Category Archives: libraries

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.

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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”

Save our libraries day

It is easy to be proud of being a librarian because you know what power libraries have and what a big difference they can make in people’s lifes.
Libraries worldwide are going through rough times. In the UK fellow librarians and library lovers are campaigning saturday 5th february – and this campaign is really something.
Not only have librarians made a huge effort to make this happen but this is beyond the profession. People are going to visit their libraries because they recognize the importance of libraries. That is nothing less than amazing. Good work fellow librarians. You make libraries that people want to fight for keeping. That does inspire us all.

It is a UK campaign but it echoes world-wide. Because when a library is in trouble all libraries are in trouble – and librarians may lose their job but the people who lose their library lose their learning center, their house of inspiration, a local meeting point, their democracy center and so much more…

Have a great “Save our libraries day”. Show up at your library and check out as many books and CDs as you can carry – check out some ebooks too. Follow this ‘sliding scale of spare time’

…And remember (To cite some of Phil Bradleys bumper stickers …):
Libraries; more precious than the Ring.
Libraries; tastier than 2 hobbits breakfasts.
Libraries; more trustworthy than the Fellowship

Go to Phils webstore to buy some cool World War one & two inspired posters that help the campaign. Phil will pass the money he earns on to charity.

Also visit Voices for the library

[Image from CILIP website]

Day 4 and 5 of #libday6

This will be a good meetingIntro:
I´ll keep it short….. And then again. If I don´t I have an excuse for another relisten of the new amazing Iron & Wine album… Listen here

Transparent leadership:
A few thoughts about transparent leadership. I like the idea but it is often impossible. There are a lot of things to consider when dealing with people so I won´t be able to share every detail – to protect the innocent – of course. But hey – you don´t want them anyway.

Lot´s of meetings
After being sick Tuesday and Wednesday I had a lot to catch up on. We have a vacant position in the children’s library. I had some meetings with children’s librarians about this. Some meetings about staffing reference desk issues. We are weeding the collection very hard right now. This called for two short meetings too. I also had a meeting in the leadership group. Interesting times.
Lot´s of emails to answer too by the way and a bit of management by walking around…
– and general making to-do list smaller because I am on vacation next week – YAY!
I added a few pictures to flickr – most of them pre – work. Check them out.

When you cycle for libraries you also need to sleep
Do you know about the international library conference Cycling for libraries? They will visit one of our branch libraries and our main library. I am looking forward to receiving library people from all over the world and hosting a part of this great event. I have been in contact with local hostels to secure accommodation for the 100 people participating. Yesterday I received the final confirmation. So why is the idea about a conference like this so great? Read my greeting here. Follow the #cyc4lib hashtag on twitter.

#buyalib
A few emails to the other members of the #buyalib team. We are very excited about continuing the project by donating the collected money and thereby laying the first bricks for the library. We are working on a plan for getting info from the library to blog about so all you awesome contributors and supporters can follow the project along with us in the future. This is a spare time project so also thank you to patient wife and kids.

I promised to keep it short? Libraries and Quora
Well Iron & Wine is still playing here. I´ll leave you with a few tweets I found interesting last night about libraries and Quora. Well is this the way to do it guys? Thanks @telephase and @ranti for a great discussion.

libraries and quora

How to collaborate internationally via social media

I want to share what I learned so far from working with amazing people I only met on Twitter for the cause of funding a library in India. We collect funds via social media on our blog. I hope you will support the good cause.

The good news – It is easy to do this:
First let me say that it is easy to collaborate on a project like ours using twitter, emails and wordpress blogs. Of course It takes a lot of time but a project like this would also take a lot of time if it was made by people sitting in the same room. We are four people in the group. Ned Potter who is an academic librarian from the UK, Andromeda Yelton and Justin Hoenke public librarians from USA and I am a public librarian from Denmark.

What tools have we used to communicate?
We use twitter and emails for communicating. Direct twitter messages when in a hurry and Emails for longer messages about plans, strategy and status. We use our spare time and we have families, so sometimes one of us has got a lot of time to put in this project, at other times we obviously don’t – But I am amazed by how far we gone in very little time. It is obvious that it is important that you give what you can and that the others respect when you have other plans. We never spoke about this, it is kind of written between the lines, but I could see the need for some rules in a bigger and longer lasting project.
It would be a good idea to use Skype but it hasn’t been necessary yet. When we reach our goal I think we should set up a Skype meeting celebrating with a drink – but the others don’t know yet (sorry you had to read it here first, guys)

Skype as a tool and why I belive in libraries
I have been so lucky to have a Skype meeting (and one more to come) with Buffy J Hamilton. This meeting was not related to the Buy A Library project. We talked about libraries in US and Denmark and about transliteracy and the power of libraries worldwide. I feel lucky to live in a time where it is so easy to share and communicate. Libraries are more similar across the world than I thought a couple of years ago. What it all comes down to is that we provide access to information and knowledge via all types of media. In some countries the main media is still the book, in others countries there are a variety of important media – but we provide access and support learning and (trans)literacy. That’s why I am a strong believer in the power of libraries.

What tools have we used to promote our campaign?
Our campaign lives on our blog and started as a twitter project. Our followers (and a lot of non-followers too) have been very kind to us helping promote our campaign and supporting with funds. Rosanne Cash who loves libraries supported us with a RT, and she has got more than 17.000 followers – Things like this make a difference. Thank you, Rosanne!
We learned that blogposts supporting the cause made a difference. We can see that in the donation status. We asked others to blog about our cause and have been getting good response… And you can like us on facebook. Please do.

So what to do now?
We will countinue to collect the funds needed for building and funding the library in India. Then we will evaluate and I hope we will have reached our goal so we can celebrate as well.
I really like being in this project. One reason is because it makes a difference and builds a library. How awesome is that? Libraries are closing all over the world, but we are opening one. It’s nice to learn that librarians and library supporters are so generous and the support for our project is amazing. Last but not least it is a great group of wonderful people I teamed up with. I am working with the best and if that does not motivate – what could?

Come work with me – or stay where you are but work with me anyway
I already learned a lot from participating in this project so far – and we are not finished yet. I want to use what I learned to collaborate with even more of you amazing people. I hope you will have the will, the time and ideas to work with a public librarian from Denmark. We could share ideas and thoughts about libraries in different countries or set up Skype meetings with patrons from each of our libraries. I don’t know yet. Maybe you do.
I know that when this project ends I will invite you to come work with me via social media and of course you are all welcome to visit my library.

Please support our cause by donating to Buy a library
[Donate button removed – Yay – we have the money for building the library – Please follow the work on the blog]

Bringing the library outside

This is an amazing idea. In Denmark libraries at beaches has been done in Copenhagen (and other Danish cities) – I have not been able to find pictures, but I found this video (It´s in Danish)

Here are some pictures from a library at a beach in the Netherlands

My own library are mobile via bus, and sometimes we meet people like this – the Ladies in red. Amazing librarians meeting people all around the city.

We have the technology to lend out on location via mobile devices and we get good response.

I would also like to introduce one of my library heros Luis Soreano – making a huge difference for children by bringing them books with his mobile Donkey library in Colombia – reminding us about the importance of the library idea.

This post a slightly reworked comment to this post http://www.walkingpaper.org/2825 by @walkingpaper

Library day in the life – Janurary 25 2010

A day in the life of a danish public librarian @janholmquist:

Up early in the morning. Good talk with daughter (3½ years) before we went to kindergarden. She loves her kindergarden and I love the mornings with her. Very cold in Denmark so icy car resulted in being just in time for planned meeting – meeting was rescheduled anyway – and I looked at budget for library project about childrens play in the library – turns out that this project has the resourcesto make playing a very important part of our librarys offer to our youngest patrons – I am proud of the project and the change it makes – and very proud of our skilled childrens librarians.

Then meeting about changing our organizion – hard work – but I believe that it will be for the better.
Writing on a project, remembering to tweet #libday4 tweets – and trying not to get distracted.- Uploading photos to flickr and the libday4 pool.
A short meeting about consumer questions with a lady who has answered such questions for 41 years!

Writing a little bit more – then late night librarian – Not a busy one but a very good evening. Helped students with literature for asignments, got some good music related questions and made a little bit of software support. I am thinking that the library lives up to our slogan – More than you imagine. I guess all libraries do.

Went home to Wife, babyson and daughter. Nice relaxing evening.