Tag Archives: strategy

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

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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.

 

Keynote: Smart Libraries Create Smart Communities for #ILI2016

Thank you Internet Librarian International for your kind feedback and for questions and comments after my talk and during the day. It has been a pleasure learning with you.

Like I promised – My slides:

This is a slightly reworked Q and A I did for CILIP Update before the keynote, and it provides some context to the talk.

Q. Firstly a little bit about you – Tell us about your current role and the projects are you currently working on.

A.
I am Assistant Library director at Guldborgsund Public Library in the South eastern part of Denmark. We are currently making a FabLab which will open to the Public early 2017.
In my spare time I work as a Global Librarian. I am currently engaged in The Library Avengers and The PL2020 Library Advocacy Lab that works with raising awareness on a political level about EUs 65000 Public libraries.

I am also studying Master of Public Governance at Copenhagen Business School and doing some Consultant work on crowdfunding and making presentations and keynotes about i.e. global librarianship, gamification and libraries and the Library professional development program 23 mobile things that we made in Guldborgsund and expanded world-wide in cooperation with State Library of New South Wales in Australia.

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Q. Your keynote is called ‘Smart libraries create smart communities – towards a visionary strategy for libraries’ – can you give us an insight into what you’ll be discussing?
A.
Last year the Swedish professor Hans Rosling said “You can’t trust the news outlets if you want to understand the world”.
This year the debate after the Brexit vote circulated around the same issue. Was the voters well-informed? The same debate is going on in the US right now with their upcoming election.
We need to invent a place where the public can seek and find fact checked and verified information – wait! We already have such a place. Libraries!
In a world where we compete about knowledge jobs libraries are more important than ever. They are the one place where everyone’s learning is actively supported. This is important to acknowledge when designing library strategy.
I will be discussing that and a whole lot more. You will have to wait until October at ILI to hear the rest 😉
Q. What are your thoughts on how libraries can raise their profile with their communities and with decision makers?
A.
In Denmark the “Open Libraries” where you can lock yourself into the Library for self-service between 7 AM and 10 PM has raised the profile in the community a lot.
Also presenting knowledge in new ways like Guldborgsund Public Librarys gamified treasure Hunt app “Hidden treasures” does.  Via the app you learn about the City’s history as you walk the City and solve puzzles and quizzes. The app is a fun way to engage with the community. Basically getting the Library out of the building and going where people are like we do with the yearly fruit harvest festival is a way to meet people and show them what the Library can do and why the Library matters in their lives.
This is also a good way to engage decision makers but I think working with Library strategy is even more important. If you can tell stories about how the Library changes lives and show politicians and decisionmakers that the Library raises the knowledge level in the community and thereby makes the community smarter. Then you have a good opportunity to continue the conversation with the decisionmakers and get the Library on their agenda.
Q. Times are challenging for many libraries at the moment – how can we stay inspired to focus on long-term strategy?
A.
Every time someone walks into the library or visit us online they need to be inspired or learn something new.
Noble prize winner Jose Saramago (my favorite writer) educated himself at libraries. For some years Cory Doctorow did the same thing.
Libraries change lives. That is very inspiring.
It can be hard to focus on the long-term when budget cuts are so bad as they are in the UK right now. I think it Helps to know that libraries are very well visited and used and that we support learning for people every day. There is more information in the world than ever before. Libraries can navigate this information and support the learning the community needs and inspire people to find good stories and new knowledge. That is a good foundation for a Library strategy.
That is the big picture. I have a “Keep calm and see the big picture” poster on my wall in my office by the way. That is a good reminder about all the above mentioned.
Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A.
Libraries need to work even closer with schools, museums and other parts of the community.
A lot of museums have experts with a lot of knowledge but not many visitors.
Libraries have a lot of visitors. We can work together to present expert knowledge in new ways at libraries – also knowledge about our communities. There is great potential in that kind of cooperation.

Upcoming presentations: The #ILI2016 program is out and I am one of the Keynote speakers.

ILI2016

Smart libraries create smart communities – towards a visionary strategy for libraries. This is the title for my upcoming keynote at Internet Librarian International this October in London, UK.

The aim of #ILI2016 is helping the participants make a difference to their own organization, clients and communities. It is in the conference DNA to make this happen by being a forum for sharing ideas, learning new skills, hearing about new tools and technology, making unexpected connections, discovering practical solutions and exploring new and interesting approaches to librarianship.

I am looking forward to contributing to this with my keynote in which I will share examples of modern world challenges to which libraries are the solution and highlight how this creates the foundation for a clear strategy for libraries in 2016 and beyond.

I am also looking forward to keynotes by Stuart Hamilton and Mia Ridge and to participating in the conference and engaging with all the participants. The program is packed with fine presentations from skilled library and information professionals from all over the world. Check out the full program here. I hope to see you and learn with you at #ILI2016.

Pssst… The program is also available as a PDF

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:

Learning as strategy and 23 mobile things – Workshop at SLNSW

State Library of New South Wales
What is the first good idea you will steal and use in your library? This is one of the questions a buzzing room full of motivated and skilled public librarians discussed at a two-hour workshop at the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney on June 9th. Other themes were what new skills our profession needs and what focus we should have as a profession to actively support leaning in our communities. We also talked about what new skill is on our own bucket list of things we want to learn in the near future.

I think it is very important that we as library professionals are active learners ourselves and that we have a plan for our own learning. This is another way of thinking of ourselves as learning professionals – and I believe it will sharpen our focus on the learning needs of our communities as well. I therefore recommend professional development programs like 23 Mobile Things (Proudly developed in cooperation with State Library of New South Wales own Mylee Jospeh and Kathryn Barwick)

One of the things I will be inspired by in the near future is this very interesting Lifelong Learning Strategy from the City of Canterbury
This is a very good example of a learning strategy that has focus on the community and communicates the importance of the library as an active strategic learning institution to both citizens and the political level.

Another document that was referred to at the workshop is this interesting article from New Zealand about adult learning (Thank you for sharing Michelle)

The more than 60 participants in the workshop had interesting ideas about working together with museums to share the knowledge they have about our communities in new and inventive ways within a library frame – New contacts will be made.
Ideas about how we reach the young people who lack digital skills by talking to the digital skills they actually already have were also a very interesting discussion.
We also shared experiences about makerspaces and agreed that it is more about sharing knowledge and creating stuff together than it is about technology.

Thank you to all of you who participated in the workshop. I was glad to have the opportunity to present my mindset about Global Librarianship for you – and to learn with you during our interesting discussions. I appreciate your feedback and your strong participation – it was a real pleasure to work with you.

And remember: Libraries make their communities smarter.

My slides:

Creative Commons License
This work by Jan Holmquist is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

A librarian walks into a bar…

Jan Holmquist VALA Melbourne

A Friday evening in a bar in Melbourne, Australia. More than 60 librarians is gathered to have a good conversation about libraries, professional development, learning and stealing good ideas!

I was proud to do the keynote this evening about Global Librarianship and 23 Mobile Things, Gamifiction, Buy India a Library – and the amazing Dr. V. – and it was wonderful to meet you all. Talk with 23 Mobile Things participants, and highly motivated library professionals – and share a beer with you after “The concert”.

Thanks for your highly appreciated fantastic feedback – and for the invitation.

The Global Librarian at #EduTechAU

 Global librarian is not a title – it is a choice. Global librarianship is a mindset where you seek inspiration from global projects and translate them into making value in your community.

In my recent presentation at EduTech in Brisbane, Australia I spoke about learning as a core task and strategy for libraries, skills we need to upgrade as librarians and I shared examples of global projects – remixed into local ones. Thank you for a great conference and for the feedback.

Libraries and Learning: Upcoming presentations – See you soon USA and #CILDC

CIL15_Hearme_ButtonLibraries make their communities smarter. This is one of my core beliefs as a librarian and it is what motivates me and gives meaning to the work I do. I know that libraries all over the world work hard every day to bridge the digital divide, support students learning and read to children and thereby giving them a love for and understanding of language to name just a few examples.

One of the reasons I am beyond excited to be a part of Computers in Libraries 2015 is that I am looking very much forward to sharing my thoughts about the library as a strategic learning hub in the community and to share my own learnings from 23 Mobile Things and other library learning projects and learn more myself from the participants in my workshop and session on 23 Mobile Things. These are, as stated above, themes that are very dear to me.
I am also looking forward to meeting up with a lot of people I have known for a long time online, – and it will be my first visit to the USA (Holiday in New York after the conference).
If you are at Computers in Libraries conference I hope to get the chance to meet you and talk libraries with you.

Here is what you can expect from my workshop on Libraries as Strategic Learning Institutions:
Libraries are about enabling people in our communities to learn, unlearn, and relearn. This workshop has a focus on the library as a strategic learning institution that makes the community smarter. Learn more about 23 mobile things and how you can build your own mobile learning experience for staff and customers or members. Take part in a discussion about how we frame the library as an important way to make the community smarter, and find out more about current trends in learning that affect our libraries and the way we enact with people who want to learn

In my presentation on 23 Mobile Things – This will be my focus:
This session explores the potential of mobile tools for delivering library services. It uses the 23 things framework for structuring a learning experience for library staff and customers or members. Learn how to create your own community learning experience, delve into the mobile library world, share experiences with your colleagues and be energized to try new learning methods in your community.

I will also be part of the panel: Decades of Innovation & Tips for the Future
With these smart people:
Marshall Breeding, Independent Consultant, Founder of Library Technology Guides
Jason Griffey, Founder & Principal Consultant, Evenly Distributed LLC
Meg Backus, IT Manager, Anchorage Public Library
Darlene Fichter, GovInfo Librarian, University of Saskatchewan Library

Libraries have experienced incredible change since the first small Computers in Libraries Conference thirty years ago. The realm of library technology likewise has seen dramatic transformation. Breeding, whose career has paralleled CIL, highlights some of the interesting, amusing, and important touchstones marked by this important annual conference. He offers tips on how to stay relevant over time through continual innovation! A panel then presents some technologies we need to be watching over the next few years!

Read more about me at #CILDC