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Why is having a global network important for libraries? What are the benefits one would get from being part of a network? And just how exactly can one acquire global relations?

You can find the answer to these and many other questions in episode three of the Princh Library Lounge! In this episode our host, Vicky Woolbarn is joined by Marie Østergaard and R. David Lankes, two advocates for this topic.

In the eyes of many people, the duty of libraries is to serve their local communities. But if that is the case, why is having a global network important for libraries, when they are serving only their local visitors?

Marie starts the conversations by stating that libraries do not compete with one another, neither for money nor for visitors. As such, a global network is a great opportunity to gather knowledge and ideas from other libraries on how to serve your community better. She also draws attention to Public Libraries 2030 (PL 2030), a Europe-wide attempt to make libraries connect easier.

David states that while yes, libraries do serve their own local communities, they need to bring in the best ideas from around the world to continuously offer the best service. He also mentions that libraries have always been about connecting and networking together, technological and societal changes just enabled a faster, more efficient way of sharing ideas.

Marie adds that libraries are not just organizations, libraries are movements. As a movement, libraries can involve partners from other communities or even citizens in their network, whereas before, in the more hierarchical structure, that was not possible.

To learn how building a global network is important for libraries, listen to the Princh Library Lounge Episode 3.

What kind of advice would you give someone who is looking to get involved in networking?

David elaborates on how this movement aims to connect people better. He states that in the past, when libraries would reach out to each other, it was often a very formal procedure which could sometimes lack the openness of a casual conversation. The aim of PL 2030 is to change this outlook towards networking. His main question is, how can this movement be pushed forward? How can this network be made more accessible? The answer is not clear.

Marie adds that the most important thing, when getting involved, is to be interested in what is happening outside your library and community. To be able to gather the best ideas, one has to utilize all available channels, like social media, conferences, places with more loosely knitted social relationships.

So, the question is, how can access to professional development and accessibility to new ideas be combined with mentorship, friendship and bringing people together?