Scandinavian Shortcuts


Around the Clock Library

The inhabitants of Slagelse were happy to visit their local public libraries at all hours of the day in late April. The around the clock library events were organised around the theme of the brain with talks, music, presentations, magic as well as seductive and “brainfriendly” food and more. The speakers included a member of parliament, a chef, a poet and a brain researcher. The programme designed to activate the brain cells went down well with the library users and the around the clock library is likely to become a yearly event.

(Danmarks biblioteker 4 : 2009)

Bagfuls of books for dairy workers

Meeting the residents on their turf and deepening the bond with the local community were some of the goals of the Aabenraa Public Libraries’ outreach project where library services are being marketed to new users groups. The ‘Readery’ offers library services for the workers of the Naturmælk dairy right at their workplace. As most of the workers are men between the ages of 35 and 40, they represent a new and demanding user group who are not familiar with the services of their local library. The library has picked out and packaged 25 bags of books on topics such as local history, cars and motorcycles, sports, garde-ning, children’s books and detective stories. Over 20% of the staff at the dairy have so far made use of the book selection. The library has set out clear and welldefined goals for the Readery: by the end of the first year 80% of the dairy workers will have borrowed books and 50% of the staff will be regular borrowers. The library also aims at encouraging half of the staff, together with their families, to become registered users at their local library.

(Danmarks biblioteker 3 : 2009)

Teenage journalists at work at the local l ibrary

Junior 2791 is an online journal written and edited by teenage journalists for teenage readers with editorial offices in the library director’s office. Dragør municipality allocated an extra 30 000 DKK. for the journal the first two years but from this year Junior 2791 is on its own finan-cially. Finding editors for the journal has been easy and shcool children are queing up for their turn. The editorial staff work together with two children’s librarians but it is the shcool children themselves who come up with ideas for articles and people to interview. The topics so far have included divorce, furnishing your room, bad excuses and film reviews.

(Bibliotekspressen 10 : 2009)


National Digital Library for improved access

The National Digital Library Project aims to improve access to the materials of Finnish museums, archives and libraries by designing a common user interface for all their collec-tions. The project started in 2008 and runs until 2011 when the search system should be in place. The next stage is to resolve how the long term preservation of digital materials will best be arranged. The project brings together all the memory organisations including the four library sectors of research, polytechnic, research institute and public libraries. The subproject of user interface design is coordinated by the National Library while the National Archive runs the subproject of designing the long term preservation solution. The pilot organisations for the joint search system include the public libraries of Turku and the whole metropolitan region of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. Kirjastolehti.;

Libraries on WelfareTV

The WelfareTV offers interactive services and TV program-mes for the elderly and their carers in the city of Espoo. It is a cooperation between the local polytechnic, the city of Espoo, a teleoperator and an IT company. The broadband connection and the touch screen function guarantee online communication with the staff. Espoo City Library has been broadcasting since autumn 2008 bringing the library services closer to the housebound users. The library staff are able to present new books and services online, answer questions and discuss with the users. Booktalk topics have included cats and biographies. Listeners have been able to participate on the music panel where they have been able to rate and comment on music from the past decades. As part of the city’s 500th anniversary the library broadcast songs composed by the library’s own troubadour, a perfor-mance which proved to be especially popular among the viewers. The staff feel the virtual customer contact is personal and direct and functions well as part of the outreach services.

Kirjastolehti blog


Reading ‘ombudsmen’ gather at the library

The Klepp Public Library acts as a training centre and contact point for the local reading ombudsmen: a group of volunteers aged 19-87 who read to the elderly and people with mental problems. The latest target group for reading aloud events arranged at the library are young immigrants. According to the local librarian who acts as a contact person for the voluntary ‘ombudsmen’, considering the outcome, the activities do not require too much of her time: the librarian updates the book selection, familiarises the volunteers with the role of the ombudsman and takes part in 2-3 meetings a year.

(Bok og bibliotek 3 : 2009)

Library as bearer of tradition

Most libraries have a considerable amount of material on Christmas traditions, Christmas food, carols etc. During last Easter the public library of Ski noticed how little information and material there is on Easter, in comparison. The library wanted to act as a tradition bearer and make visible the traditions around Easter time by arranging story-times, exhibitions and presentations around the theme. One of the most popular items on the agenda was the serving of pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.

(Bok og bibliotek 2 : 2009)


Reading ‘ombudsmen’ caring for the elderly

As in Norway, the public libraries inSweden also support the volunteer reading ombudsmen in their valuable work. Malmö City Library has organised training for the staff who work with the elderly. As in Klepp in Norway, librarians act as contact persons for the ‘ombudsmen’. The six gatherings during the reading ‘ombudsmen’ course included a guided tour of the library, books tips and presentations, practices in story-telling and the techniques of reading aloud plus the invaluable exchange of experiences. An author/ dramatist has also instructed and inspired the ‘ombudsmen’ on several occasions. Feedback from the workshops shows that the ‘ombudsmen’ were happy with the training and support they got from the library: the study circle made them more aware of the importance and significance of reading aloud to the elderly. Taking part in the training also increased their knowledge of what the library can offer – and added to their job satisfaction.

(Biblioteksbladet 5 : 2009)

PocketChock in Essunga Public Library

All school children in Essunga will read a book of their own choice and pass it on to someone else. To promote the books they have read the pupils are being instructed in how to give book tips and booktalk online: on YouTube, local reading blogs and other websites. The books are selected and purchased by the pupils’ council, the municipal youth council and the pupils themselves which makes them more motivated and engaged in the project.

Sundbyberg invests in public libraries during recession

In Sundbyberg the municipality has made the wise but all too uncommon decision of increasing the library materials budget by 30% during the recession. The aim is to buy more children’s books, foreign language materials, talking books and books most in demand. A new modern library space is also being planned in Hallonbergen. By investing in libraries during economic decline the municipality intends to support especially the target groups of children, immigrants and the elderly. As the chair of the local committee for culture and recreational activities stated, over 90% of the Swedes consider the public libraries to be important for a well-functioning society which makes it even more essential to invest in libraries in times of recession.

(Biblioteksbladet 4 : 2009)

Selected by
Päivi Jokitalo

Freelance Library Specialist