find each other and build new synergies. This ‘library of the future’ housed in a building four times bigger than the current one wants to give the extra space back to the user - as both meeting places and performance areas - where people can leave their mark. In preparation for the new building, the library of Aarhus is already experimenting with what they call the ‘Aarhus method and mind-set’. It involves a lot of testing in the present library based upon user-driven innovation and processes that try to involve all stakeholders, including the public. They rethink the way they deal with partnerships, experiment with digital installation in the physical library, hire non-librarians to reach out to target groups like youngsters and develop personas to test services against the target public. Aarhus’s Urban Mediaspace will take the form of a ‘mash-up’ library. It will focus on inspiration, learning, meeting and performance. Mrs. Østergård referred to the ongoing discussion about the unique selling point of libraries and names ‘diversity’ as the USP for Aarhus. She also echoed previous speakers by stating that the future library will be about relations and not about transactions. Redesigning the role of public libraries in Romania Doina Popa, President of the Association of Public Libraries and Librarians in Romania Mrs. Popa sketched the implementation of the Biblionet Programme in Romania, financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the IREX Foundation. During the last four years, this project made a large contribution to the decrease of the digital discrepancy between urban and rural areas by endowing thousands of public libraries with hardware and network facilities and by training the staff. The modern public library system - created by Biblionet - helped to support the process of einclusion by expanding the access to broadband Internet and by providing digital literacy skills training in the field. Like in previous presentations Mrs. Popa stressed the need for coordination of e-inclusion actions by integrating all stakeholders. Through this way Romanian public libraries have become essential leverages in developing public services and supporting e-inclusion. Ms Popa summarized that the modern public library system created by Biblionet supports the process of e-Inclusion by the following means: • • • • •
Expanding the access for population to broadband Internet as a free service; Librarians’ participation to citizens’ "digital literacy" and skills training in the field; Ensuring equal rights of access to IT&C in public libraries; Informing citizens about the importance of IT&C for all professions and fields of activity; Advocacy actions to promote the role of public libraries to support E-Government services.
Published on Sep 17, 2011