Can you give us a specific example of a library that successfully built and utilized its global network?
Marie’s example is Dokk1 in Aarhus, where she works. After building Dokk1, the library staff knew that they alone did not possess the knowledge to create what they envisioned. And so, this posed the question; how could they find the right people—ones they knew and, more importantly, people they did not know—to bring together the right combination of knowledge and skillsets to contribute to developing the library most effectively? To achieve this, the library staff organized “Next Library” a bi-yearly conference where library professionals from all around the world have the opportunity to discuss library development. These conferences helped Dokk1 build a global network and try out completely new ideas. As a result, Dokk1 has turned into a new, world library.
David mentions the idea of libraries serving their communities is a relatively new one and that the way people think about librarianship is shifting. While a lot of the conversations are still about the networks associated with libraries, the power and role of individual librarians is slowly becoming the focus of attention. This shift enables innovative ideas to be exchanged and it is the force behind the changing concept of libraries. As a result of this change in the last 10-15 years, libraries have become the living room of their communities.
Marie expands on the challenges that PL 2030 faces. The movement has to find the balance between building a network of libraries that can support each other while not affecting the existing hierarchical structure in a negative way.
David elaborates that while libraries are a movement, they cannot move themselves, they need the input of the community around them. It is not the librarians running the community, it is the community coming together and building the library.
To learn more about the shifting role of librarians and libraries, listen to episode 3 of the Princh Library Lounge!