Recent Library Developments

The global in the local – integration and libraries

The public libraries contribute actively and successfully to integration of ethnic minorities into Danish society.

This is documented in a publication that derives from a campaign hosted by the Danish National Library Authority (DNLA) and the State and University Library. The publication also builds on the experiences gained in a three-year library development project from 2002 to 2005. The project was supported by governmental development pools for public libraries administered by DNLA, and as a result many activities in public libraries were intensified and new and innovative projects took off.

The publication highlights the wide range of activities as well as pointing out the potentials for improvement. There are examples of activities that are in the process of developing from specialized into mainstream services. At the same time the classic library services concentrating on acquisition and dissemination of information are performed in new ways and include new media. Consequently, the role of the librarian is also changing. The experiences of librarians who have worked for a shorter or longer period with refugees and immigrants point towards a more outgoing role  a role that will be dependent on cooperation with other libraries and external integration partners.

In addition the publication includes a number of overall reflections, perspectives and tendencies within library services to ethnic minorities. These are provided among others by librarians, a local politician, an integration adviser and a senior lecturer in pedagogical philosophy.

The voices from outside all indicate that the libraries hold the key to Danish society and thus have great opportunities for strengthening the development of an active citizenship.

The publication is aimed at politicians and potential cooperation partners in local administrations, volunteer organisations and education centres – and in libraries.

Ann Poulsen
Danish National Library Authority

BibTeach – the teacher’s electronic toolbox

Most libraries – large or small – hold training sessions for end users on how to use the library, how to use the library catalogue, the international databases and the Internet. Many librarians spend quite a lot of time developing training material and training manuals, and are very good at it, but they do not necessarily possess the educational skills. This is where BibTeach comes in.

BibTeach is a toolbox – a digital guide for end-user training – based on experiences from a number of libraries and developed along the lines of the Bjarne Herskin pedagogical method. All materials have been thoroughly tested before making them available in the toolbox which is  open’ for all libraries to use.

BibTeach is a very successful project. Many libraries wanted to participate and 79 different training materials and manuals were submitted during the course of the project by 36 different libraries. Today more than 10 tested and qualified training manuals and materials are available and many libraries are using BibTeach. New material is now being developed for the next 10 training sessions.

The BibTeach project is financed by The Danish National Library Authority’s Development Pool for Public and School Libraries and is carried out jointly by Herning County Library and The Regional Library of Northern Jutland.

Hanne Marie Kværndrup
Danish National Library Authority

Senior Advisor Agency for Culture and Palaces
Library advisory officer, Danish National Library Authority.