Category Archives: inspiration

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.

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

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

If the library was a music genre…

bossa

I am inspired by this Bossa Nova song from the wonderful people at The Royal Library of Denmark – The Faculty Library of Social Sciences

In fact I am inspired by most things they do… Their LEGO stop motion movies and music would still be cool even if did not have the underlying message to the students that the library is there to make them information ninjas.

Listen – enjoy the Bossa and share it with your favorite library lovers…

And if you are so inclined – and can stand a little library industrial – re-listen  my avantgarde song – Go to the library 🙂

Credits for Go to the library
Written, produced, mixed, all instruments and vocals: Jan Holmquist

Lost in your time (at the library) is probably the first bossa nova library song in the world. Made by Los Bossa Bibliotheca and publiched by Go To The Library Records / Faculty Library of Social Sciences

Credits – for Lost in your time (at the library):
Guitar – Jens Stein Jørgensen
Vocals – Simon Roland Pedersen
Percussion – Rasmus Rindom Riis
Double bass – Ida Duelund Hansen
Lyrics – Anders Bonatto Fisker
Producer, mixer and sound wizard – Mads Korsgaard
Bossa boss and executive producer – Christian Lauersen
Head groupie – Stine Agerbæk
Layout – Rasmus Rindom Riise

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.

Go to the library – song

Launching myself as an avantgarde musician – or … Well I was testing out an app tonight and I made this…

I heard the way to launch music the cool way is to surprise everyone by making it available online when people least expect it –
So here it is. Totally free. If you like it smile to someone who needs it – and go to the library.

I had “Leave comfort zone” on my to do – Consider it done by posting this.

Introducing library services brick by brick

The combination of fine libraries and LEGO bricks is not new and is often seen in the library blogosphere…
It is now wonder. Libraries are magnificent and LEGO is fun – What is not like?
This LEGO stop motion movie promotes the Faculty Library of Social Sciences at University of Copenhagen and it is absolutely awesome… Enjoy!

The video is Directed by Informationspecialists Hazel Engelsmann (haen@kb.dk, @engelsmann) & Marc Sales (masa@kb.dk, @docterz). Produced by Head of Faculty Library Christian Lauersen (@clauersen)

I have posted stop motion lego movies before – So if you want more.. Here you are.

Library advocacy… In stop motion

I want to share this library advocacy stop motion video with you.
In 70 seconds it shows some of the great stuff the library offers – and yes… It IS starring a cat as important supporting actor.

The movie is made by awesome librarian, upcoming stop motion director and good friend Christian Lauersen . Enjoy!

The Library is the Hummingbird

The legend of the hummingbird reminds me of all the amazing things libraries do every day to support healthy communities and to empower the citizens within them:

One day, a long time ago in a faraway place, or so the legend goes, there was a huge forest fire raging the countryside. The animals were terrified. They were running around, screaming, crying and helplessly watching the impending disaster.

In the middle of the flames, and above the cowering animals, was a tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the wild flames. It kept repeating this over and over and over again.

After a while, an old grouchy armadillo, annoyed by this ridiculous useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Little bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those miniscule drops of water one after the other that you are going to put out the fire and save us all!”

The hummingbird replied, “Could be, but I’m going to do my bit.

Let us have a closer look at what kind of drops of water libraries are throwing on the fire.

Libraries (and librarians) make us smarter and stronger – individually and collectively

Libraries are not schools or universities. You do not earn a degree from the library, but libraries are being the hummingbird by supporting lifelong learning on all levels.

Children, young people, and adults who study at the library get the help that might earn them better grades, and people who learn in a more informal way also get the support they need at the library. In the last 12 months 24 million Europeans (most frequently elderly people, members of ethnic minorities, and people from rural areas) used their public libraries to engage in informal learning activities. Libraries open up the world of knowledge and help introduce new ways of viewing life. They encourage thinking and the discussion of ideas. By doing this they make us stronger together.

With more and more information available in the world each day, it is more important than ever to have access to helpful and highly skilled information navigators. Librarians help people find not just “any” information but exactly the “right” information.

Librarians also support people in their job searches. Last year 1.5 million Europeans applied for jobs and 250,000 found jobs using free library internet access. (Now there is an example of our hummingbird throwing a quarter of a million drops of water on the fire.) Some libraries do not just provide access to the net but have job search programs. In the U.S. more than 65% of public libraries provide direct services for job seekers.

Access to free library services saves time and money, spurs economic growth

A 2013 survey of public library services across 18 European countries shows that nearly 100 million Europeans visited their public library, and 14 million used it to access the internet last year. 83% of those using free public library computer and internet services reported a positive impact on their lives – saving time and money, improving skills, gaining access to government services and employment- and health-related resources. Public libraries represent the only source of free internet access for 1.9 million marginalized Europeans.

Sometimes the small drops that the hummingbird throws on the fire have a very big effect. In the state of Maryland 90% of the state’s citizens say public libraries are “a good investment.” More than 40% of the state’s citizens think of public libraries as an economic anchor, potentially attracting “good businesses” to their area, and they are probably right. In South Carolina, the total direct and indirect return on investment for every $1 expended on the state’s public libraries by state and local governments is $4.48 – almost 350%.

There are lots of good reasons Americans go to school, public and academic libraries nearly three times more often than they go to the movies, and as you can see from this article it is not just the fact that there are more public libraries than McDonald’s. Libraries are simply making people smarter and helping them in their everyday lives.

Libraries connect ideas, information, and people

This is only a little part of all the things libraries are doing. Storytime inspires our kids with the power of great stories and their parents to read aloud, which again helps the children’s language development and makes them better readers. Makerspaces are emerging at libraries worldwide. Oh, and I almost forgot, you can still borrow good reads at your library – in traditional paper form and as e-books.

In other words, by being the hummingbird the library is doing its part to put out the fire by supporting learning and inspiring people to read, experience and think. In lots of different ways libraries empower people around our beautiful planet. Libraries are connecting ideas, information and people, and they are facilitating the development of new knowledge in their communities. I find it a very realistic vision that the fire will be kept in control. LEflag

Image credit:
[Jungle Orchids and Hummingbirds], Martin Johnson Heade, Painting, 1872, digital image, Yale University Art Gallery, http://search.openlibrary.artstor.org/object/AYALEARTIG_10312577805.

References:

This legend of the hummingbird is a rough translation of a French version of the story “La légende du Colibri.” I first heard it at Copenhagen Business School where world renowned chef Claus Meyer told it at a conference: http://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-legend-of-the-hummingbird/

Additional sources:

The Library Effect

The legend of the hummingbird reminds me of all the amazing things libraries do every day to support healthy communities and to empower the citizens within them:

One day, a long time ago in a faraway place, or so the legend goes, there was a huge forest fire raging the countryside. The animals were terrified. They were running around, screaming, crying and helplessly watching the impending disaster.

In the middle of the flames, and above the cowering animals, was a tiny hummingbird busy flying from a small pond to the fire, each time fetching a few drops with its beak to throw on the wild flames. It kept repeating this over and over and over again.

After a while, an old grouchy armadillo, annoyed by this ridiculous useless agitation on the part of the hummingbird, cried out: “Little bird! Don’t be a fool. It is not with those miniscule drops…

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One day we’ll be in charge

Alma - One day we will be in charge 2013-07-16 15.31.48 by janholmquist
Alma – One day we will be in charge 2013-07-16 15.31.48, a photo by janholmquist on Flickr.

This is one my favorite photos. My daugther Alma found a stone near the Berlin wall – East side gallery on our summer holiday this year – She was sure it was from the remains of the wall. It had a slight blue tone – and she held it to this painting saying she found the spot where it did fit.I took this picture and later I saw the writing on the wall ” One day we will be in charge”… This makes me happy and full of hope. Alma sure does make this world a better place.

What I spend time on these days

I was recently asked what my next spare time project would be.
I made a short video for you about how my time is prioritized these days. Lots of learning opportunities – I love that.
The video is also a test of the short video blog format that I am considering using more… So tell me what you think?

I expect the library gamification and nudging theory projects I mention will be of global interest by the way.