Scandinavian Shortcuts

DENMARK
Danes go to the library – even on the day of restEvery year new libraries choose to open their doors on Sundays. But the municipalities find themselves in the dark – they want an investigation into how great the need for Sunday opening really is.

Already 12 years ago Valby public library chose to open on Sundays. Today the whole country has joined in. This winter Aalborg in Jutland opted for the scheme and ‘Open on Sundays’ has proved a great success. During the four hours opening time, the main library has about 500-700 visitors. On weekdays where the library is open for 9 hours there are about 1,500 visitors. It is typically families with young children who visit the library on Sundays.

Not all major cities offer Sunday opening hours yet. It is not altogether without consequences to offer this facility – many libraries finance the Sunday hours by cutting down on opening hours during the rest of the week. Former minister for culture, Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen says, “I would like the individual library to find out what their customers really need in terms of opening hours and then act upon it. I think it is important that libraries follow society’s development. And after all, we would not actually die if the library closed on Mondays and opened on Sundays instead.

Bibliotekspressen, 8/2006

NORWAY
Top tuned for meeting young people

Kristin Aldo from Gjøvik Public Library is ready to discuss literature with young people in Oppland. She has prepared herself by training body language and voice production. Kristine and her colleagues have formed a team with a professional actor as instructor.

The libraries in Oppland dispatched all members of staff to a course in body language and communication. This was the libraries’ first partial goal. Following that everyone working specifically with communication went on a more intensive course.With a professional actor as instructor, the participants have been working both by themselves and as a group, and the results have been so encouraging that the course has given people fresh energy to test new methods.

The course in communication and dissemination is designed to make the libraries ‘play in teams’ to develop services and exchange competences. In the future librarians must work across municipal borders, and not just lead separate lives in each individual library, developing ideas on their own. The initiative is part of the ‘Blest project’ which i.a. contributes to the development of better library services and a rationalisation of the running procedures of the libraries.

Bibliotek Forum, 2/2006

SWEDEN
A library in honour of Anna Lindh

A new library has been inaugurated on new premises at The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, named The Anna Lindh Library. The library is a merging of the libraries of The National Defence College and The Royal Institute of International Affairs. The Anna Lindh Library’s ambition is to become the leading library in the North on defence, security and foreign policy. It is a research library as well as a meeting place for people interested in foreign policy.

Among the guests at the inauguration was Anna Lindh’s husband, Bo Holmberg and the president of UN’s General Assembly, Jan Eliasson. Anna Lindh was very much present in everyone’s words and thoughts as they were expressed at the inauguration.

Biblioteksbladet, 10/2005

Translated by
Vibeke Cranfield