Monthly Archives: November 2017

Promoting Healthy Communities in U.S.A

By Raymond Santiago


In an effort to assist U.S. Public Libraries in providing quality health information to patron, a partnership between the Public Library Association and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine has been has been announced. Bobbi Newman, Community Engagement and Outreach Specialist, NNLM’s Greater Midwest Region, filed the following report.

Whether they’re searching the Internet, watching television, or browsing social media, Americans are bombarded with information related to their health, but the messages they’re receiving may not be understandable, reliable, or even credible. Faced with confusing medical terminology, conflicting reports, and a constantly changing healthcare system, people are looking to their local public libraries for guidance. That’s why the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) is partnering with the Public Library Association (PLA): to help libraries meet the challenges of keeping up with evidence-based health resources and producing successful health programming.
Announcing Promoting Healthy Communities.

PLA and NNLM are thrilled to announce Promoting Healthy Communities, a new nationwide initiative that will increase public library workers’ health knowledge and skills related to reliable health information resources, as well as support programs related to health and wellness. Throughout the nine-month initiative, PLA and NNLM will:

  • Assess health information needs among public librarians in order to improve existing educational opportunities and develop new ones designed to meet the unique needs of public libraries.
  • Share free resources, information about successful library programs, and professional development opportunities by holding training programs and webinars, publishing articles and podcasts.
  • Unveil a new website (coming in early 2018) for public librarians that gives them easy access to training, tools and resources for consumer health information, health literacy programming and more.


More information at

I Love Libraries – an EU Event

By Lo Claesson

Generation Code
Oct 17th – 18th at the European Parliament, Brussels

In October I represented together with Jenny Nilsson and Ulrika Domellöf Mattson the Swedish Library Association at the event Generation Code at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event was a part of the EU Code Week.

EU Code Week, launched in 2013, is a grass-roots movement that celebrates creating with code. The idea is to show children, adults and the elderly how you bring ideas to life with code, to demystify these skills and bring motivated people together to learn.

The event had three parts:

1. The exhibition
The Generation Code exhibition was designed to demonstrate to EU policy makers what libraries are already doing to offer citizens an outlet to develop their digital skills, and show how libraries can play a crucial role in the future provided the receiving enough funding and policy support. By empowering individuals, Europe’s 65,000 public libraries build stronger communities and change lives. In the afternoon, there were also a Kids session at the exhibition.

2. Meet & Greet speed dating session
Library representatives met with MEPs at the exhibition. In beforehand each country’s library associations had invited “their” MEPs for a brief meeting. You could take the opportunity to advocate and discuss library matters that were especially important for your country’s libraries while you were also visiting the exhibition. We talked about the Swedish library association’s positions concerning the EU Commission’s proposal for copyright directive.

3. Debate:
A debate also took place in the parliament: Is contributing to building digital skills part of the modern libraries core role? There is a MEP Library Lovers Group that brings together Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from across the EU and from both sides of the political spectrum who are passionate about libraries. Eva Maydel, Bulgaria, member of this group started the discussions.
The event was arranged by Public Libraries 2020. PL2020 brings together library organisations and advocates from across the EU to raise awareness of the value of public libraries as partners for social and economic development under the Europe 2020 strategy. PL2020 promotes how libraries are contributing to European policy objectives in three main areas: social inclusion, digital inclusion, and lifelong learning.

This event provided a good opportunity for library representatives from EU countries to meet and talk with their MEPs in an environment that presented what a modern library could be.

Photos: Swedish Library Association

Libraries supporting social inclusion for refugees and immigrants

Our friends at the American Library Association are inviting proposals for presentations to be made at the next ALA Conference in New Orleans on the topic of Libraries supporting social inclusion for refugees and immigrants. Given all the great work that so many of our members are doing in this space you may be interested in reading the call:

The American Library Association’s International Relations Roundtable Papers and Projects Committee invites proposals for presentations to be made at the next ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Presentations will be delivered at the International Papers Session scheduled in June 2018. The International Papers and Projects Program provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections and projects throughout the world. The program also serves to stimulate the interest of U.S. librarians in international library matters. We invite presentation proposals based on the International Papers and Projects 2018 theme:

Libraries supporting social inclusion for refugees and immigrants

UNESCO emphasizes the importance of social inclusion for international migrants and encourages cities and local governments to “ensure social rights for migrants to adequate housing, education, health and social care, welfare and decent standard of living according to basic needs such as food, energy and water.” Libraries can play an important role in helping new arrivals acclimate and thrive in a new community.

Do you have a story to share about how your library, on its own or in collaboration with community organizations, is providing social services and support for refugees and immigrants? Do you have advice on creating successful programming to support refugees and immigrants?

Proposals, presentations, and papers must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program.

Proposals should include:
1. Title of the presentation
2. Name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address) for each presenter
3. Abstract (300-500 words)
4. A short biographical profile of each presenter

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at with a copy to and
Deadline for submitting proposals is December 31, 2017 .

Four proposals will be selected to present at the ALA Annual Meeting in June 2018. Notification of acceptance will be emailed by February 15, 2018.

The International Papers and Projects Program is 1.5 hours total. Presentations should run about 20 minutes each, followed by a question-and-answer session. Presenters are encouraged to prepare a dynamic and interactive presentation, incorporating visual prompts, technologies, games, questions for the audience, etc. PowerPoints are common, but speakers who want to read a paper or refer to it are welcome to do so.

We would like to invite you to view previous presentation titles listed on IRRT’s International Papers and Projects Session Committee website,



New EIFL Public Library Innovation Award – Now Open for Applications

EIFL is delighted to announce that the new EIFL Public Library Innovation Award – for public library services that improve lives – is now open for applications. We would be grateful if you could please share this call through your networks – we want to reach as many libraries as possible.

For more about the award –

The award is open to all public and community libraries in developing and transition countries that use digital technology (ICT) to improve lives in their communities by addressing any of the following issues, which are included in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Economic wellbeing and employment
Farming and sustainable agriculture
Health and hygiene
Digital inclusion
Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
Education for all
Climate change and other issues affecting the environment
The prize includes US$1,500 and wide publicity through EIFL’s global communication channels and networks.

The deadline for submitting applications is 11 January 2018.

Applications will be accepted in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Collaborative Projects among 6 Nordic and Baltic Countries

By Lo Claesson

My library, Vaggeryd Public Library is collaborating in a network project with some libraries from six Nordic and Baltic countries. We have got funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers to meet three times in different countries. This time we were in Denmark, in Herning. The purpose with the project is networking, getting to know librarians from our neighbor countries and doing mini-projects together, which we for example can use for exhibitions.

People from the network meeting in Herning, Denmark outside Herning Public Library.

We visited Herning and Ikast-Brande Public Libraries and Dokk1 in Aarhus. We were divided into four groups and our task were to interview visitors in the libraries about what they were doing there, their interests, what they liked about the library and what they possibly lacked in the library. Based on the interviews, we would find topics for small joint projects.

Then each library should host at least three other participants to the project and each library must participate in six projects. So we decided to participate in the following projects:

1. Know thy neighbor
Find 3 people in your community who, in some way, represent diversity. Take a photo and make a short interview.

2. Food stories
Choose fragment from fiction that present the food culture of your own country. Write down few thoughts that the text brings to mind. Choose a way to present the fiction fragment and your thoughts visually. Present the work via Skype.

3. Behind the book cover
As it often happens, books after being translated into other languages gain covers that diverge from the original. Why so? – is it really related to the specific perceptions of different nationalities? Choose a book of your choice and find two more covers of the same book, which has been translated into other languages.

4. Ordinary Houses
Take some photos of old and new houses in your locality. Compare different types of houses in your countries.

5. Green Library
Sharing photos and ideas concerning Green Library activities.

6. Nordic Literature –
The aim is to increase awareness of literature from participating countries by recommending a translated author/book in a filmed recommendation.

We share our photos and ideas in a Facebook group. Then we can make some digital or analogue exhibitions in our libraries if we want. Maybe our small projects can inspire other libraries in some way!
In February we will all meet in Finland and find out some other collaboration ideas.

China Continues their review of the Public Libraries Law

The draft was submitted to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee for a second reading at the bi-monthly session, which runs from 30 Oct until 4 Nov 2017.

The draft states that modern technology should be integrated into public libraries, with more digital content and networks, to deliver better services to the public.   Some lawmakers have suggested that specific functions of the national library such as organizing the protection of ancient books, carrying out research and international exchanges on libraries, and providing guidance and technical support for libraries be included as functions of public libraries.

China has more than 3,100 government-run libraries and around 50 public libraries set up by citizens, enterprises and public institutions, social groups and other organizations, according to the Ministry of Culture.