Libraries and volunteers

Volume 47 NO. 1 2014

The Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) and the minority organization LIN (Equality, Inclusion and Networking), collaborate on a joint outing in the forest. Photo: LIN.Wooing the volunteers

Libraries and other public institutions in Norway focus on collaboration with volunteers like never before. Volunteerism is far more than just unpaid work. Why are groups and associations of volunteers attractive partners, and what opportunities do they represent for the libraries?


Voluntary language learningBarbara Vehrs. Photo: Annika Hjerpe

Would you like to practice your language skills without being corrected or graded by a teacher, in an informal and relaxed environment? Then perhaps a language café in a library, led by a volunteer, is the thing for you. The idea is to get away from the concept of school.

BeritNilsen and ElsaHansen-Steen. Photo: National Library of NorwayPublic library knock-outs

Hit it! Come on! Keep it coming! The cheering from the
enthusiastic crowd ringside rises in volume. The opponent
in the boxing ring is shaken, but soon recovers. A knock-out
in extra time brings home the victory and the cheering rises
to fever pitch!

Editorial: Digital inclusion in Sweden

In Sweden, we have been talking more and more about digital inclusion over the last few years. One starting signal was when the study “Swedes and the Internet”, compiled yearly by the Internet Infrastructure Foundation and the World Internet Institute, showed that almost twenty percent of Sweden’s residents didn’t use the Internet.

Illustration of USE=VALUE and its relation to both digitisation & accessibility. Developed by Miriam Lerkenfeld & Tobias GolodnoffViewpoint: USE=VALUE

Towards the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, it was heavily debated in Denmark how best to explore and exploit our national heritage in order for society to both secure our archives and benefit from the (potential) values stored in them.

Manifold collections need different approaches to digitization procedures.Digital service: In the spotlight for crowdsourcing

Anyone surfing the net is able to collect images, advertisements and articles from the DIGI Newspapers Library – the most popular digital service of the National Library of Finland (NLF) digital services. As a user, you can clip items of interest and share them on social media. By providing comments, you are also able to add to the available information about these digital collections.

Margareta Swanelid. Photo: Annika HjerpeNew management: Library as corporation

Dieselverkstaden AB is a private company that runs three public libraries in Sweden. It believes in diversity and operates without directors, because hierarchies are seen as obstacles and employees as a source of knowledge. Its libraries are governed by the same laws and rules as every other library – it has to be a democratic meeting place and it must be free to use.

Organizational evaluation capacit. Illustration: Ingelise KonradLibrary and users: BIBDOK

Libraries can use BibDok for documenting the results and effects of their various user-oriented initiatives. With documented knowledge of what works and why, libraries are better prepared to qualify their efforts, strengthen their priorities and to communicate their relevance to citizens and politicians.