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]

Follow a library on twitter

On October 1st 2010 it is going to be #followalibrary day on Twitter. I think everybody should know what their library has to offer for their learning opportunities, for leisure and for inspiring reads, listens and expanding the way we see the world.  I recommend that you follow a library on twitter.

The people behind Follow a library made a challenge:

Challange: Make your own followalibrary promotion video and share it with the world. http://ht.ly/2JRI0 #followalibraryless than a minute ago via HootSuite

Happy follow a library day on twitter!

A network of more than 3000 librarians working for the same cause #ifla2010


When you gather librarians from 128 countries in the same city you get a scent of what is sometimes forgotten in the daily work. That librarians are working for the same cause world wide. I had the chance to debate this with some Swedish librarians this morning.

Yesterday I had a look at the exhibitions and was preparing for todays poster sessions. The variety of different ways to empower people and giving access to knowledge and learning is amazing:

Some examples: Using social media to inspire dialogue with patrons (Poster 171), A classification project for children (Poster 100), Sharing knowledge by networking – Information literacy instructors promote open access in Finnish Universities (Poster 99) and the amazing caterpillar project that has made books available to more than 100000 people in Africa (Poster 15)

This was also the theme in this mornings session about Metropolitan libraries with public libraries. Very different approaches to innovation in libraries and how to bridge reading of physical books with the online world. To try something as difficult to make a conclusion of these interesting and diverse presentations it must be: the need to make space for and acknowledge the need for innovation to make sure libraries will be as relevant in the future as they were in the past. To focus on the library as playing a major role in education and learning for life and focusing on the community the library is situated in.

It is about the little positive differences libraries make in peoples lives every day and about the big spectacular projects that drive libraries further in the technologic development that makes us relevant for the online generation.

Let´s celebrate the successes, learn from our failures and let´s get to work. We all have a network of more than 3000 librarians from all over the world to learn from.

Hello IFLA –

Gothenburg: 3300 librarians from 128 countries in the same city celebrating free access to knowledge. A very important cause, and I feel so privilegded to be a part of this exclusive club which main purpose it is to include everyone in it.

I love libraries, because I love what they do – provide access to knowledge and information and empower people world wide. I am looking forward to meeting librarians from all over the world and to learning from the way they think about libraries. I hope to share and network with you all. I will be in Gothenburg from noon Wednesday 11 August until early morning Friday 13 August. I will be attending the conference on Thursday 12 August.

I will be tweeting and blogging about the conference. Tweet me up @janholmquist


I will be focusing on: 

Congress track 1: Open access and digital resources.

Congress track 2: Policy, strategy and advocacy.

With Congress track 5: Ideas, innovations, anticipating the new. as my mindset.

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

World wide thoughts of a Danish librarian

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