Category Archives: skills

Keynote for Estonian library directors summer school: Public libraries: SDGs, Trends, goals, innovation and connecting with the community​.

The UNs Sustainable Development Goals played the leading role in my keynote about trends, goals and innovations that influence our world and, therefore, our communities and libraries. 
The global goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. While the 17 global goals are made simple, they are not always easy to understand. Libraries are essential in making the goals understandable for the public and facilitating partnerships in and with the community to actively support projects that have a tangible impact on the SDGs.
To give the global goals the focus they deserve, they should be part of your existing library strategy. 
As an example of a national public library strategy that includes the SDGs, go to the all-new Scottish library strategy: Forward.

Part of my keynote was an example of a strategy process I did about the library as a strategically important learning institution in the community and how that informed decisions like building a FabLab with a sharp library focus on the services it delivered to the public.

By doing all of the above, libraries enable communities to make smarter decisions.

To be relevant for our communities, we need to listen to all parts of the community – also the people who are not like us. We must listen actively to the people who do not visit us often or never visit us at all. That means we must get out and have honest conversations with people in the community.

When we still struggle with COVID (though times are getting better in many countries now), we must not forget that it has been a rough time for all of us – the people who visit our libraries. Compassion and sincere interest in how people are doing is a highly valued skill these days.

In the group, we discussed what we wanted to bring into the new post-COVID normal and what we wanted to leave behind in the old world.

You can see all of the trends mentioned in my slides, and here is the “worknotes” from our workshop

I promised the group to share a few links about the theme “Biased tech”. So here are the once I mentioned from New York Times:
The Week in Tech: Algorithmic Bias Is Bad. Uncovering It Is Good. [New York Times 15. November 2019]
Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech. [New York Times 17. June 2019] 

I want to thank the National Library of Estonia for inviting me and all the participants for their contributions and kindness: Thank you for learning with me. – Please stay in touch.

Presentation “Public libraries as the learning hub in the community. Strategy and practical examples” for Conferência Internacional: [Re]Pensar a Biblioteca Pública

Thank you participants in Aveiro and online for your feedback and positivity. I was honored to be part of your wonderful conference.

Public libraries are about providing access to information for all citizens. They are also about giving the community members the best possibilities to transform that information into knowledge.

When we look at libraries not only as a place for cultural inspiration or a house full of information -but also as the learning hub in the community, we focus on different ways of connecting with the community and new ways of delivering library services. We also have a new approach to what skillset librarians need to make this happen.

In this talk, I focus on practical examples from my work as a library director in Denmark and New Zealand. Examples of working with learning as a strategy and how that impacted the library services delivered and how libraries reached out to the community.

Here are the slides:

Forward

I made a song for the wonderful library conference Next Library.
People can share their digital postcards with the conference this week. You know what to do…

Lyrics / song / video by Jan Holmquist

Forward:

When everyone is in lockdown
In a life of isolation
What keeps you mentally sound
And away from desperation

Is the stories that we share
As humans across time
People everywhere
We share what is sublime

We build communities 
On humanity and facts
To create opportunities
For people who reacts

To knowledge and unity
And professionals who care
In your local library
You find them anywhere



We need to know how to proceed
To build what lays ahead

We remove the stuff we dread
And add the new stuff that we need

We learn how to learn anew
And unlearn what is outdated
We will never be dictated
We will find what is true



As we leave our lives
as solitudinarians
We need the skills of our
community librarians

Culture, stories, literature, knowledge, learning is what we need
Smarter communities  – For our future to proceed

Help us “Build a Librarian” for 21st-century information work #nextlibrary2017 #LibraryChangeAgent

20140311-154338.jpgI am very excited to be able to learn with NEXT Library conference participants in Aarhus in mid June. Together with Dr. Michael Stephens and Mylee Joseph,  I will be leading an interactive workshop at the conference and we need your input to help us make this workshop really effective for the participants at this year’s conference.

“Change” and “disruption” are not only popular buzzwords. Technology, economy and politics are forces that are changing the world as we know it and our communities at a fast pace. Libraries are embracing and responding to these changes and have different strategies for maintaining and increasing their relevance to their local communities. But to embrace change, and be a driving force for what rapidly changing communities need, librarians must have skills to both anticipate and adapt to change as well as being effective community connectors to drive change.

CHANGE

In business and leadership literature “dynamic capabilities” describes the characteristics of a firm that can adapt to changes in the environment and survive, while businesses that fail to adapt can slip from world domination to bankruptcy with examples often mentioned like KODAK and NOKIA.

In the global economy our countries, cities and communities compete on skills, know-how,  adaptability and connectivity to get knowledge jobs in their area. Communities need assistance to anticipate and adapt to the world as it changes around them. Libraries can play a vital role in providing opportunities, tools and experiences for their communities to learn and to develop the dynamic capabilities needed. Librarians as effective “community learning connectors” can be change agents and drivers for development in our communities for many years to come.
How do we insure the folks serving our varied constituents have the skill sets and attitudes required of the modern library worker.

In our workshop we will use Michael’s “formula for success” to facilitate participants own ideas:

Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success

Each part of the formula is vital. The outcome does not work if any of them are removed.

What do you think:

  • What are your thoughts on the content in Michael Stephens Essential Skills + Mindset² X Support = Success
  • In what way can libraries enhance a community’s adaptability to change?
  • Do you have examples of libraries in your community acting as community learning connectors and helping to respond and adapt to change?
  • What skills are needed for library staff to be effective community learning connectors?
  • What skills and mindset will help library staff continue to adapt to rapid change into the future?

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #LibraryChangeAgent  all kinds of contributions are welcome. Make a short video, use words – or draw your perfect set of skills… Be creative. We think that is one of the important skills needed 🙂