Scandinavian Shortcuts


  • Crowdfunding and libraries

In Herning, the public libraries are tapping into the creativity of the com-munity. The idea is familiar from crowdfunding: a person with an idea for a service, product or event can search financing and support from like-minded people through a virtual platform. Herning Library is experimenting with a similar model in activating library users into co-design of arrangements. The goal is to support user initiatives, engage the users and develop new economic models for financing library events. The project is a collaboration with Hjørring, Aalborg and Aarhus public libraries who to-gether with Herning aim at 30 user-organised events with 300 participants.

Bibliotek og Viden 2012:1

  • Who will lead the libraries of the future?

All library directors in Danish public libraries will be able to send one pro-spective leader to a two-day training: an inspirational conference and a seminar on leadership skills for 150 librarians. The training will take up the new requirements for library leaders: creativity, the ability to formulate a vision and to build partnerships. The reason for the national undertaking is the lack of candidates for middle management positions: a post draws on average three applications. 40 per cent of library staff currently in middle management positions only applied after some direct and personal encouragement from the director. The Da-nish Union of Librarians and the Local Government Denmark will provide the library directors with information to help them recognize and motivate future leaders. A similar initiative would be welcome in Finland where the experiences of library directors resemble those in Denmark.

Perspektiv 2012:1

  • The Mobile project bar

Instead of drinks, the Mobile Project Bar will provide students with information on current research and development projects at the three university colleges of VIA (with 8 campuses in seven localities), Nordjylland and Lillebælt. The browser-based application will be smartphone and tablet compatible and is meant to connect the phy-sical and virtual spaces as Project Bars will also be established on campus. The students will be engaged throughout the innovation process.

The Mobile Project Bar, project description


  • Music coach guiding library users to the right track

Library10 is getting (back) to the core of library service: helping users to find the material they need, suggesting titles, guiding them in the use of the collection. The good old customer service given by professional music librarians is now being offered under the name of music coaching and available for all library users in Helsinki. These personal trainers in the field of music will help you get acquainted with the music genre of your choice, be it cool jazz, bel canto opera or the history of black metal. All music-related questions you never dared to pose before will be answered after an initial interview. The librarian will then draw up a personal listening plan according to your wishes. Service productization clearly works: the newly packaged service has attracted a lot of media attention and users are flooding in.

Library 10 website

  • Librarians (working) behind bars

Social and outreach library work is experiencing something of a boom at the moment with libraries actively seeking local partners and working with the long-term unemployed, users in mental health rehabilitation – and prison inmates. Goodnight stories home is a collaboration between Vaasa City Library and Vaasa Prison helping imprisoned parents to keep in touch with their children at home through storytelling. A group of dads learn about the importance of reading for a child’s development, familiarize themselves with children’s literature and services of the local library. They are also encouraged to read themselves. During the last study group meeting they read and record a bedtime story for their children. The collaboration is based on a model developed in Malmö, Sweden, where the service was started in 2009.

In Aura, the local library has been working with an open prison in teaching IT and information retrieval skills for the soon to be released prisoners. The inmates also took part in a work-shop where the singer and lead guitarist from a Finnish metal band instruc-ted them in writing poetry.

A film clip on Goodnight stories (in Finnish) / Finnish Broadcasting Company

A piece of news on the Aura library and prison collaboration (in Finnish) / Finnish Broadcasting Company

  • Pondus links together Finland-Swedish e-resources

Pondus is a project which brings together a broad spectrum of Finland-Swedish organisations and their web services under one open user interface (API). The Finland-Swedish language minority makes up around 5% of the population and the web resources are many but scattered. The goal is to link both the open access and the licenced resources together with the help of metadata using a modified version of Dublin Core. Pondus will also develop tools and applications such as simple widgets for embedding and linking the data into any website.

Most of the contents are freely accessible: news, information on cultural events, library services and resources for teaching and learning. The partners include newspapers, the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Schildts & Söderströms, the biggest publisher of Swe-dish-langugage literature in Finland and, the national public library web services as well as the national Linked Data Finland project. Pondus is coordinated by the 100-year-old Brages Press Archive which collects, documents and disseminates articles from Swedish-language newspapers, periodicals and other publications.

Project Pondus (in Swedish)


  • Crowdsourcing Norwegian library history

The Norwegian Library Association celebrates its 100-year anniversary in 2013. Libraries and librarians are invited to send in their reminiscences, anecdotes, press clippings, photos and references to any interesting bits of library history. The jubilee wiki already includes over 10 000 pages and thou-sands of articles. The documents contain biographies, presentations of libraries and visualizations of events.

Bibliotekhistorisk wiki  (in Norwegian)

While many of the library staff will remember their first encounter with a Mac, a computer from Apple dating back to 1983 may be ancient history for the students of the University of Oslo. The Informatics Library hosts an exhibition on the theme of user-friendly design during 2012 with computers, films and paraphenalia.



  • Norwegian National Library opens its data

The National Library in Norway is following the policy of other public sectors in the country in making its raw data available. The search API based on open standards and protocols provides search possibilities in metadata and content for client applications. The same goes for the national Library Search and the digital collec-tions of the National Library.

Access to data from the National Library, a blog post


  • Library for all the colours in the rainbow

Hallonbergen Library in Sundbyberg near Stockholm is going to be the first ever LBGT-certified library in Sweden. It is probably one of its kind worldwide as well as the fact that not many countries have introduced a certification system for LBGT-friendly workplaces. RFSL, the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights has already granted a certification for a number of schools and health care centres for being nondiscriminating working environments seen from a LBGT perspective. The staff at Hallonbergen Library will undergo education in LBGT issues which the library sees as a natural follow-up of their work on equality issues. The goal is to guarantee that the library will work strategically towards an open, inclusive and respectful work atmosphere. The library has received a grant from the Swedish Library Association for the development work.

Biblioteksbladet 4/2012, page 26

  • Empolyee driven company to run libraries in Nacka

After a lengthy tendering process, three of the six libraries in the Swedish town of Nacka will continue in municipal management while the public libraries of Älta and Saltsjöbaden will be outsourced to the staff-driven company already running the Dieselverkstad library. The decision was not unanimous but Dieselverkstadens biblioteks Ltd. sees positive opportunites in the new situation: the three libraries now share both staff and collections and are able to offer new services and a more versatile collection for e.g. schools and housebound users. The four-year con-tract has a two-year renewal option.

Newspaper article on the outcome of the tendering process/Nacka Värmdö Posten

  •  Welcome to the world of words!

The University Library of Stockholm and Plattan Library in Kulturhuset, a cultural center in Stockholm, are collaborating on a study of the users’ read-ing and borrowing habits. The two libraries will look into the role of libraries as arenas for democracy, as places of inclusion. The goal is to develop the library as a stage, a scene of action. With financing from the National Library, the project has signed on Malin Isaksson, an author and writing pedagogue, who conducts deep interviews with library visitors on how they use the library and books. During 2012, the project will test pilot programs where the users from the specific target groups will be closely engaged in the process. The project has also set up a reference group of inspiring professionals with different perspectives on dissemination in public spaces. The group includes a photographer who will document the use of library space during the project.

Välkommen till orden blog

  • Libraries helping students with writing assignments

Several Swedish university libraries have produced useful resources for students on how to avoid plagiarism and learning to cite sources correctly. A number of the guides, both web and video tutorials, have been published in English. One of these is Refero, the anti-plagiarism tutorial of the Linnaeus University Library. The tutorial takes about half an hour to go through.

The University of Gothenburg Library has chosen to make a six-minute video giving advice on citing and making references while the Jönköping University has put together a resource called The Interactive Anti-Plagiarism Guide. The forces behind the guide came from the University Library, the Resource Centre for Flexible Learning, the stu-dent union, the School of Education and Communication and the Jönköping International Business School. It is clear that the library plays a central role in instructing the students in IL skills in all of these universities.

Refero – an Anti-Plagiarism Tutorial/the Linnaeus University Library

  • Nordic literature at Göteborg Book Fair 2012

2012 Göteborg Book Fair will be a true Nordic cultural manifestation! In co-operation with the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers, as well as different organisations and publishers from the Nordic region, the Book Fair will focus on Nordic literature in 2012.

- Interest in Nordic literature is growing and growing. And so is in-terest in the Nordic way of life. We have many things to share and much to discuss with others. The internationally renowned Göteborg Book Fair is a wonderful venue for this during 2012, a year of many different anniversaries.

In 2012 the Nordic Council celebrates its 60th anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the awarding of the first Nordic Council literature prize, while 40 plus one years have gone since the Nordic countries agreed to cooperate at a ministerial level, and founded the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Göteborg Book Fair 2012 takes place the 27th-30th September.

Freelance Library Specialist