Scandinavian Shortcuts


Partying at the National Library Not all libraries, even national libraries, can accommodate 2 600 students on its premises. The National Library of Denmark can, and celebrated for the second time the start of the academic year with a party for Students Only, which is in fact the name of a cultural network for college, polytechnic and university students in Copenhagen but also elsewhere in the country. The library building, called the Black Diamond, was transformed into a night club offering music, poetry, video and sound artists. The well-received arrangement increased the number of network members by 25 percent.

Bibliotekspressen 19.10.2010

Would you like to hear a story?

How can I help you? In Herning Library’s children’s department the staff have thrown away the desk and instead, are strolling between the shelves and talking with the users.While some patrons were worried that the librarians had been sacked, children have welcomed the closer interaction with the staff. The goal of the project is to create links between staff and children at the children’s level. While the initial worries of ‘how will the users find us’ or ‘what do I do when there are no children at the library’ have slowly faded, the staff have noticed how the extra attention the children get can make a difference to the atmosphere at the library – and in the lives of the children.

Bibliotekspressen 16/2010


The library of your dreams

Even if it is about one local library, the main public library in Helsinki, the project of planning a new library building has attracted attention in the whole of Finland. The library is meant be ready in 2017, but already the users can tell how they would like the library to look and function. The online ‘Tree of Dreams’ is hung with leaves describing the hopes and dreams of library users. All dreams will be harvested by the library and some ideas will be realised in branches even before the new library takes shape. “A quiet and peaceful corner with comfy chairs where you can take a nap listening to music.” “Silent areas.” “Short story hours for the grown- ups.” “Arrangements for singles and the lonely” were among the wishes from the public.

Let them eat porridge

The secret weapon against social exclusion at Enontekiö Public Library in Lapland is porridge! Morning porridge is served four days a week as part of the ESR project, Step by step, which strives to help people in danger of being marginalised in society. The target groups include the long-term unemployed, mental health rehabilitation patients, the mentally disabled and young people without work or study place. As the library has long opening hours, a low threshold and friendly staff, it is a perfect addition to the project.


Literature festival

All the libraries in the region of Akershus took part in the week-long literature festival in October 2010. All in all, 200 arrangements were organised as part of the festival and the national ‘Year of Reading’. The libraries had been worried about the Norwegian results in the Pisa study and strengthened the cooperation with the schools. As a result, the use of the libraries has increased and in many cases the children have brought their whole family with them to the library. The festival week consisted of readings, exhibitions, author visits and a literature quiz. One library hosted a rap evening, a Halloween party and a teddy bear birthday party for the children. In line with the fun programme, the press conference for the festival was arranged in the mobile library.

Romerikes Blad 20.10.2010

Nordic kickoff time at a library near you

Dozens of Norwegian (as well as Danish and Swedish) libraries offered all kinds of games for their users on the ‘Nordic Game Day’ on 13th November. Library users were able to compete in the Nordic championships in Wiibowling, or for the local title in the card game of Magic. SingStar and GuitarHero are already old favourites at libraries but more traditional board games were also on the agenda.


Book circles on the internet – a joint venture by Swedish libraries

What started as the endeavour of one enthusiastic librarian has luckily been offered a permanent home when the regional central libraries together take over the mainte- nance of the BookCircles web site. BookCircles was created by Nina Frid in 2007 and has developed into a meeting place for book lovers with lively discussions and book tips. The libraries involved have got funding for a year which means that Frid can continue as editor on a part-time basis. She has also, together with two active participants in BookCircles edited a collection of blog texts from the site called ‘You Are Among Book Friends’. Literature is alive and kicking on the internet.

Biblioteksbladet 8/2010

Culture to go gets a prize in Stockholm

Stockholm Public Library, Stockholm Public Transport and the City of Stockholm were awarded a prize by the Chamber of Commerce for making the city environment a better place to live. The jury commended the way the three subway libraries at metro stations have brought culture closer to the people who gather and move about at the stations every day. As the prize included a fourth placard it may well be that there will be more subway libraries in the future.

Biblioteksbladet 6-7/2010

Selected by
Päivi Jokitalo

Freelance Library Specialist