How can small libraries make a difference?
The long period with positive figures for visits and loans is evidence that the library has become a key institution in the little mountain hamlet of Lom. We believe that this can be explained by physical as well as internal success factors.
Danish development project successfully demonstrates how to renew and develop library services in an attempt to present rural areas as attractive living areas for all kinds of citizens. New skills, such as selling and facilitating, are needed when in contact with citizens. And new outreach services such as reservations on demand and partnerships with both private and public institutions are necessary in future local library activities.
Often, the library is not only a small municipality’s only cultural center, but it is also much more. I interviewed the library directors of a few rather small municipal libraries, and I inquired about where they obtained the resources for the libraries to function so actively.
Offering good library activities within a reasonable distance of all citizens in a thinly populated part of the country is a challenge. Swedish library statistics show that public libraries in the country’s sparsely populated municipalities often find a passable way to offer satisfactory services despite the population not having access to unlimited resources.
Editorial: At the center or on the periphery?
If you are at the center, everything else around you seems like periphery or fringe.
Viewpoint: With the periphery at the center
Some years ago, I (Trude) went to a library in a small Norwegian town, where I intended to write three exam papers in approximately the same number of days. I placed myself in the innermost part of the reading room with all the secondary literature that a library wizard had retrieved from various shelves and on remote loan. My PC was plugged in, hot coffee was at hand, and I was poised for a pro ductive day.