Tag Archives: leadership

New job: Library director in Nelson, New Zealand

IMG_0405It is the time of big decisions. I am happy and proud to announce that starting this September I will be the new library director of Nelson Public Libraries in New Zealand.
I am looking forward to bringing the skills and experience from my current job in Guldborgsund, Denmark to the southern hemisphere and to serve the community of Nelson by making the best possible library in cooperation with the staff – in fact one of the tasks is to make New Zealand’s oldest library the best library in 5 years!

This also means a new chapter for my family and me as we are moving about as long away from our current home in Denmark as possible.

What?
Nelson Public library is one of the oldest in New Zealand, and indeed the library which has provided the longest continuous service to the public in New Zealand. One of the things that attracted me to the job was the strategy to make the oldest library the best library in 5 years.
My viewpoint as a global librarian is that you can not use the same tools everywhere. You have to translate the global inspiration into the local context to make real positive changes in your local community. That being said the fact that my current library in Guldborgsund ranks in the top 3 in all the national library surveys in Denmark is a good starting point when you combine it with the skills of the library staff at Nelson Public Library.
Though nothing is yet decided it is possible there will be built a new main library in Nelson. That is on the agenda as well – and very exciting.
I had two job interviews via Skype and some online tests and was then invited to visit Nelson. The hiring process is the most professional I have ever been part of, and I feel full of energy to begin the work – also because I have met most members of the talented library staff.
The urban area of Nelson is about 70000 people of which my new library serves 54000 people from the main library and two branch libraries.

Why this big move?
Putting the money where my mouth is about global librarianship could be the easy way to explain it. It is important to know that this is not a global job. This is a local job in Nelson working for the community there.
For me, it is a different story though as the culture and community will be different from where I am situated now. I am looking forward to learning a lot myself about the library system in New Zealand and seeing how a library in New Zealand (that is known for a very high standard in public libraries) work with making its community better.

Where?
Here on Twitter
Here on Facebook
Here on the web
Here on the Map

Will you blog about your experiences in the future?
Yes. Sign up to this blog or follow me on Twitter to get updates about my learnings and my new #librarylife.

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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.

Innovation in Public Libraries – For Alison Miller’s class at iSchool, Syracuse University

canadawater

I am very glad and proud to connect with the future of the profession: MLIS students at iSchool, Syracuse University for a talk about innovation in public libraries. Thank you for your time – please feel free to contact me with follow up questions and your views on this topic.

Things I covered in my talk:

Technology and innovation (briefly)
I am working on 23 Mobile things. An internal learning project at my Library that will get a global edition – We aim to teach staff basic app knowledge within the Apple environment and spark curiosity – But also look for ideas that can generate innovation in our reference service and how we reach out to our Community online. The project is open source so you can adapt it. There will be android version in the international edition -You can make the windows mobile version if you like.

Also: Read watch play an international reading group that has a blog and monthly Twitter chats about a given topic is an example of tech innovation to broaden reach and scope of a project.

Leadership and innovations
I am head of development at my Library. A title that in a way makes no sense at all because no one sits in a corner and innovates. If you have one person to innovate in your organization – you are doing it wrong. In my talk I will share thoughts about innovation culture in libraries.

Also: we used LEGO serious play to work with innovation for our Strategic plan.

Mission and Vision statements and innovation
My library has been working with vision and slogan (if not mission) We had the LEGO Serious Play part and all staff was part of the process of working with the vision and how we could make it visible in what we do for our community. Our vision roughly translates to:

Guldborgsund-libraries wants to give added value to our guests no matter where they are  physically or digitally in the areas of cultural experience, learning and knowledge.

Our slogan: Guldborgsund-libraries – More than you can imagine …

Reference Services and innovation
We try to think learning in everything we do and every way we connect with our community. This shapes the way we meet people and how we answer questions. We have a learning area in the heart of the library and try to fascilitate knowledge sharing within the community.
Also: we did a roaming librarian project a while back and we might take it up again soon. It is a simple and good way to connect with people… 

The librarians used a cart and had some books and a lot of info about the library, about online services, Library programs, the children’s library etc with them… They had a Blackberry from which they could access the library catalogue, check out books and register new members. That was the reason we got the idea – because that was possible. They did not check out many books – but they got us a few new members and a lot of good publicity.
Last fall we did the same thing when our book mobile was  part of a culture evening in the city. Two librarians were on the streets to meet people and tell them about the book mobile. We had a contest for adults and one for children there – and we handed out a lot of info on the library.

I did a very short post a while back about this – Where you can see “The ladies in red” with the mini library – See it here

Our members are our guests
The term guests is not strictly internal terminology but we could do more about communicating it to the public.
We will have some changes in the way we meet people in the main library this fall and the way we make our guests feel at home will be part of the planning process. The main shift I can mention is that everybody is more focused on how we meet people and not only on the right answer – but also how it is delivered. I think it is incredible how much actually changes when you change the terminology. Food for thought.

What I did not mention
Innovation happens when you connect with people who think different than yourself. People from other professions and people from other cultures. That is one of the reasons I work with global librarianship – because I think it is inspiring and sparks innovation in my own community. We try to work with a lot of non library partners and I love what happens when we do – We work with the local museum, music school etc and with people from other fields like universities on a gamification project I will share more about soon.

Your feedback inspires
I feel so priviliged to get the chance to connect with you because you have chosen to be in this field and your ideas are highly appreciated – so go out there and participate in making libraries better… Keep the good stuff, change the bad stuff – and tell me and others all about it…