Category Archives: Uncategorized

What´s he building in there?

… We have a right to know as Tom Waits sings/croons/says on his wonderful album Mule Variations.

A few sentences about what I have been doing/are up to these days:

Upcoming cross European project:
As a consultant, I am working with two well known European organisations on what could be a substantial new game-changing project for libraries and citizenship. I will update you more on this when there is news and when I can reveal more.

Libraries and health:
Culture can play an essential part in health and in recovery from illness. Research shows this, and several projects worldwide have been completed or are ongoing. To create a healthy, happy, meaningful life for everyone, we have to recognise the power of artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries in healthcare and beyond. Stories and the narratives people tell about their own lives also have a role to play. The new project will be research-based and evolves around this mindset.
Yet another still secret project. Yes, transparency is a core value for me, but I am however to negotiate with core partners, and it would be disrespectful to share info they need to know first.

Strategy and leadership:
I recently hade the opportunity to talk share my experience and view on strategic leadership with professionals doing leadership training. I am also working as a consultant on strategy, strategy implementation and mentoring of new leaders. 

London Calling:
I am once again Co-Charing Internet Librarian International. I hope to see you soon in London, UK!

Lyrics

A short personal update

Dear friends. It has been a while. I want to update you with some short facts.

Back in Denmark:
Because of different personal circumstances back home, I had to leave New Zealand and go back to Denmark to be with my family.

Family:
I am in the middle of a divorce. A thing like that is never happy for anyone. We communicate very well. We can laugh together and have mutual respect. The kids are doing good. I am grateful for that. Very much!

Making a professional difference:
I know I made a difference in New Zealand. The people were more than I could have hoped for, the community was terrific, but time was too limited. I loved it and worked hard for it while I was there.
I could not have done it differently, but I am shameful to have promised something I had to reverse.

Looking forward:
I am still the global librarian, but I also finished my Master in Public Governance. I am now working as a self-employed library and leadership consultant in Denmark and worldwide having worked for organisations in Brussels, Amsterdam and Copenhagen so far.

Thank you:
To amazing friends near and far for personal and professional support, I appreciate it more than you can ever imagine.

New Horizons: How Libraries Create Smart Communities – For INFORUM 2018 in Prague

motive-en
Libraries are more important than ever. This is not the headline you see in news media these days. If there happens to be a library-related headline it often says that libraries are obsolete because of the technological development.

In a world where there is more information than ever before and where modern societies compete to get the attractive knowledge jobs librarians and libraries guide people towards digital literacy thereby empowering them as digital citizens and lifelong learners. Therefore libraries are strategically important for modern knowledge societies.

Aligning to the conference theme Different Perspectives, New Horizons Jan shares how a library strategy with a focus on learning lead to opening a library FabLab and what implications it has for supporting learning about new technology and creating new knowledge communities.

A library FabLab must have the focus on digital literacy, searching and evaluating information and actively supporting the creation of new knowledge just like the library does with more traditional media.

Jan also shares insights on European library advocacy from Public Libraries 2020 and the Library Advocacy Lab on how libraries change lives and he reveals the secret on how Public Libraries 2020 will be a driving force in creating a global knowledge school for forward-thinking librarians and why that is important.

 

Library Advocacy With Heart for #ili2017

The way we form meaning is hugely based on the biases we have. Facts will not always convince people they are wrong. In this presentation.
I focus on succesful examples of library advocacy and discuss what makes a succes. I also share insights from the Library Advocacy Lab and Public Libraries 2020 that aims for raising political awareness about public libraries in the European Union.
I recommend that library advocacy should focus on telling stories that appeal to our feelings. The personal stories from the community and support these stories with statistics and facts and align that to what is on the political agenda in your community.

Thank you Internet Librarian International for great conversations and learning opportunities.

 

 

Libraries: The best possible shared space today and beyond for #SCLRevitalise

Thank you for the invitation to this wonderful conference. What a couple of days of learning, sharing, crying, laughing and… singing 🙂

What skills do libraries and librarians need to be a driving force in creating smart communities?
How can we use strategy to advocate for the importance that we know we have for peoples lives?
These questions and more are part of this presentation. A few humble answers too.

Keynote for #CILIPS16: Making communities smarter through connections

20140311-154338.jpgThe theme of this years CILIPS conference is “Making connections”. I am proud to do todays morning keynote.

Libraries are strategically important for modern knowledge societies. In the library people of all ages have a safe space for learning and exchanging ideas. In the knowledge economy where communities, regions and countries compete for knowledge jobs libraries are essential in actively supporting life long learning for all. Libraries facilitae connections between people and their knowledge. Thereby libraries are making their communities smarter.

Here are my slides:

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 former library in Guldborgsund in the southeastern part of Denmark consists of a main library and 5 branch libraries. The main library and all 5 branch libraries are open libraries.
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. [Stats from 2016]

Updated stats December 2019:
From 2017 to 2018, there has been a considerable increase, so another 44 libraries now have this service. Thus, in 88% of the country’s libraries, it is possible to access for selected periods outside of the staffed opening hours. In 2018, only four municipalities did not have one or more libraries with the option of access outside of staffed opening hours.
In total there are 97 main libraries in Denmark and 315 branch libraries. Furthermore, 18 mobile libraries (bookbuses) and 92 service spots.
Due to the significant increase in the number of open libraries, the total opening hours per week at the public libraries have never been higher. On average, each library is open 90 hours a week, which equals 12 hours every single day. However, only the unstaffed business hours have seen an increase in 2018. The total number of staffed libraries has decreased by 494 hours, which is a decrease of just under 5%. In contrast, from 2017 to 2018, the unstaffed business hours increased by 13%, corresponding to 3,087 hours.
[Based on “Folkebiblioteker i tal” published November 2019 available in Danish at https://slks.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/SLKS/Omraader/Kulturinstitutioner/Biblioteker/Fakta_om_biblioteker/FB_i_tal_2018.Final.pdf%5D

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: