Category Archives: library

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

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A conference with an unconference track – Upcoming presentations at Internet Librarian International

I liheartke the concept of unconferences very much. The more loose structure can be very liberating to the traditional conference learning experience. Combining a traditional conference with an unconference track is one of the reasons I am looking very much forward to this years Internet Librarian International – and I am proud to be a part of both the unconference and conference track.

I hope to see you there and talk libraries with you. I am doing talks on Guldborgsund Public Library recent gamification project, Global librarianship and on the brand new unconference X track I will share about the library advocacy group Library Avengers.

I am also looking forward to the Hackerspace Conversations between Rasmus Fangel Vestergaard and Jeroen de Boer and to catch Åke Nygreens talk about Boosting ICT training in public libraries to name just a few.

Here is my speaker program – You can also “borrow me” for a 15 minute talk about about community engagement, gamification, communities and collaboration on the X track… London Calling!

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.

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…

View original post 889 more words

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.

Billions of Beautiful Words – Mary Gauthier on libraries and music.

maryjanHello Mary- Thank you for doing this interview about music and libraries… Let me ask you:

How did a library ever make a difference in your life and (or) your community?
When I was around 8 or 9, my parents marriage was slowly falling apart. I had my mom drop me off at the library when it opened on Saturdays, and I stayed there till it closed. It was how I spent my Saturdays for quite a while. It was my safe place, my place of peace.I read my way through nearly all the books in the children’s section, and began looking at books in the regular library. The library felt like home to me, more than home felt like home. Books are a treasure to me, they are life rafts, they are undiscovered worlds. And libraries are their homes. I love libraries.

Is there a librarian in your life – for better or for worse?
No, I almost always found my way on my own in the library. The few times I did ask for help, the adults frowned on my reading choices. So I didn’t trust adults. I used the card catalogues to find what I wanted, and to explore the selections.

Your songs are stories and libraries are full of stories – Do you see other connections between your art form and libraries?
Stories are so very important to me, and they always have been. I think that stories can help hold troubled lives together, they have some kind of magic glue that keeps us from shattering from the weight of our own experiences. There is something intrinsic in human nature that find comfort in other people’s stories. We look at each other and compare ourselves, we feel relief that we are not alone, we feel encouraged by other people’s courage and resilience. It is my deepest hope that my songs operate at the level of literature, that they have that ability to transcend time and place, and to offer other people something they can hold on to. Time will tell.

What are your thoughts about storytelling in songs vs. a novel or short story?
Songs are a very particular art form. There’s is very little time to get the story told in a song. Every word deeply matters, each syllable is expensive real estate. So songs are, by necessity, very dense. What is said in a line in a song, could take pages or even chapters to say in a book. Most Western songs are under 4 minutes long, by necessity. Also, with songs, melody plays a very important part in the telling of the story. We use it to emphasise important words, and manipulate emotions.

What inspires you when you write and what is a good song?
A good song connects to the human heart in a meaningful way. A great song does so in a timeless way, it operates outside of time. Your Cheating Heart was written in the 50’s, it is as relevant today as the day Hank wrote it.
I am inspired by emotion and the desire to make sense of my own life experiences. So often my experiences do not seem to make much sense in the moments they are happening, but then I write about them and it all comes into focus. I suppose in some ways, songwriters impose meaning, play God, create order, when there is not much to be had. But that is the beauty and the challenge of the job.

If you did choose to write a song about a library (hint!) – what would the title be?
hmmmmm, how about “Billions of Beautiful Words.”

How can a good song change the world? – or the life of an individual?
I’m not sure songs change the world in and of themselves. They do, however, have the power to articulate the sentiments of large groups of people, and give people a mantra and a big idea to rally around, and that can be very threatening to a people in power. Over and over again politicians try to use songs their own advantages, some with more success than others.

Have you ever performed at a library?
Not yet! But it would seem like a great place for me to play some songs. I have played at bookstores, lots of them.

Thank you so much for participating – and Thank you for your support for libraries and for your stories and beautiful music.

Please visit Mary Gauthiers website – and buy some of her amazing music. You can also follow Mary on Twitter and since you already love her in real life – you can also like her on Facebook.

3 things that inspired me this week

The Uni

Imagine having the possibility to move the library learning space outdoors to meet the people, creating a place for learning, being inspired and making connections in the community. That is just some of the things The Uni will make possible.

The Uni is a new kind of shared learning environment, capable of supporting a full schedule of public readings, talks, classes, afterschool programs, workshops, and screenings. The Uni’s books establish the tone and set the stage for a variety of street-level learning experiences, from language classes to documentary films to hands-on demonstrations.
theuniproject.org 

I think it is impossible not to be inspired by this but go to the website and see for yourself and learn more about this great project. You can help fund the project if you want, but looking and learning is free.

How did the Uni inspire me: We are constantly looking for ways to connect with the community by bringing the library where the people are. The design makes an open outdoor space for learning and connecting. It’s an opportunity to make “instant library”. I want that! I can imagine it moving from city to city or from country to country promoting libraries by being awesome.

Thank You Nate – for sharing

How to spread the word – TEDx Buenos Aires

How it inspired me: This got me asking the questions: We try to reach non-users of the library all the time, but are we doing it right? If we invited the taxi drivers or hairdressers of the community to an Info-event at the library, what would be the right way to inspire them to inspire others?

Thank You Sally – for sharing

Compact Living – All You Need in a 258 Square Feet Apartment

How it inspired me: Follow your dreams and ideas… How much stuff do we need in our lives? This guy makes the most out of a few square feet. How will we make the most out of what we have, focus on the important and make inspiring libraries with the many square feet we have?
Also How will we focus on what is important in our lives?

Thank You Meredith – For sharing.