Tag Archives: libraries

Circulating Ideas Featuring Jan Holmquist

janholmquist__I am very proud to be the guest on Steve Thomas great podcast Circulating Ideas – A Podcast I think makes a very big difference for learning in libraries and is making libraries better…

Thank you for having me as a guest Steve – and thank you to all who listend and liked – So many shares and positve comments – means the world to me….

Head over to Circulating ideas to hear the show and all the other interesting podcasts Steve has done with inspiring librarians.
Circulating Ideas Featuring Jan Holmquist

Unglue: Giving books to the world by crowd funding

The most democratic book project I know is about to relaunch – Here is an article I wrote for the German library magazine BUB as member of the Zukunftentwicklers network – With a few corrections because a lot has happened with Unglue.it since the deadline:

Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freefoto/3239197673/sizes/m/in/photostream/What is crowd funding and what does it mean to unglue?

To unglue a book means that you buy the rights to the book and then pass them on by giving the book to the world for free to read in any e-book format and on any device – without DRM or time restrictions under a creative commons license. But you don’t do it alone. You chirp in a little and so does a lot of other people who think it is important to free the same book. This is called crowd funding. When you crowd fund (and unglue) the project you support has a deadline and the money needed must be raised before the end of this deadline or the project fails. If the money is not raised before the deadline – you don’t loose your money – because the amount you pledge is not drawn from your account unless all the money needed is raised.

The good thing about Unglue.it as I see it is that everyone is a winner. The author gets paid for his work and the world gets unlimited access to the book – What’s not to like about it? I think Unglue.it is the most democratic book project you can imagine.
The first book has already been unglued and is therefore yours too – it is “Oral Literature In Africa” by Ruth H. Finnegan – 278 world citizens participated in unglueing this book raising 7500 dollars – The e-book version is available for download from the Unglue.it website. You can go to Unglue.it to learn more and make your own pledge to give the gift of a book to the world.

Libraries, ebooks and freedom of information

In the current e-book market it is very hard for libraries to purchase and lend out ebooks to the public. This fact is making it darker times for universal access to information for the first time in decades. Lots of titles can’t be offered because the biggest publishers in the US are not working with the libraries there, and in Europe EBLIDA is doing work to get better deals here too. Booksellers say libraries are a threat to the ebook business even though research shows that libraries increase book sales – not the other way round. The current situation looks like a library nightmare. Though the focus for modern libraries shift from collections to connections it is still important that information will be more freely accessible in future – not less. There are also privacy concerns with some of the models in which libraries and we as citizens can purchase ebooks today. Booksellers can erase books from our devices (it has been done!), can spy on us to see what we read, underline and bookmark in our ebooks etc. Libraries do not own ebooks. They license them – and can’t lend them out limitlessly on most contracts.

The e-book formats are not universal and library e-book services are often hard to use limiting potential use because of technical illiteracy and difficulties.

The values behind Unglue.it contribute to another voice in the debate on the future of ebooks, libraries and access. If Unglue.it becomes a universal success the role of libraries on the e-book market will be (almost) obsolete because they will have provided all ebooks freely available for us all in every digital format without DRM and without spying on the reader etc. This is basically a very librarianish goal… – but there is still a long way to go.

Crowd funding – success and challenges

One important thing when crowd funding is that your project tells a story that is important to the possible contributors. You need to see that what you are contributing to will make a difference to someone and will be making the world a better place. This can be a tricky thing for a project like Unglue.it because everyone can agree that universal access to good books is an important issue – but what if the title does not appeal to me? Sometimes it is easier to raise a lot of money for a cause broadly known than for a work of art very few people know.
Crowd funding is not a new thing. It has been used to collect funds for helping out after natural disasters for many years and political parties are crowd funded by their members etc. Barack Obamas campaign for the presidential election 2008 was partly crowd funded like many other presidential campaigns have been. The new thing about Obamas campaign was that so many people contributed even if the amounts were small – a lot of people “owned” the campaign. These are all examples of projects that their supporters meant would make the world a better place.

Crowd funding projects – library related and beyond

In the library field successful crowd funding campaigns include Buy India a Library where 100 people from all over the world funded the building of a library connected to a school in Mysore, India including books, newspapers and wages for the staff for two years. The campaign raised more than 3000 Euros in less than two weeks and it was more funds than needed. Therefore it additionally funded four donkey drawn mobile libraries in Africa. The thought about opening a library in a world where a lot of libraries were closed appealed broadly.

The online library TV show This Week in Libraries current season is also partly crowd funded by people from all over the world who want to keep the show on the air. This Week in Libraries focuses on ideas and innovation in libraries and interviews library innovators from all over the world. The Help This Week in Libraries campaign showed that the show has a large world-wide supporter group.

A few examples of non-library related projects are singer Amanda Palmers newest album, art book and tour crowd funded via the very popular platform Kickstarter.com. Her campaign collected more than one million dollars before deadline.

The Uni is a reading room for public space that is also funded via Kickstarter and even though it is based in New York City there are now a new Uni in Kazakhstan too. It provides a flexible library like outdoor space for reading, showcasing learning and one of its aims is to improve public space.

Good luck with crowd funding your own future projects and with making the world a better place by crowd funding others projects and unglueing books to the world.

Jan Holmquist is a librarian working with library development in South East Denmark at Guldborgsund-bibliotekerne.
He is also a global librarian, Zukunftsentwickler, blogger, Tweeter and crowd funder – member and co-founder of the Buy India a Library team and Help This Week in Libraries team.

Picture credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/freefoto/3239197673/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Why the story of Buy India a Library is (still) important

I am very excited to present with Justin Hoenke at Bibliothekartag 2012 i Hamburg, Germany about a project I love and am very proud to be a part of – Buy India a Library

How to use social media for collaboration, inspiration and changing the world will be some of the tracks of our talk. Including a small how to – and facts about the project and the library in Mysore, India. What can you learn from what we did with this project? That is what we will try to answer.

We did not do it alone but with a little help from our friends: Librarians and library lovers from all over the world. 100 people donated more than 3000 Euros and here it is – The Library:

We did this using social media without ever meeting in person. In fact the first time I will meet one from our team is the day before the presentation when I meet Justin in Hamburg. It is not a rare thing to work remote with people you never met – but to gather a team (Justin, Andromeda, Ned, Jan) and fund a library in another country in two weeks. I’ll say that is really something – and the take away is that when we could do it – you can do it too. It’s hard work but it is possible and it is easier than you think.

Libraries are closing all over the world but we just opened a new one funded by awesome people who know that this library will make a huge difference in a local community in India and give children from Mysore, India an opportunity to get important literacy skills and thereby empowering them to live dignified lifes.

This project is an example of egoless social media. Connections matter and because of the connections we made and facilitated, people from all over the world gave Mysore a physical library. Once more, and I can never say this enough, thank you to all those who donated and those who shared what we did. The library is yours, it is ours but most of all – it is the people in the Mysore community that benefits from this library – Just like it should be.

This library, like any other library, will make it’s community better by sharing, gathering  fascilitating and creating knowledge in it’s community…

Get a happier life with your library

Watch this video about Danish public libraries in English for people new to Danish society and tell me what you think.

When you’re new in Denmark a lot of things can be confusing. The library is here to help you! Through the library you have access to a world of knowledge, culture, entertainment, social activites, and much much more. Visit your local library or visit us at bibliotek.dk

Here is an online version of the handout with the same theme:
Get a happier life with your library – ISSUU

Letter from World Libraries


Dear Librarian

Congratulations on joining the team at World Libraries.

We are glad to have you as a part of our world-wide team of library enthusiasts. Your special focus will be to improve your community by sharing and generating knowledge and always contribute to learning.

We also expect you to work for libraries world-wide and to advocate for libraries when you have the possibility. You must implement succesful projects from other libraries when they will make a positive difference in your own community and you must share your projects  so others can do the same.

We expect you to work with relevant organizations in your community to add as much value to as many people as possible in the area you serve. The main focus of our organization is to help and empower people, young and old, with the relevant knowledge and information they need and to inspire them to produce knowledge and works of art and culture. It is also our aim to give people cultural experiences, make relations and  inspire. We meet the citizens where they are in the digital world and in the physical world – and we meet them in their prefered media. Furthermore we speak the language that match their age, level of education and interests.

You are working for libraries at a time when they are more important than ever before. The more information available in the world the more valuable it is to get the right information at the right time. You and your world-wide colleagues are experts in this field. You participate in raising the education level and empowering people everywhere at all levels.

Digital library services are universal. They are supplemented by locally fitted digital and physical library services. That is the way we all make the best libraries in our communities as a team even though we work at very different libraries, types of libraries and in different countries and communities. As a world-wide organization we make people smarter and capable of acting in farming societies, production societies, knowledge societies and experience societies everywhere on our planet.

We offer content in all imaginable kinds of media and we train people in the use of technology and other kinds of literacy. We are happy to add value to information but we also respect and defend People´s right to read what they want and to form their own meanings.

Because we are aware of the importance and the potential you can expect a world-wide information campaign about our organization in the near future.  The campaign will focus on libraries as a modern, innovative and attractive firm: Exclusive – but yet accessible for all.

We are looking forward to working with you in the future. Let´s make the world libraries even better together.

On behalf of World Libraries

Jan Holmquist
@janholmquist

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/loungerie/1470979195/in/photostream/ – by Loungrie http://www.flickr.com/photos/loungerie/

This blog post was original published in Danish as a guest post on Peter Alsbjer´s blog:

Crowdsourcing the Future of Libraries

Choosing the future of libraries - #cyc4lib post it
Crowdsourcing the future of libraries was what the local librarians at my library did with the Cycling for Libraries participants – and you can be a part of this too!

How you can contribute
Make a comment to this post
Add photos of your own Post-it´s about the topic at the Flickr pool  – and make comments there too.
Tweet what your Post-it says with the #futurelib hastag

But first – read what we did at the Cycling for Libraries conference.

What we did
There are many predictions about the future of libraries but which future do we want to choose? #makeithappen
For two hours my library was visited by librarians and library lovers from all over the world. 75 people from 15 different countries took part in the Think Tank about the ideal future of libraries and how to get there. Their bikes were parked and they were tired but motivated after the ride to my library.

The program:
I made an introduction –  painting the framework for how we should work with this topic.
I showed this short video with Professor R. D. Lankes
Everybody got some time to think about what their ideal library of the furture is.
Then they discussed it with one of the other participants.
I said a few more words before introducing our guest of honor Buffy J. Hamilton who made an awesome 20 minute presentation via Skype – and she answered questions from the room.
Then we had the workshop part – With the knowledge and inspiration we now had we discussed and produced post it´s in smaller groups – about the libraries of the future.

See the awesome post it´s here – and add your own wisdom by adding your photos to the flickr pool.

Useful tools:
R.D Lankes model:
Jan Holmquist – Intro Prezi:
Buffy Hamiltons presentation:

The future of libraries – Why Seth Godin and Bobbi Newman are both right

I really  like when libraries escape the echo-chamber big time like with Seth Godins post about what libraries should be be in the future and the importance of librarians. I also like Godins post a lot and I agree with him on what should be our focus in the future.

I am glad that not all librarians agree with everything Seth Godin said in his post, because we need the debate to be even sharper on the future of libraries – because we are the ones deciding that future. We as library professionals.

I don´t think Bobbi Newman is wrong when she advocates for access to (e)books and online databases for those who cannot afford to buy access themselves. It´s not “defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future”
Actually I think it is exactly what Seth Godin advocates for when he says the mission is to “take the world of data, combine it with the people in this community and create value. ” –  for all people – those who can afford to buy it themselves and those who cannot. That is still the base of democracy and libraries have a role to play here.

The goal is connecting people with information and helping them navigate it.  Connecting people to other people in their communities and experts worldwide. Being a center of idea development, facilitate learning  and knowledge creation and being “librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario” – One of the means is providing access to  information until everything is free.

Some good posts (among many) about Godin´s “The future of the library”
Bobbi Newman “Seth Godin Misses the Point on Libraries, Again”
Buffy J. Hamilton: “Are Librarians, Not Seth Godin, The Ones Missing the Point on Libraries?” 
Andy Woodworth: “Bring Me the Head of Seth Godin!”
P.C Sweeny: “Seth Called Us Out On Our Bullshit And Folks Got Mad”