Next Library Day 1: Democracy needs libraries

Top things that inspired me today

– In an remarkable key note, Canadian citizen engagement expert Peter MacLeod, spoke about engaging and empowering the community in Citizen Reference Panels. He believes that librarians are big warm hearted radicals; we share everything with everyone. He also feels that democracy should not be about winning, it should be about learning. Democracy needs libraries! Put that on a T Shirt!

– It’s OK, in fact essential, to make mistakes #yeswemadeamistake. gave great sessions on creativity and keeping an open mind.

– The tag line of the Ignite Talks is, ‘Enlighten us… but make it quick’. Presenters have five minutes to put across their ideas. In the afternoon session, we heard from library people from Denmark, Belgium, UK, USA, Finland and Nigeria. We learned about:
Digital strategy development;
The impressive new De Krook Library in Ghent, Belgium where collections are still the heart but the people are in the centre of the mind;
Coding programs in Manchester;
Advocacy for public libraries in the EU by Public Libraries 2020;
Peer 2 Peer university, community based online learning
Services for new migrants in Helsinki;
Literacy programs for street boys in Nigeria;
Beyond sticky notes: making design thinking work in San Jose.

– Krist Biebauw, Managing Director, City Library of Ghent, Belgium, told me about their amazing app that uses patrons borrowing history to send out recommendations. Unlike Netflix, the suggestions are not just similar titles but recommendations that can take people out of their comfort zone. The more you rate the books, the more intelligent the system becomes. Patrons agree for their data to be Open Source. Data is also used in promotions e.g. this is what women in Ghent are reading this summer. A completely reader-centred way to promote collections. Genius.







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