Management training pays off
A study among Danish library directors in the public sector in 2001 compared with a study in 2004 with focus on the public libraries shows that all in all directors in 2004 feel more comfortable and satisfied with their role as leaders and are under less psychological pressure than previously.
Various reasons have contributed to this development. Since 2001 a major process of change has taken place in the general running of the libraries as a result of the new library act which must be said to have been a huge success. The intense concentration on further education and management development has resulted in a tremendous educational upgrading which has made the leaders much more aware of available management tools. A new tendency indicates that women no longer underestimate their knowledge in relation to their male colleagues. The size of the library also turns out to be a strong element, as size of library and the different management roles with their associated tasks, are related. Altogether the study shows that selfawareness in the profession has improved.
The studies which were initiated by the Union of Librarians in collaboration with the Royal School of Library and Information Science, are carried out by senior lecturer Niels Ole Pors.
Swedish cultural policy
Dr. Sven Nilsson addresses himself to Swedish cultural policy in consequence of Sweden having got a new minister for culture, Leif Pagrotsky. He maintains that the enormous potential of Sweden being today a multi-cultural country, must be activated and released, and that the immigrants are not a liability to Sweden. It is the exclusion of them which will prove costly to everybody, as the human development potential freezes into bitterness, frustration and silent rebellion.
Time has gone when cultural policy could be contained in a national agenda and one could reject that which was foreign. The world has changed. With immigrants and a globally published and largely commercial popular culture, it becomes increasingly difficult to define the state in terms of its traditional cultural institutions. Only the libraries have a public which resemble the population average at the moment.
The new cultural policy which must find its form, will have to regard culture in a much wider context and build on the fact that the use of media-based art, culture and entertainment is a dominant and growing activity in society today.
The public library – a place for learning – a route to the knowledge society
In 2005 the Norwegian Library Association launches an important campaign FOKUS 2005 in order to highlight the libraries’ role and opportunities in the society of the future.
The campaign is part of a broad international campaign to expose the libraries of the world and is supported by IFLA, so far about 20 countries participate.
The purpose of the campaign has i.a. been formulated like this: “People use the libraries in many different ways. But most of what is happening in the libraries also involve learning, and it is exactly this aspect of the libraries’ activities that we feel should be accentuated in the years to come.We believe it is necessary to look at the libraries in a larger context than previously.We want to place the emphasis on the public library’s – and consequently also the local authorities’ – role in the knowledge society.