Scandinavian Library Quarterly » Front Pages Tue, 13 Dec 2016 13:37:24 +0000 en hourly 1 Volume 49 NO. 4 2016 Mon, 12 Dec 2016 06:13:22 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Photos: CC0/Photomontage: Annika HjerpeRobots, holograms and libraries

They are among society’s most important institutions and robotic butlers work in their archives. Your toaster can connect to their database and help you to cook. The lion’s share of their premises is used for research and teaching but they still go by the name library

The poetry machine at Greve Library. An installation consisting of three books with sensors, where you can compose you own poem. Photo: Anders RosénThe libraries are filling up with literature in new ways

There are significantly fewer books on the shelves in Danish libraries. At the same time the libraries prioritize the promotion of literature higher than ever before and inspired by the world of art, they are developing the kind of promotion that will ensure their raison d’etre in a future cultural landscape.

The People’s Workshop, a makerspace for music and 3D design. Photo: Tom Atle BordevikTime for change: Library development 2016

Over the last 100 years, the local libraries have changed from books behind a counter to open shelves and self-service. Modern ideas about libraries in 2016 indicate that they should be ‘a third place’, a meeting place which is neither a home nor a workplace. Increasingly the users themselves are not only active participants, but also those who generate content.

Building addiction

When one third of your ten million annual web visits are from mobile devices, it’s a no-brainer to think of an app. Still, an attempt to produce a habit-forming killer solution for a public library sounds impossible, but the Taskukirjasto (Pocket Library) application of Vantaa City Library in Finland seems to have done the magic. As ever, there’s a simple secret behind the trick.

Photo: Elspeth RandelinViewpoint: No more Ssshhh!

Libraries are quiet places. I can understand the sentiment to some degree as quiet places are hard to find and the space is for everyone and must be respected. However I struggle with the idea that a school library should be a quiet place. Seems to me like a contradiction in terms.

The Consortium of Icelandic Libraries provide professional services to the libraries and patrons.Necessity is the mother of invention

Since 2001 libraries in Iceland have cooperated on a nationwide basis through the company Landskerfi bókasafna hf. (e. Consortium of Icelandic Libraries). The company was originally founded by the state and the municipalities in Iceland.

Editorial: Entering the digital terrain – do we (really) have a compass and a map?

Librarianship seems to be one of the professions the media has a romantic and stereotypical image of: we are the silent servants and caretakers of lovely old books; we dust and cherish them and want to share this passion with our customers. Most of our time is spent stamping books in the backroom, and we usually do all this without pay.

This is the very last issue of Scandinavian Library Quarterly

SPLQ and SLQ covers12-12-2016: This webbsite will not be updated anymore but we will leave it here with all the texts published in Scandinavian Library Quarterly and Scandinavian Public Library quarterly, available for everyone to read. 

]]> 0 Volume 49 NO. 3 2016 Wed, 12 Oct 2016 06:16:59 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Libraries, librarians, skills and competencies

The debate about the skills and competencies needed in a library, and the degree to which these are matched by the skill sets of librarians often appears to be based on a mishmash of personal needs, general trend analyses, professional infighting and ambiguous demands on the education sector. This is a pity, because it makes it difficult to launch a much-needed discussion about the competencies needed in libraries and the future development of librarian training courses.

Wilhelm Widmark. Photo: Annika HjerpeThe future is here

When Wilhelm Widmark became the Director of the Stockholm University Library, five years ago, he decided that all new recruitments should be assessed and determined by the entire management team because all recruitments need to be strategic. This strategic thinking has led to changes within the staff at the library. Those with the skills and expertise needed for the future have already been hired.

Value compassInventing oneself in the research library profession

“I want to be a research librarian”, a newly minted graduate of philosophy told us a couple of months ago. She sees research libraries as being in a process of tremendous change and as a place where she might carve an exciting career for herself. We have reached the conclusion that her wish is genuine and heartfelt. So how are we going to help her?

Saara Ihämaki. Photo: Susanne AhlrothExtensive expertise, curiosity and capacity to collaborate

In the future, what are the most critical questions of a library’s HR manager? I met Saara Ihamäki, deputy library director of the Helsinki City Library, and we discussed future library work and expertise for a little while.

Photo: Susanna HagmanViewpoint: Reading Dogs 

During my early years as a teacher I read an anthology called Please Mrs Butler. The poem, “Slow Reader”, written as struggling readers read: “I – am – in – the – slow- read-ers group…” moved me to tears then and still does today. This child’s siblings had found fame in school in the football team or the Christmas play, but this little one’s claim to fame was being in the group for slow readers. The last line, “…I-hate-it”, is the line that goes straight to my heart.

Editorial: The competent library

Is a library competent? Not really, library staff are competent and the subject of Competencies in the library is of great importance for leaders and for members of staff.

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Volume 49 NO. 1–2 2016 Tue, 28 Jun 2016 13:32:42 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> The Öresund/Øresund Link is a bridge and tunnel connecting Sweden and Denmark. Since it opened in 2000 it has contributed to increased collaboration between the two cities Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden and the two cities are part of the community of the Öresund/ Øresund area. Photo: NASA/Public domainHappy together

Libraries create well-being through connections, collaborationand community. Collaboration between libraries, their connectionsto other local actors and functioning as a meeting placein their own area strengthens the local community. The library also facilitates networking among associations, organizationsand individual patrons.

A book from the Rosenthaliana Library in Amsterdam, which was plundered by the Nazis and taken to the Institute for Study of the Jewish Question in Frankfurt. Some time during battle, at the end of the war, it was hit by a bullet, probably from an allied soldier. Photo: Anders RydellLibraries are vital meeting places

Last autumn, the books in the library in Ramsberg, a small community in northern Västmanland, disappeared! A group of villagers took 4,700 books from the shelves to a “secret hiding place”. The politicians in Lindesberg Municipality had decided that the residents of Ramsberg did not need their own library.

A new map of Reykjavik. Photo: Kristín HauksdóttirThe new human landscapes of Iceland

As the world looks today – and maybe has done always – the human landscapes are in a constant state of change. The movement of people and the changes in the ‘landscapes’ is a fact that has to be considered in social, educational and cultural areas and services provided in society.

Health information at the Nordland fylkesbibliotek. Photo: Nordland fylkesbibliotekInformation literacy and health literacy

In Norway there is little mention of health information in the public libraries’ strategy plans and there is little mention of public libraries in the strategy plans of the health authorities.

The Salutogenic basic model. Illustration: Peter ThyboThe library plays an active part in issues of health care

Can the library contribute to public health apart from providing knowledge? Based on a wider health concept, public health services and the library in Ikast-Brande municipality are working together on creating increased quality of life and mental health for mentally vulnerable youngsters and adults.

Reading at the Rikhardinkatu Library in Helsinki. Photo: Susanne AhlrothReading, libraries and well-being

Reading is not only fun and invigorating, it also has many other positive effects on a person’s quality of life and well-being. One of the fundamental missions of public libraries has always been to support people’s reading habits and promote literature. A number of surveys pertaining to the use of the library have also indicated that libraries are still a significant part of people’s lives in precisely this way.

Editorial: The library as a ‘free zone’

Every now and then, we take a step back from our everyday assignments and become incredibly aware of the business we work in. Freedom of speech and freedom of opinion – that is what we work with. For me and many others, this has become even clearer over recent years in a Europe with acts of terrorism and refugees. The world is closing in on us, ever present in our daily lives – and democratic principles are put to the test.

The Swedish singer and last year’s winner of the Eurovision song contest, Måns Zelmerlöw takes a reading break. Photo: Therese Andersson/Blick bildbyråViewpoint: “May the force be with you”

Our challenge, school library colleagues, is already upon us. Time for story reading is disappearing. Before our very eyes the special, almost holy ‘story at bedtime’ ritual is slowly but surely being obliterated. So I say to you in school libraries everywhere “May the force be with you”. May we rise to meet the challenge that is facing us and may we emerge victorious.

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Volume 48 NO. 4 2015 Mon, 14 Dec 2015 13:47:32 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Photo: Annika HjerpeWe need your help

We want to know what you think about SLQ. Therefore we have made a survey and we hope that you want to participate and contribute with your answers. The questionnaire is web based and you can find it here:

Study groups need to share sources and digital access is on its way to overtake the book. Photo: Aslak OrmestadFrom “just in case” to “just in time”

Specialist and research libraries are undergoing changes, also in terms of the way they develop their collections. One development is the change from paper-based to digital collections. But the most important trend is the increased use of sources of knowledge. Book borrowing is only slightly on the decline, while digital downloads are shooting ahead.

Overview promises quality digital text licenses Photo: ColourboxKnowledge and perspetive exchange quality of digital text licenses

Excel work sheets, Google Docs and mail correspondences. Those were the tools for handling digital text licenses in Danish public libraries only just a year ago. Today they have been replaced by the digital system ‘Consortia Manager’, a system that has proved that a broader perspective is the way to enhance the quality of digital text licenses offered by public libraries to their patrons.

Sometimes it is necessary to weed and Madelein Enström knows how to get started. Photo: CC0What and why and when, and how and where

Libraries are democracy projects. One of the pillars of building a democracy is education, another is libraries. By safeguarding freedom of speech and freedom of information for all, libraries contribute to the maintenance of a living democracy. This forms the basis for starting a collection development policy.

Hämeenlinna City Library. Photo: Varpu VallbackaThe Hämeenlinna model

The Hämeenlinna City Library is a mid-sized provincial library that has boldly upgraded its course of actions since the 1990s. For a long time now, we have been among the top libraries in Finland to develop our online services, and we have been a pilot in the development of library services.

Editorial: Hunting for customers

No one can know it all, and that’s why people still need to get together.

I met with other national library directors in Cape Town during an IFLA conference. The future holds many megatrends: consolidation, regulation and globalisation. GAFA – Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook – are well aware of this. They are continuing their merciless global domination. The world is being split in half: into barbarians and humanists. Shades of grey are also acceptable.

Illustration: Helena BergendahlViewpoint: Things are different in a good way

The other day I met with Gita Wolf from Tara Books in Chennai, India, at Gothenburg City Library. She was visiting Gothenburg to talk about her publishing house, which works with amazing handmade books and traditional techniques. Now she wanted to see the library, and we decided to meet up there for lunch.

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Volume 48 NO. 3 2015 Tue, 29 Sep 2015 13:49:32 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Photo: Annika HjerpeHelp us evaluate SLQ

We want to know what you think about SLQ. Therefore we have made a survey and we hope that you want to participate and contribute with your answers. The questionnaire is web based and you can find it here:

The libaries’ democratic function stands firm

Participation of secret service agents, media storms, ministerial inquiries and then, this February, the firings of arms, are some of the things that events in Danish libraries and cultural centres have encountered over the past couple of years. This, however, will not influence the character and nature of events to come in Danish libraries.

Swedish author and illustrator Stina Wirsén created in 2012 a fictional character, “Lilla Hjärtat”, who became a popular figure in her books for children. A few years later however it was criticised for being a racist stereotype. Photo: Ulf StromquistPower, violence, bodies and boundaries

In public discourse of late, also when the roles of libraries are debated, the topics of racism and anti-racism in Sweden are prevalent. In the context of our current climate, I allude to discussions exemplified by the inclusion or exclusion of Tintin in the Congo in the TioTretton Library in Stockholm and the discussions on antiquated norms and values with the re-release of early Swedish children’s and youth literature, the use of the Swedish ‘N’ word, and Stina Wirsén’s character Lilla Hjärtat (The Little Heart) with its debate aftermath regarding racist stereotypes.

Photo: CC0Transparency and redefining boundaries

In the last decades, international comparative studies have indicated that Finland has become known as the country with the least amount of corruption and relatively extensive freedom of speech. The transparency that began in the 1900s has been reinforced through political and administrative factors and through the internet as a new form of communication. At the same time, developments in the internet era have led to the redefinition of the boundaries of freedom of speech and to new facets of conflict.

From an open debate 2014 at Deichmanske Library, Oslo, about the library's new role after the ‘debate clause’ was introduced. Photo: Anders EricsonThe new independent ‘debate libraries’ of Norway

Both Swedish and Norwegian library laws were revised last year and included new, radical formulations that promote democracy through debate and exchange of opinions in the library. In Norway the chief librarian has even been given the status of an independent editor of debates, in line with newspaper editors.

Editorial: Freedom of speech: MORE than free and equal access to information

As a public institution of enlightenment, the library is in a position to safeguard one of modern democracy’s most important building blocks: Freedom of speech.

Workshop with Romanian librarians at Biskops Arnö in Sweden. Photo: Helena BergendahlViewpoint: Creating a library for children

It was in 2009 that, for the very first time, I came to Georgia, the little country that lies between the Greater and Lesser Caucasus on the Black Sea coast. The author Marie Oskarsson and I were both members of our respective boards – in my case for Svenska Tecknare (Association of Swedish Illustrators and Graphic Designers) and, in Marie’s case, for the Children and Youth section of the Swedish Writers’ Union.

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Volume 48 NO. 1–2 2015 Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:57:25 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Audio book. The Preiser ProjectFlickr CC BYThe right to read

In Sweden, the state is responsible for the production of audio books as well as for the central lending facility for these books. The Swedish Agency for Accessible Media (MTM) is a government agency that supplies books for people with reading impairments which includes talking books, Braille books, e-textbooks, tactile picture books and sign language literature.

Not there yet

Good management data contribute to highlighting the impact of investment in library services. But do Norwegian university and college libraries have access to the management data that they need?

Fig. 1: ‘coral reefs’ in YSOThe future of metadata: Open, linked and multilingual

With an overwhelming amount of material and data being published globally in a wide range of formats, locating and accessing relevant information can be a challenge. Both tools and practices of metadata production and management should be developed to answer to the needs and possibilities of the open Semantic Web environment.

Early morning reader in the ‘cave’. Photo: Aalborg Public LibrariesOpen libraries in Aalborg A great success

Since 2008, the Aalborg Public Libraries in North Jutland have been concentrating on accessibility in the municipal libraries by establishing a sensible mix of serviced and self-service opening hours. With small steps to begin with, later with bigger gestures – to the obvious delight of the citizens.

Editorial: Library and accessibility

The direction taken by libraries over the next decade will shape not only the library itself, but also our perception of the role of the library for the rest of the century.

Viewpoint: Do illustrations enhance the accessibility of texts?

“I have written a serious text, so there is no need for any illustrations,” said an author to the publishers who requested me to illustrate one of his scientific articles. He, like several of his colleagues, believes that images imply that their texts risk appearing as lightweight. But where scientific texts are concerned, the image is one of the most effective instruments.

Figure 1. Patronage patterns of the library network in the Helsinki region, formulated service area for Arabianranta local library and public transportation accessibility to Arabianranta local library. Illustration: Jaani LahtinenMy neighbour is probably like me

In a globally oriented world, the significance of locality is easily overlooked. In management, we tend to demand complex, service-related information and think on a spatial scale, which is far too expansive, to capture the true essence of our operational environment. Reversing this way of thinking may be more useful. Simplifying service demand definitions and increasing awareness of local level needs offers new insights into library management.

An example of new library events: Librarians from Lyngby-Taarbæk main library presents the library's annual ‘cake competition’ in conjunction with the trade association “Life in Lyngby days”. Photo: Lyngby-Taarbæk LibraryThe public libraries in Denmark in figures

The public library in Denmark in the year 2013 has changed significantly. Societal and technological changes have meant that today the public library handles tasks that supplement the classic library service with its main emphasis on information and mediation of the materials.

Photo: Simon CunninghamFlickr CC BYThe route to comprehensive national library statistics

Sweden now has a comprehensive system for nationwide library statistics from all publicly funded libraries. This is how we did it.

Figure 1. Relationship between indicators of funding and usage in the 26 public libraries in Oppland County in 2013.Library usage and resources

Some public libraries are situated in grand new buildings while others are located in shabby brick buildings from the early 70’s. Some public libraries focus strongly on new and innovative library services and others are run in a much more traditional fashion. But regardless of all other aspects – how much does the economy of the library influence its usage?


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Volume 47 NO. 4 2014 Wed, 17 Dec 2014 09:09:09 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Nursing students studying. Photo: Arne-Harald SteilbuPartnerships produce strong and relevant libraries 

Partnerships are a source of development and strength. Through collaboration with other competence institutions we can build relevant libraries that can fulfil their role in society. This may be difficult, but it is absolutely necessary.

Mikael Petrén Photo: Annika HjerpeLibrary in partnership with publisher

In 2012, Swedish libraries could only use one distributor for e-books, Elib, with one model for e-books and a single, set fee for libraries to pay. The publishing house Ordfront decided not to join Elib, thus, no libraries could let their users borrow any of Ordfront’s e-books. This frustrated the Stockholm Public Library and so, to solve the problem, the library formed a partnership with this publishing house.

Nichesourcing – a new form of research partnership for libraries

With the arrival of new metadata models, vocabularies and tools, cataloguing in libraries will step into a more multidimensional metadata world in the upcoming years. Record-based cataloguing will be replaced with the linking of metadata, which means creating relationships between entities. Through these relationships, the metadata are linked to each other resulting in a metadata network extending across organisational, sector or national borders.

Lokal partnerships create new institution

The concept for a new kind of cultural institution is the first milestone in an ambitious plan to merge and redesign the library, museum and local archive in the small town Maribo in the Danish southern province. A report on how to do it has been politically approved. It may well be a model for many towns in a similar situation.

Photo: Celia LibraryA library for all – including people with print disabilities

A print-disabled person is a person who cannot effectively read print because of a visual, physical, perceptual, developmental, cognitive, or learning disability. How do public libraries serve these users? What types of services and books are available to them? How large on average is the number of people with print disabilities?

Editorial: Are we really so international?

For national libraries, there is really no difference between being national or international. Every national library around the world encounters similar issues. The Nordic countries are true leaders in many of these issues: Norway is, hands down, the leader of digitisation, Iceland is the leader of seamless solutions (free access to web archives for all), Sweden has gained a good reputation for making functional general plans, Finland has been a forerunner in web archiving, digitisation, the digital library system (the nationwide Finna), et cetera, and Denmark – they know themselves how good they are…

Viewpoint: Value creation through partnerships
Releasing our institutions’ full public service potential!

In DR’s (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) Cultural Heritage project we have focused on USE=VALUE. Value can be very tricky and hard to measure, whereas in my experience value through partner-ships can be much easier to measure – especially when partnerships are used in areas where you normally would measure your results. And in my mind, they are the only way we can fully release the enormous potential we and our institutions have as public service institutions.

Mayor Charles Tøsse reads poetry amid spectacular scenery in Stordal. Photo: Hallgeir HoveStordal library is on a roll

In Stordal, the mayor, the chief municipal officer and volunteers hold poetry readings using tree stumps and rocks as their stage. The school headmaster sings traditional “stev” tunes that echo from the mountainsides, and an immigrant from the Netherlands evokes enchanting sounds from his “tussefløyte”, a folk instrument similar to a recorder flute. Stordal Public Library has mobilized the local inhabitants, and the poetry readings are one of the events to which local people and users contribute actively.

Inspiration The Arduino electronic platform is a part of the technology that, it is hoped, will rouse the interest of children and young people in the natural sciences. Photo: Helén AnderssonMakerspace

In Vaggeryd, in the county of Småland, there is what may be Sweden’s first makerspace in a library. Here, the library is making space for all kinds of creative expression; everyone is welcome to learn from one another.


Give a book to a none-reader! Campaign photo from Denmark is Reading day Photo: Mette UdesenWorld Book Day in Denmark – an initiative under Denmark’s Reading

In 2013 Danish minister for culture Marianne Jelved launched Denmark’s Reading – an ambitious project aiming to inspire some of the 40 per cent of Danes, who are not keen readers, to get reading. Now the minister launches the second initiative of the campaign – a Danish version of World Book Day on April 23rd 2015.


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Volume 47 NO. 3 2014 Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:19:40 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> The project group at the National Library of Sweden. In the back row from the left: Bibliographic Expert Olle Johansson, Librarian Pär Öberg and Bibliographic Authority Expert Eva Abrahamsson. In the front row from the left: Map and Image Expert Solveig von Essen and Project Manager Katarina Synnermark. Photo: Annika HjerpeRDA in NorwayRDA in Swedan

Resource Description and Access is a new standard for cataloguing that will replace the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (AACR2). RDA has been developed by the Joint Steering Committee for Development of RDA (JSC) with representatives from library organizations and libraries in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and Germany. On 31 March 2013 the Library of Congress switched to RDA, and several other libraries around the world have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, this new standard for cataloguing.

Photo: Jens GustavssonAdapted to digital development

When Libris, the Swedish university and research libraries’ search service for books, dissertations, periodicals and journals, printed music et cetera, is developing new system architecture and a new cataloguing tool, the National Library in Sweden is developing a format-independent system that uses related information elements instead of posts, and incorporates the basic principles that constitute the web.

Toward multidimensional descriptions

With the arrival of new metadata models, vocabularies and tools, cataloguing in libraries will step into a more multidimensional metadata world in the upcoming years. Record-based cataloguing will be replaced with the linking of metadata, which means creating relationships between entities. Through these relationships, the metadata are linked to each other resulting in a metadata network extending across organisational, sector or national borders.

Linked data as a tool for attractive user services

In connection with the 250th anniversary of the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (BFO) in 2015, the Bergen Public Library has entered into a collaboration with the orchestra on scanning and cataloguing their concert programme from 1765 until the present day, for the purposes of historical documentation.

Olle Johansson, Bibliographic Expert at the National Library of Sweden. Photo: Annika HjerpeAutomated metadata

Using standardised metadata delivered continuously from broadcasting companies, media files can be connected to searchable metadata through an automated process. To manually input the metadata that TV and radio broadcasters provide in their programme listings, the Swedish Media Database (SMDB) would need almost 300 full-time employees. Fortunately, however, the metadata can be automatically collected.


Photo: Jens Gustavsson/ National Library of SwedenGenre and form

An exciting collection of Nordic noir or a rich literary critical review of the genre’s international advance by storm over the last decade? Never, perhaps, has the difference between these two expressions been as distinct as under the first week of vacation in the hammock.

In search for music and user recommandations at Odense Library. Photo Mette KrullMore than just MARC

Metadata are usually defined as data on data. Although ‘data on data’ is a rather narrow definition, it is nevertheless the definition in an IT context. Generally speaking, metadata are data on data and objects (incl. analogue books and pictures). In a broader context, metadata have over the past few years come to be a familiar concept in connection with intelligence service organisations such as USA’s NSA collection of data on individual persons’ use of digital services.

Editorial: Moving into the foreground
Lots of library offers and services exist without receiving particular attention from the users simply because the end users have absolutely no knowledge of them.

DR’s archive consists of various media the content of which is now visible on many platforms. Photo: DR kulturarvsprojektViewpoint: In search of something like ReCAPTCHA

In this viewpoint I will share how the Cultural Heritage Project worked with ‘production’ of metadata as a process generated through our collaborations and dissemination lab.

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Volume 47 NO. 2 2014 Mon, 30 Jun 2014 10:06:24 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> Using the iPad might result in students that in the future will be better off than stdents who are mainly print-based. Photo: Juozas Kaziukenas/Flickr CCDoctor’s order: a tablet, digital course books and paperless curriculum

Every new medical student at the University of Helsinki will be given an iPad when they start their studies. The campus library is heavily involved in the process and we proactively offer a comprehensive package of digital content, services and tools. As a consequence, medical studentship is already highly paperless.

According to the law, the digital deposits should be delivered on a physical data carrier, but the National Library of Sweden will also provide delivery channels through data transfer. Photo: Annika HjerpeDetailed digital deposits

In Sweden, an act on deposits of digital material was implemented in July 2012. During an initial trial period, a number of institutions, national agencies and media corporations will be delivering content. The idea is to allow time for the development and implementation of effective delivery and deposit routines by 2015, when the legislation is to come fully into effect.

More advanced digital offers

97 of Denmark’s 98 municipalities have now joined the Danish Digital Library (DDL), whose purpose is to strengthen, streamline and visualise the collective digital public library service. DDL has just launched a homepage solution, which 75 of the country’s libraries will use as their new front vis-à-vis the public.

Digital book collections as a cultural telescope

A digital book collection is much more than a collection of digital versions of printed texts. It may, for example, be used as a corpus, a structured body of text that can be the subject of systematic, automatic analysis. The National Library of Norway has taken a first step in this direction by developing a so-called n-gram search based on its digital book collection. This search service application can make important contributions to new knowledge in many different fields of research.

Editorial: As of yet, we have only glimpsed the outline of the new opportunities

In 1989, Norway was one of the first countries in the world to adopt a legal deposit act that included digital documents. These were referred to as “EDP documents”, and mainly included whatever content was produced with the aid of word processors, spreadsheets and the first generations of desktop publishing tools. Content was collected and distributed in the form of CD-ROM disks that were physically distributed to readers, who inserted them into a disk drive and read the content on a screen.

Illustration: Jakob Heide PetersenThe public library’s collection in a digital age

Media development and the expansion of the Internet pose a challenge to the public libraries’ traditional approach to their core service, i.e. the collection, and the digital age produces a veritable media glut. Is it, therefore, relevant for the public library to offer the public access to just part of the media? Or should the library in fact ensure access to all media for all citizens? The question is whether focusing on the collection and the media is the right point of departure for the public library’s future development?

Aktive shelves. Photo: Nikolaj Jonas BlegvadThe library catalogue of the future

In the last five years the Oslo Public Library has worked on its information service and its digital mediation based on the libraries’ catalogue data. The current MARC format has proven to be rather unsuited for the library catalogue of the future. In contrast, faith in the RDF format has been strengthened.

Digitizing all of the records in the National Library of Sweden’s collection with conventional methods, by playing them, would take more than 20 years, Stig-Lennart Molneryd is trying to find a way to do it faster through pre-commercial procurement. Photo: Annika HjerpeFaster than real time

The National Library of Sweden has 148,000 gramophone records in its collections and wishes to make them accessible. A method based on optical image scanning and transfer of the information from the record faster than real time could be the solution.

More than half of the people in Finland use a smart phone and one third uses a tablet. The expectations towards e-materials offered by libraries are increasing. Photo: Aino KetonenNational cooperation in Finland

The concept of consortium refers to the loose, voluntary union of organizations. Since the end of February, the public libraries in Finland have had the opportunity to join a consortium agreement. At that time, libraries around Finland were informed about the agreement. Approximately 60 municipalities have joined the consortium since the agreement was introduced.

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Volume 47 NO. 1 2014 Mon, 07 Apr 2014 07:12:52 +0000 admin Continue reading ]]> 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.

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