Monthly Archives: July 2014

Working together in Lielahti District Library, Tampere, Finland


Game room in Lielahti Library

Game room in Lielahti Library


Finland is a good library country, we have 5.4 milloin inhabitants, and according to Finnish library statistics in 2013 every Finnish citizen borrowed 17.2 books. We also have great libraries! One of the newest is Lielahti District Library in Tampere. Tampere City Library consists of 19 libraries and 2 mobile libraries. We lent almost 5 million items and had about 3 million visitors during the year 2013.

Lielahti District Library with bright and modern architecture was opened on 19.May.2014. It is the first library in Tampere which has been built into a shopping mall. Previously branch libraries were often built with schools or youth houses, but the new trend in library building seems to be “be there, where the people are”.

What is special in Lielahti library, is also that its neighbour in the same building and floor are health center, services for elderly people, dentist and children and maternity clinic. There are a lot of plans about what these partners could do together. In the autumn there will be game evenings, where older people can take their grand children and they can practice together computer sport games to improve physics. A physiotherapist from health services can guide them.

Already a doctor sent his patient to library to lend talking books, because she couldn´t see very well anymore. Many courses are planned, like health council and, new technology courses. Many of these bring together the different partners in the building eg blood pressure and cholesterol measuring, lectures on health or maternity care.. And all including book and database information on these same subjects. A win-win situation!

Of course the library also provides the “traditional library services” including fairy tale lessons, book talk etc. The sky is a limit what people can do together, if only they find suitable partners and ways to do things.

Writer: Pirkko Lindberg, Director of Libraries, Tampere City Library

Pictures: Susanna Lyly


Speaking Volumes

Small Dianah reads to Niamh 3

A new publication from the Carnegie UK Trust, Speaking Volumes,  provides examples of the wide range of activities that demonstrate the impact public libraries can have in four key policy areas – social, economic, educational and cultural. The leaflet also shows how these directly contribute towards to individual and community wellbeing. The leaflet folds out into a poster and is based on hundreds of examples of practice throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as published evidence of impact. A database of these examples is available on the Trust’s website.

Know your community, Improve your technology services

impact survey

Understanding your community is essential to providing patrons with the technology services they need. The Impact Survey is an online survey tool designed specifically for public libraries that want to better understand their communities and how people use their public technology resources and services. Written and validated by research staff at the University of Washington Information School, this free tool is designed to quickly and easily provide busy librarians with useful data on how their patrons use library technology services. The program saves libraries the time and costs associated with writing, programming, analyzing, and reporting an in-house survey.

The Impact Survey asks patrons about how they use library technology services like public computers, wireless networks, online resources, digital literacy training, as well as outcome oriented use in specific areas such as education, employment, health and wellness, eGovernment, social inclusion and eCommerce.  The site also has links to a webinar and support is avaiable – well worth a look.


Explore your library’s community engagement



The Pew Internet & American Life Project has just released a tool to help you learn how your community’s members use their local public library, how they think about their library’s impact on the community, and how they view the importance of libraries in the digital age. If you’re a US Library you’ll  also see how the responses of your group compare with those of the general population, based on the results of Pew’s nationally representative September 2013 phone survey.

This builds on a series of reserach reports by Pew focussing on the role of public libraries in their communities.

1001 Libraries to see before you die!

suitcase 1

Planning a trip, want to visit some libraries but not sure where you should go?

Wonder no more! Your colleagues from the IFLA Public Libraries Section are busily compiling the ultimate guide for Librarians 1001 libraries to see before you die.

Our online initiative aims to bring together best practice examples of public library buildings and spaces from around the world. It will also include links to relevant websites and other resources.

We’re asking our friends from around the world to nominate ‘must see’ libraries in their respective countries.  You can nominate a library for a number of reasons – the library building, the location, the innovative programs or the community engagement.

All you have to do is complete our form and email it to the IFLA Public Libraries Section together with a maximum of three images of the Library you’re nominating.

We’re also looking for best practice examples of Library Building websites and guidelines to link to from our site.

The project will be officially launched at IFLA in Lyon

Earlybird offer for Birmingham Satellite ends this Friday 4 July!

4 July

There are still places at the 2014 IFLA Public Libraries Satellite (12 – 13 August 2014) at early bird rates – don’t miss out on what will be a wonderful conference. Early-bird registration for this conference closes on Friday 4 July, with discounted rates available to all delegates.

Organised by the Public Libraries Section of IFLA, in collaboration with CILIP and the Society of Chief Librarians in England, this satellite conference is hosted by the new Library of Birmingham and provides an opportunity to discuss the latest developments in the public library world in the largest and most iconic public library in Europe. In a rapidly changing environment join us to explore and examine the opportunities surrounding public libraries.

This exciting two-day programme includes keynote presentations from:
• Brian Gambles, Assistant Director, Birmingham City Council (Library of Birmingham)
• Corinne Hill, Library Director, Chattanooga Public Library
• Laura Cole, Special Projects Coordinator, Bibliotech, San Antonio, Texas
• Jens Thorhauge, Independent Senior Adviser and Consultant, Denmark
• Janene Cox, Past President, Society of Chief Librarians, England

Delegates will also have the opportunity to; hear from over 20 speakers from the UK, Europe, USA, Australia and China; take a tour of the largest public library Europe; join us for the conference drinks reception, including CILIP’s Public and Mobile Library’s Group annual award ceremony; and meet and network with colleagues from around the world.

The public library’s collection in a digital age

ebook lady

The Latest edition of Scandinavian Library Quarterly focuses on collections in the digital era. Lots of good reading.

Of particular interest for public libraries is the article ‘The public library’s collection in the digital age’ written by Jakob Heide Petersen from Copenhagen Central Library.

Jakob describes how media development and the expansion of the Internet pose a challenge to the public libraries’ traditional approach to their core service, (ie the collection) and the digital age produces a veritable media glut. Is it, therefore, relevant for the public library to offer the public access to just part of the media? Or should the library in fact ensure access to all media for all citizens? The question is whether focusing on the collection and the media is the right point of departure for the public library’s future development?

Another ‘must read’ is ‘National cooperation in Finland’   by Aino Ketonen.  Since the end of February, the public libraries in Finland have had the opportunity to join a consortium agreement and approximately 60 municipalities have joined the consortium since the initiative was introduced.

Finally Rikke Lind Andersson talks about Denmark is reading  the national campaign initiated in 2013by the Danish Minister for Culture, Marianne Jelved. DKK 20 million has been allocated to the initiative over the next four years. A central element of the campaign is a competition between the 98 municipalities to become Denmark’s best reading municipality. 46 municipalities entered the competition by submitting their applications describing the creative ideas to leverage fiction reading amongst nonreaders. The national reading campaign is called Denmark is Reading. Recently 12 Danish municipalities were awarded the title ‘reading municipalities’ by an independent jury, based on their creative and innovative reading activities.