wonderful meeting about libraries community engagement and collaboration.

After the conference I went to Norway and did a keynote about the library as a community hub for learning for the very inspiring librarians in Vestfold. I had the chance to stay until lunch and be a part of their day about libraries and learning.

100 years old today – Guldborgsund Public Library

Today is a very special day. In November 1913 local politicians decided to open a public reading room in Nykøbing Falster thereby making the decision and providing the funds that made it possible to open the doors to the first public library in the city 100 years ago today.

As the city’s most used cultural organisation we are proud to provide cultural experiences, learning environments, knowledge sharing and knowledge creation, debate and much more to our community. Today – and for the next 100 years to come.

We celebrate today with the rest of the city. There will be a lot of music, there will be storytime, there will be children’s theatre, book talks etc. – and there will be cake.

If you want to follow along we will be documenting the day on our Instagram profile