Each month, Princh shares a post featuring an interesting project from the library world. Want to be the next Library Project of the Month? Get in touch with us here!
Bibliotourism could be the latest trend for tourists where they experience many amazing libraries all over the world. We present this month’s Library Project, a travel guide to libraries from around the world. For this, we have talked with Christian Lauersen and Marie Engberg Eiriksson, creators of the project.
Christian is director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality. He believes libraries are crucial institutions in every community to create an open, more diverse, inclusive and equal world. Christian is a frequent presenter at conferences and blogs about library development at The Library Lab.
Marie works as a consultant and is a communications team lead at Gladsaxe Public Libraries. She loves libraries, and anything related to them. She is a standing committee member of the IFLA section Library Services to People with Special Needs and presents at conferences and workshops on matters related to library services to people with special needs and is part of Danish library blogging community.
Check out their insights below.
1. What is your project about and what is your mission?
Library Planet is a crowdsourced travel guide for libraries.
The mission is simple; to make traveling for libraries easier and to share the joy we feel when visiting libraries. Libraries are rarely part of traditional guidebooks unless they are very big flagship type of libraries or historical libraries. We also want to know about the small libraries and the weird libraries that you would not otherwise hear about.
The motivation to start Library Planet was our mutual love of libraries. We both visit libraries when we are traveling and talk about how we could share the experience with each other and with other people. During that conversation, one of us just blurted out “what we need is a lonely planet for libraries”. Christian then tweeted the idea and a lot of people loved it.
A few days later, we created the blog and the submissions have been coming in a steady flow ever since.
Today, about a month after we started, we hit 30 submissions on the blog and we have an inbox full of more exciting libraries to share with the world. The libraries are so different; academic, public, historical, special, and each tells a different story about what libraries are and what libraries can be. In addition to the joy of getting to read about the beautiful and cool libraries, many of the people submitting libraries also tell us why they love their local library or why they visit libraries when they travel.
People have told us personal stories about what it has meant for them to be able to celebrate their local library by posting about it on Library Planet or how traveling to a specific library has helped them connect to family history, has been their safe space, or has been the best outing while traveling with kids.
All the emails are full of love and appreciation for libraries and it makes us so happy every time.
For example, calls on Twitter have sparked conversations about all different kinds of library-related topics. What libraries people want to visit, the importance of library funding and why people love libraries.
All in all, we just feel like we put a few more libraries and a little more library love on the map.
2. Why should libraries be part of your project?
Well, we are not looking for actual libraries to be a part of Library Planet. We are looking for traveling people – library professionals as well as non-library professionals – that are visiting libraries during their journey and want to share their experience with a specific library and community with the rest of the world.
The way libraries can benefit from Library Planet is by getting inspired by the blossoming and wonderful world of libraries that grows and evolves. Library Planet reflects and hopes to send staff out into the world to visit, to get inspired, to connect and to bring home valuable input and ideas for their own library. We want Library Planet to be a mirror of the diverse and magnificent global institution that is the libraries of the world.
3. How do you imagine the project evolving in the future?
As we are already receiving many stories of libraries from all over the world in our inbox, we hope to soon have a significant amount of different kinds of stories on libraries from all over the world. It is important for us that we don’t only feature huge architectural landmark libraries, but also regular smaller libraries in rural communities that make an impact on people’s everyday lives. We are hoping not only to reach out to other library professionals but to people for whom a library is just a room with books and that might not realize the range and impact of a library in the 21st century.
Maybe Library Planet will open some doors for those people and maybe they will visit the local library the next time they are traveling to Hamburg, Durban or Aberdeen. In the long run, we have an idea about publishing a book with all the best stories from Library Planet. To really get it out there how diverse, amazing and important libraries are. A big beautiful coffee table book with wonderful stories and wonderful pictures – that would really be something.
Did you enjoy reading about the Library Planet project and want to contribute or simply have a chat with Christian and Marie? Check out their website here and go to this page to read the instructions for adding your favorite library to the list.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
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