The trade union section of information specialists in the private sector have set up a LinkedIN group where the mem-bers try to translate library jargon into more comprehensible language. Many of the group members need to explain the workings of classification or index-ing to their boss or co-workers in a company where they are the only library professionals. The motto for the group: ôthe more participants, the better the explanations will beö is akin to the idea behind crowdsourcing. By tapping into the knowledge, creativity and experiences of the crowd you are able to accomplish more than on your own.


  • Collaborative art by library users

Fredriksberg Public Library and the National Gallery of Denmark are de-veloping an application which will allow library users to create collaborative art. The user will download part of the work of art, add his or her own touch and upload her version on the platform. The result will be a multifaceted, chaotic but also artistic collaborative virtual mosaic, created by library users. The project brings together libraries as disseminators of media and museums as mediators of the visual. The exciting one-year project started in February with the help of a grant from the Danish Agency for Culture.

  • The future is a joint venture

What do the libraries of the future look like? How can libraries gather evi-dence-based data on users, non-users and the interests and needs of different user segments? These are some of the key questions the new library think tank will try to explore. The national associations of library directors and public, school, research and college libraries have initiated a project where all types of libraries are welcome to take part. A few private companies have also been invited. Many of the challenges libraries are facing today, e.g. digitisation, concern all library sectors which is why collaboration is needed. The Danish library think tank started work in February 2012.


  • Libraries partners in eReading

eReading is a development and research project that began a couple of years ago. One of the aims of the project is to develop business and service models for the distribution of electronic contents. Since 2012 the public libraries, represented by Helsinki City Library as the Central Library for Public Libraries, and the National Library are among the project partners along with several publishing houses. Libraries will develop test en-vironments for ebooks and gather user experiences from library customers.

Also in Sweden the Library Association and the Publishers Association have appointed a working group whose task it is to find a solution to ebook distribution through libraries: to work out a feasible business model for selling electronic books to libraries and lending them out to users.

The 2011 Apps4Finland winners:

  • Librarians on wheels

In May 2011 over 80 librarians from the Nordic countries, Europe and as far as the US cycled from Copenhagen to Berlin. The Cycling for Libraries tour and unconference offered lively discussions on librarianship, a chance for collaborative learning and making libraries and librarians visible outside the library buildings. This year, this popular if somewhat unconventional form of international cooperation and professional education heads for the Baltic countries prior to the WLIC Ifla congress in Helsinki. This is appropriate as the idea for the Cyc4Lib originated in Finland. The 2011 ven-ture is well documented in blogs, pic-tures and videos, which will also be the case with the Baltic tour starting in Vilnius, Lithuania on June 28.

Cycling for Libraries 2011.
The documentary

  • Most wanted! Library data visualized

The Apps4Finland competition looks for useful and fun applications and visualizations of open data. Last year, the special prize for cultural data was awarded to a visualization of the most popular works of fiction in the HelMet (Helsinki metropolitan region) libraries’ collections. The winning entry depicts how the popularity of the most borrowed fiction titles develops over time.
Two billboards based on library open data were also shown on the streets of Helsinki during February as part of the World Design Capital year. The posters representing the most wanted titles and the most popular subject areas of the public library book collections were part of a campaign promoting the visualization of (open) data through the means of information design.

The 2011 Apps4Finland winners


  • Out in the woods: Nordic Camp III

The future of Nordic Labs and a more stable cooperation between them were discussed during the third Nordic Camp, held in Oslo in January. Another theme was the design of user-oriented services: how do we develop services that are simple and attractive to the end-users? The Nordic Labs are an open network of library professionals with the aim of building networks and contributing to competence de-velopment especially in the area of new technologies. With the help of a grant from the National Library, Oslo Public Library had hired a cottage for the 25 participants on the outskirts of Oslo in order to escape the buzz of the city during the two-day workshop. The campers came from public libraries and national or regional labs agencies – and the enthusiastic bunch even managed to fit in a couple of skiing spurts. One of the central ideas behind the informal cooperation is to cut costs by designing joint services – and learning from each other in the process.

  • Musical history of Bergen available to the public

The most interesting projects of today all seem to be the result of cross-
sectoral collaborations. This is also the case with the Musical History of Bergen project where the libraries of the University of Bergen and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and the Edvard Grieg Museum work together with the Bergen Public Library in making the music-related local contents available to all users. The project also explores new methods and tools for the classif cation and linking of digital resources. The material will contain metadata on persons, events, orchestras, bands, pictures, places, articles, books, pub-lishers, ads, concerts and sheet music with a connection to the musical scene in Bergen from 1765 onwards. The public library owns a Grieg archive and the concert programmes of the local orchestra will be scanned and documented. A user interface making use of the potential of linked data will also be designed so that contents from different and diverse sources can easily be discovered and accessed.

  • Information literacy for Ph.D. students

Web-based information literacy instruction, the role of libraries in research and the needs of research library users are being discussed in the Information Management for Knowledge Creation project, a collaborative endeavour between the university libraries of Oslo and Bergen, Bergen University College Library, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration Li-brary and Aalborg University Library in Denmark. The first phase of the project looked at the doctoral students’ information needs and behaviour and studied how the library services answer these needs and support the research process. Interviews with the Ph.D. students and their supervisors in both countries showed that libraries need to be well familiar with the research processes to be able to give adequate help. It has also become clear that an on-going contact with students creates a good relationship with the library. Help and instruction will have to be tailored and offered early on in doctoral studies. The project funded by the National Library of Norway continues until 2013 when the web-based information literacy education modules will be launched.


  • Mobile learning for university students

The University of Borås is one of the first in Sweden to invest in mobile learning. The Library and Information Science department has initiated the development of an application which makes mobile and flexible distance learning possible. As practically every student owns a mobile device the chance to follow lectures and communicate with teachers is welcomed by the students.
Biblioteksbladet nr 8, 2011

  • Letters to numbers

All the library sectors in Sweden are considering switching from their current classification system to Dewey. This is a result of the National Library making the decision to start using the Dewey system in 2011. A project administered by The National Library charted the needs of public and school libraries at the turn of the year fol-lowed by a pilot project with Sigtuna municipal library. Sigtuna began the transition from the Swedish SAB classification system to Dewey in January. Although the individual organisations make their decisions independently, many of the public, school, academic and special libraries have already chosen to make the move. To make it easier for the libraries, the National Library is organising staff training, ranging from introductory days to week-long courses and regular webinars.

Biblioteksbladet nr 9, 2011

  • New kind of tablets for hospital patients

The Uppsala University Hospital Library is quick to introduce new technologies. In addition to books, magazines, newspapers, music and films, the hospital library offers dvd and cd players for loan. A librarian visits the different care units once a week but patients can also book a visit from the staff to their bedside. Last autumn the library piloted the use of tablet pc’s at the hospital in different departments. Patients and their family are able to access the internet, read ebooks or use the iPads provided by the library for playing games.


Freelance Library Specialist