Monthly Archives: February 2016

BibCharts: Libraries and Information Centres in the Social Web


How are libraries performing in the social web? Which library is on Facebook, which one on Google+, too, and how many libraries twitter? Has my library more fans on Facebook than the library xyz?

Since 2011 the Leibniz Information Centre for Economicslocated in Kiel and Hamburg—collects daily data and draws up monthly overviews on the social media activities of libraries.

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When the ZBW started with the BibCharts there was some criticism: a blogger stated that mere quantitative comparism was superficial. Success in the social web was not expressed by fan numbers, but by interaction (see also comments on the ZBW blog, in German).

The ZBW responds to such criticism that their table is not a ranking, but an overview.

It is stated in „About Bibcharts“ that the values are fetched directly via the interfaces of Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and are automatically entered into the table at the beginning of each month.

Currently there are mainly libraries from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland on the list, but the ZBW wants to extend the overview step by step. If your library wants to join the BibCharts please sign up on their website:

Building Connected Communities


The Urban Libraries Council has just released a ULC Leadership Brief Building Connected Communities which focuses on how libraries are bridging the digital divide through free and open access to current and emerging technology and related resources.

Libraries bridge the digital divide, build digital literacy skills, and improve the quality of life in communities. Building Connected Communities demonstrates how public library technology is used for education, innovation, workforce development/entrepreneurship purposes and health/wellness.

Included in the Brief are examples from leading US libraries. These snapshots show ways that libraries are playing a central role as technology leaders in our communities. This critical role is highlighted by quotes from government leaders’ recognizing the many contributions our libraries make.

Winners of IFLA Marketing Awards Announced

Sunshine Coast Libraries, Australia

Sunshine Coast Libraries, Queensland, Australia

IFLA’s Management and Marketing  Section has announced the winners of the 13th IFLA BibLibre International Library Marketing Awards. This includes public libraries in Canada, Columbia and Australia.

Altogether M&M received 71 applications from 26 countries, in 6 languages from all over the world. How fabulous.

[2016 Winner!] Vancouver Public Library Inspiration Lab Launch Campaign – Canada
[2nd place] Tuan Time – Each library experience is a memorable treasure – Xiamen University Libraries – China
[3rd place] Sunshine Coast Libraries Pop Ups! – Sunshine Coast Libraries – Australia

Find more information about the Award, the winners and the Top 10 projects here.

Some cat content for my fellow librarians at Valentine’s Day <3

It might be a cliché: the (female) cat-loving librarian. But I admit: I am one of them. So I want to give to my fellow librarians who also confirm this cliché some cat content as a valentine.

A while ago I joined the Facebook group ALA Think Tank expecting to get into the most profound discussions and the best of the best practice for libraries. Although all of this might be true I came along a heartbreaking story which changed my daily life on Facebook providing me with the cutest cat content ever. Apparently on 11/14/14 a cat was found in the bookdrop of Cincinnati’s Main Library. It got the name Joan Didion the Cat. “She now resides happily with Steve, Cassie and Rio (the cat) Kemple.”, as her Facebook info says. Oh, and yes: she has a Facebook page indicating she likes Joan Didion and experimental music.

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As far as I understand Joan Didion the Cat lives with a librarian now, but there are plenty of cats living in libraries as well, there is even a map which shows who lives where.

If you want to see some more cat content you might want to have a look on a German blog of a cat loving librarian who has posted quite some cat stories and films on library cats. Have a nice Valentine’s Day!

Refugees Welcome: library membership cards for refugees in Berlin—first numbers after four months


Deutsche Version

The Public Libraries Section has collected many examples of how public libraries have responded in practical ways on the refugee situation in Europe.

I want to focus on one example since I work for the Central and Regional Library of Berlin. In 2015 about 79.000 refugees came to Berlin, 24 % refugees from Syria. The Association of Public Libraries in Berlin (VÖBB) responded and is the first German Library Association which provides library membership cards to refugees without demanding an official certificate of registration. A temporary permission of stay or a lodging certificate is sufficient. In most of the libraries in Germany a certificate of registration is needed in order to get a library card. But refugees cannot have such a document in the first months in a new country. That means that they cannot check out items from the public library, they cannot use most of the computers or make use of the digital content the library provides. This unsatisfying situation has changed with the “welcome library card” in Berlin: The card is free-of-charge. It is valid for 3 months. Refugees are allowed to check out up to 10 items at a time from any public library in Berlin and access digital services such as e-books and music streaming.

And that is the history in a nutshell: in March a VÖBB-working-group got the task to suggest a measure that would enable refugees to make full use of Berlin Public Libraries. In June 2015 the VÖBB decided to have the new welcome library membership cards (and technically a new patron group). In September the the new patron group was configured in the library management system of Berlin Public Libraries, in October flyers in seven languages were distributed in refugee homes: in German, Albanian, Arabic, English, Farsi, Macedonian, and Serbian.

Here are the figures of the first three months. There are constantly more refugees signing up for a library membership card, but there is still a lot of potential:

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Refugees Welcome: Bibliotheksausweise für Geflüchtete in Berlin – erste Zahlen nach vier Monaten

Die Sektion „Öffentliche Bibliotheken“ hat viele Beispiele dafür gesammelt, wie Öffentliche Bibliotheken ganz praktisch auf die Flüchtlingssituation in Europa reagiert haben.

Ich will mit den Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins ein Beispiel herausgreifen, da ich für die Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin arbeite. 2015 kamen circa 79.000 Geflüchtete nach Berlin, 24 % sind aus Syrien. Der Verbund der Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins (VÖBB) hat darauf reagiert: Er ist der erste deutsche Bibliotheksverbund, der Bibliotheksausweise für Geflüchtete ohne amtliche Meldebescheinigung oder Aufenthaltserlaubnis (also Neuankömmlinge) anbietet. Eine Aufenthaltsgestattung oder die Unterbringungsbescheinigung der Erstaufnahmestelle ist ausreichend. In den meisten Bibliotheken in Deutschland benötigt man eine amtliche Meldebescheinigung, um sich anzumelden. Aber geflüchtete Menschen können diese in den ersten Monaten im neuen Land gar nicht haben. Das heißt also, dass Geflüchtete keine Medien entleihen können, sie können meist nicht die Computerarbeitsplätze nutzen und haben keinen Zugang zu digitalen Inhalten der Bibliothek. Diese unbefriedigende Situation ist in Berlin durch die „Willkommensausweise“ verändert worden. Der Bibliotheksausweis ist kostenlos und drei Monate gültig. Es ist möglich 10 Medien gleichzeitig zu entleihen und digitale Angebote wie E-Books und Musik-Streaming zu nutzen.

Die Geschichte, die zu dem Ausweis führte, kurz zusammengefasst: Im März 2015 wird eine VÖBB-Fachgruppe beauftragt, geeignete Maßnahmen zu entwickeln, um geflüchtete Menschen in den Öffentlichen Bibliotheken Berlins willkommen heißen zu können. Im Juni entscheidet der VÖBB, die neuen Willkommensausweise einzuführen (das heißt technisch im Bibliotheksmanagement-System eine neue Nutzergruppe anzulegen). Im September starten die Bibliotheken mit den neuen Bibliotheksausweisen für Geflüchtete, im Oktober folgen dann Flyer in sieben Sprachen, die in Erstaufnahmeeinrichtungen verteilt werden: auf Deutsch, Albanisch, Arabisch, Englisch, Farsi, Mazedonisch, und Serbisch.

Hier sind die Zahlen nach den ersten drei Monaten. Es werden immer mehr der neuen Bibliotheksausweise ausgegeben, aber es gibt angesichts der Gesamtzahlen an geflüchteten Menschen in Berlin mit Sicherheit noch viel Potenzial:

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Love is in the air!

February has long been a time to celebrate love (think Valentine’s Day), but increasingly it’s also a time for the community to demonstrate love for their library.

National Libraries Day

In the UK the 6 February is National Libraries Day. Now in its fifth year, the annual celebration highlights the importance of libraries as vitally important public services which are loved by individuals and communities everywhere.


Meanwhile in the US February is Library Lovers Month based around, an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA), designed to keep America informed about what’s happening in today’s libraries. promotes the value of libraries and librarians, explains key issues affecting libraries, and urges readers to support and take action for their libraries.


In the southern hemisphere Australian librarians  have claimed Valentines Day (14th February) and made it their own – Library Lovers Day ! They argue that not everyone receives flowers and chocolates on Valentines Day but everyone can use their library. This year Library Lovers Day will celebrate 10 years since it was launched.


The IFLA Section on Metropolitan Libraries and AIB (Associazione Italiana Biblioteche) have the pleasure to announce A Corto di Libri, AIB/IFLA International Short Film Competition about Libraries for 2016.

A Corto di Libri honors short films which focus on libraries and the profession of librarian. Four winners will be chosen in the Fiction, Documentary and Advertising sections, and in the new IFLA prize “Metropolitan Libraries” whose main subject must be public libraries of large urban areas.

In addition to the awards for the sections winners, €1000 of video-making equipment will be awarded to the winner of the IFLA  “Metropolitan Libraries” category.
Deadline: April 30, 2016

Find all the information about the award guidelines, application form etc here