Author Archives: janewee

Info-Hotspots: Answer Questions on Health care, Housing, and wellbeing

By Guest Blogger

Eric Boekesteijn

Where can residents go with their questions on health care, housing, and wellbeing? In the municipality of Dalfsen, residents sometimes experience difficulties with finding the right services for information, counsel and support. Why is that? Because the supply of services is fragmented and therefore sometimes hard to find. As a result of this, residents are stuck with a request for help and do not receive the support they need on time, if at all. To solve this situation, the municipality of Dalfsen is focusing on early detection and prevention. To this end, the municipality has commission the organization for wellbeing called ‘Saam Welzijn’.


Following the municipal commission, Saam Welzijn has proposed to establish info-hotspots: easily accessible public spaces, open to everyone, and a place for residents to express their initial requests and questions on housing, health care, and wellbeing. At these info-hotspots, requests can be clarified, information can be provided, and, if necessary, where people are kindly received and patiently guided to the appropriate authority. To carry out this idea, Saam Welzijn reached out to the Library of Dalfsen-Nieuwleusen. The library embraced the idea enthusiastically, and after a constructive breakfast brainstorm session with Saam Welzijn, developed the project Info-hotspots. The intended result of the project: actual info-hotspots in three locations of the library that are supported by an online version of the info-hotspot.

Important player
What makes this project so unique and promising? The timing for this project is just right. Both the municipality and Saam Welzijn value a good cooperation with the info-squares and both parties view the library as an important player in the social domain. Moreover, the library traditionally is an actual meeting place, where connection between people and knowledge, and people and information takes place. Right now the combination is perfect, an alliance is forged between the library as information broker, the wellbeing sector, and the municipal government. Three parties that are vital for social cohesion in the community. Eventually, the purpose is to create info-hotspots with multiple social organizations. Well-trained volunteers, provided by the different affiliated partners, will staff the front desk of the info-hotspots. Cooperation is essential for the success of the info-hotspots.

Digital info-square
It is important that the info-hotspots in the building are supported by an online info-hotspot because this will enable the organizations to properly support the residents of Dalfsen and to guide them to the right authorities. Of course, to make this work, close cooperation Is crucial. Cooperation with the municipality, managers of the digital social map, and the parties of health care, housing, and wellbeing, but also cooperation with the national digital databases, such as the Educational Map developed by the Royal Library- National Library of the Netherlands. In developing the digital info-hotspot it is important to focus on the local needs and wishes.

At the moment, the info-hotspots are being developed. Understandably, this also raises questions. Who actually owns the info-squares? Is it the municipality, the Kulturhus – which houses the libraries -, the library, Saam Welzijn, or the combined social parties? And how does the info-square fit into the concept of the library as a place of meeting? Will residents with requests for help actually come to a bustling public space? How do we ensure adequate privacy?

Still enough questions to be answered, but as stated earlier, the time is just right and everyone is on the same page. We have departed and are travelling together! Next year we will be happy to inform you of the progress and successes of this innovative project. In this, we do not mean reaching the finish line on time, but we refer to the impact that the development of the info-hotspots will have on the municipality of Dalfsen, on its partners, but first and foremost on the people living in Dalfsen.

For more information, contact Jackeline Mekkes
Program manager Participation
The Library Dalfsen-Nieuwleusen

IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award 2018

The IFLA Section on Metropolitan Libraries has the pleasure to announce the 3rd IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award for 2018, sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia and Pikes Peak Library District.

The award is part of A Corto di libri, a contest for short films about libraries and librarians, organized by Associazione Italiana Biblioteche (AIB). The contest has three Sections (Fiction, Documentary and Advertising).

The IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award is given to the best short film about public libraries in large cities and metropolitan areas, among all the submitted films.

Everyone, as an individual or an institution, is eligible to apply.

The short films competing for the 2018 IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award will be projected and voted by the participants of the IFLA MetLib Conference in Belgrade, Serbia (May 13-18). In addition, the Chair (or a delegate) of three IFLA Sections (Audiovisual and multimedia, Metropolitan Libraries and Public Libraries) have the right to vote on-line.

The winner of the IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Short Film Award will receive:
– if a library, € 1,000 as a contribution to travel expenses to the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur (August 24-30, 2018);
– if an individual film-maker, € 1,000 in film-making equipment.

The winner will be announced and awarded at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur. An event is planned to be organized at a local public library branch during the Congress.

Read the complete Submission Rules for “A Corto di Libri”.

Applications must be submitted before 28 April 2018 to the following email:

All the infos are here. Contact me or send an e-mail to:

Lighting a Fire forLlife – B/Slash reduces fear of reading

By Guest Blogger,

Eric Boekesteijn

As soon as I enter the room I can feel the looks. ‘Who is that? What does she want?’ I am in a classroom of a high school for VMBO (preparatory middle vocational education) pupils. By no means an easy target group when it comes to reading and reading enjoyment. However, with B/Slash, a reading stimulation project set up for VMBO3 pupils by the Library of South Gelderland, the results are surprisingly positive.

Many of these pupils hardly ever read, or never read at all. They think that reading is stupid and that there are no good books. The starting point for this project is the Slash series by publisher Querido. True stories written by Dutch youngsters about drug trafficking, abuse, grief, and other subjects that resonate with these pupils.

Low literacy
A great many of these pupils are low literate or experience fear of reading. They are not in the habit of picking up a book by themselves. This is difficult for their teachers, often even a struggle. They consider it a victory if pupils read as much as a Donald Duck magazine. With this in the back of my mind, I start the lesson by presenting myself as a librarian who will start a fun book project. When I ask who thinks it’s cool I am here, not a single finger is raised. Luckily, I have experienced that this sentiment will change over the course of this project. After giving a brief overview of the B/Slash project, I explain the subject matter of the books. I brought four different titles with me and everyone has to choose one of these. During my talk, tranquility descends on the class. They listen attentively. Occasionally, you can see pupils glancing at each other, sharing a look of excitement. They know what they want, they are eager to start. After viewing our book trailers, they choose their preferred book. Teams of about four pupils are formed with students who have chosen the same book. They will be working together over the next five weeks. When I finish the lesson, I ask who thinks it’s cool I came by and who thinks the book they have is fun. With a smile I see how most fingers go up in the air. The foundation has been laid for the teacher to take over.

Over the following five weeks, the teacher will be using a specifically designed curriculum. By means of a digital platform, Kahoot, pupils can earn points through a variety of questions and creative assignments. The questions will stimulate the pupils to discuss the books together. Because of this set-up, teachers hardly have to prepare anything when they teach B/Slash. After five weeks, the group that has collected most points is proclaimed the winner. The book of this group is the point of focus for the conclusion of the project.

Project day

When I stop by to take a look during a project day, I can see the pupils enthusiastically working with stop-motion animation and theatre. They are acting out a scene from the book together with instructors from “Kleinkunstig” (an art-education foundation) and transforming that into an Augmented Reality route. This makes this project so much more than just reading stimulation. It directly helps teachers and students develop 21st-century skills. During a break, pupils come over and tell me they loved the book. ‘Miss, do you have any more of these sort of books?’ With a nod I list a couple of titles. Mission accomplished. A fire has been lit, the important thing is to keep it burning.

B/Slash is a project by the Library of South Gelderland, with the help of funders and many others. Our organization is happy to share successful projects with other libraries, so that we can help each other in reaching this important target group. That is why we have made B/Slash available to everyone in the Netherlands and offer support during the set-up period. Several libraries have already embraced the project. Want to know more? Check

Marjolein Hordijk – Project member with the Library of South Gelderland
Photos: Marcel krijgsman / Twitter: @justslacking / Twitter: @bieb024 / Facebook: bibliotheekgelderlandzuid

Super focused studying with StudyShare

By Guest Blogger

Eric Boekesteijn

How do you prevent students from getting distracted during studying and transform the library into a successful place for studying? Frank Verbeek from the Public Library of Amsterdam knows the solution.

The experiment
Ten o’clock in the morning. A room filled with tables, arranged in classroom fashion. Behind these tables are forty buzzing students. My desk is at the front. Behind it are a large clock and a blackboard with the rules. I explain those again. Talking: forbidden. Social media: forbidden. Entering late: forbidden. Leaving early: forbidden. Everything is forbidden, except studying. A different blackboard shows the study times. At 10.15: study, 11.00: break, 11.15: study, 12:00: break. And so on. It is time, the door closes. All eyes are on my hand, which overly dramatic moves to the bell on my desk. At exactly 10.15 it rings: ‘Ting.’ StudyShare is born!

The idea
The library is a popular place for studying. On a daily basis students are fighting an uneven battle against distraction, which lurks everywhere. At the end of the day they head home frustrated: another day wasted. StudyShare is the answer. StudyShare is the only ‘prison’ you walk into voluntarily. Once inside, you lose your freedom to be distracted, a freedom you need like a hole in your head. StudyShare is clear, simple and super structured.

In practice
Will it work? The first forty-five minutes feel a bit unfamiliar, but after that it all becomes clear. During study it is as quiet as a mouse. Each time after exactly forty-five minutes the bell rings, and it seems as if the students wake up from collective hypnosis: ‘What? Already?’ The talks during the obligatory breaks are about magic. Those forty-five minutes were… timeless! Elated, the students head home that afternoon. A boy jubilates: ‘Never in my life have I done as much as today!’
StudyShare, which I thought up in a flash, came in second at the annual Innovation Prize for staff of the Public Library of Amsterdam. For one week I could use an expensive room for free to turn it into a success. On just the fourth day, the experiment resulted in so many satisfied students and good publicity, that the manager decided to extend the experiment. ‘Frank, we have to continue this!’ he exclaimed after seeing the crammed room.

‘I am done’
Halfway through the second week, a student comes up to me. She had participated in nearly all sessions, every day from ten o’clock in the morning until eight o’clock in the evening. ‘Thank you so much’, she said, ‘you can give my spot to somebody else tomorrow’. ‘What do you mean?’ I asked. She explained: ‘I had to write my thesis, but I suffer from extreme procrastination. For months, I made hardly any progress. StudyShare came just in time. I have never worked as hard as in the last couple of days. My thesis is just about done’.

StudyShare expands
We have moved on three years. Thanks to experimenting and a lot of feedback from students, the formula has been further perfected. We have come up with an efficient system of ticketing that forces students to get out of bed early. They appreciate this. Incidentally, participation is free. Each time, we organize StudyShare during the period of exams, for about two weeks. The enthusiasm of the participants is our best publicity, but we also have a clever marketing campaign, a mailing list, and there is a Facebook group.

Fancy this in your library? Please contact us! We are happy to advise and tell you about things to keep in mind to make it a success. Also, you can visit our website: (Dutch) (English)
Frank Verbeek, OBA (Public Library of Amsterdam)


Football Makes Reading Fun

By Guest Blogger,
Eric Boekesteijn

Score a book! is a reading project for primary school pupils aged 8-10. Encouraged by players from Dutch professional teams, the children read as many books as they can during a period. A formula that catches on.

‘Jolanda, come see this!’ It is Saturday morning and when entering the Library Veendam I am called over by Henk, or as I know him better: Mr. Henk. Henk works at a primary school nearby. He buzzes with energy and is even livelier than a class of thirty children. Today, as ever, he is beaming from ear to ear. I walk over to him and look in the direction he is pointing. At the reception desk I see my colleague Henny. Next to her is a boy with his father. ‘This is Kevin’, Henk tells me enthusiastically, ‘a pupil of mine. Poor reader. He joined the library today. Thanks to Score a Book! How cool is that?’

This week, we kicked-off Score a Book! again. Mr. Henk’s class has been participating since the beginning in 2012. A few days earlier, Henk had already sent me some pictures through WhatsApp. These pictures showed his pupils ‘scoring’ books. The children were lying down all over the classroom floor. Yes, lying down because with Mr. Henk you are allowed to read in the strangest places.

An hour later I am talking to my colleague Henny, trying to tell her about Mr. Henk and the boy from his class. I am interrupted immediately. ‘Kevin! Yes, he joined the library and picked out some books right away.’ Henny’s eyes light up. ‘I asked him what he liked. ‘Football’ was his answer, but he was not so keen on reading. Do you know what I told him? ‘Ask me if I like reading?’’ Kevin has asked Henny. ‘‘No’, she had said, ‘I don’t like reading the way most people do’’. Kevin and his father were surprised. How can you work in a library then? Anyone who knows Henny, knows about her love for particular books. Like no one else, she knows how to find those children’s books that are just slightly different and therefore very popular with children. “I then selected a few books with Kevin’, Henny continues, ‘Afterwards, I asked his father what he liked.’ ‘I don’t like reading’, Kevin’s father responded. ‘That’s not what I asked’, Henny said ‘I asked you what you liked’. After some hesitation he answered that he liked to cook. ‘Then I also gave them an Italian children’s cookbook. Now they can cook together!’

Thanks to the extraordinary effort made by people like Mr. Henk and my wonderful colleague Henny, as a library, we are able to make children experience the delight of reading. Because, as Mr. Henk wrote to the parents of his pupils: ‘He who reads, conquers the world!’
Score a Book! 2018

You can score anywhere! With this in mind, the Library in association with the Dutch Premier League is carrying out a unique reading project for pupils aged 8-10: Score a Book! In six regions across the Netherlands, from February until April, 11,000 pupils will be reading (‘scoring’) as many books as they can for nine weeks. The children are encouraged through video messages by players from famous soccer clubs such as AZ, FC Groningen, Go Ahead Eagles, Heracles Almelo, NEC, and Willem II. Score a Book! will be expanded to more regions in the Netherlands over the coming years.

Score a Book! doesn’t just happen in the classroom. In 2018, the libraries will also be inviting families to ‘score’ books, newspapers, and magazines at home as well. The whole family can join in. For this, the libraries are organizing many fun (football) activities.

More information: Jolanda Robben, coordinator Score a Book! at Biblionet Groningen.

The campaign for the new City Library building in Zagreb

By Ismena Meic

The City of Zagreb strategic plan for 2020 finally includes a new City Library building. The Zagreb City Libraries network expert team was assembled to elaborate on the existing project idea “New City Library in Zagreb” and assist in preparation for public urban planning and building tender. Expert team has prepared a document “New City Library in Zagreb: Library Programme” based on the statistics, elaboration of the new and functional work integration in the central library for The Zagreb City Libraries network and reflections on the functional space organization for providing quality service to the population of Zagreb. Main purpose of the Library Programme is to point out that the new green City Library building needs to be green and sustainable, built on an adequate location, but also ensure a quality study for public urban planning and building tender.

One of solutions for permanent location of the City Library is Paromlin. Paromlin is on the map and in the memory of the city as one of the most important monuments of industrial architecture in Zagreb. Transforming Paromlin into the new City Library will contribute to efforts to transform neglected industrial architecture into public spaces or to transform a neglected area in the city centre into a living public space, with dominantly public contents.

More information: New City Library in Zagreb: Library Programme

Check This Out

By Anette Mjöberg

I work as a Library Director in Hässleholms municipality in Sweden.

Last summer at WLIC in Wroclaw me and my collegue Lo Claesson got the opportunity to speak in one of the sessions :
Check me out! Human libraries and unique circulating collections, from art to technology petting zoos (with Acquisition and Collection Development and Public Libraries)


I choose to talk about the possibility to borrow this things:

-Energy measures in all Libraries in Hässleholms Libraries
– Borrow seeds at Hästveda branch Library at Hästveda branch library in Hässleholms municipality.
– Borrow clothes, tools and the library for meetings in Garaget branchlibrary in Malmö municipality.
– An electric bike at Tyringe branchlibrary in Hässleholms municipality

The library has a cooperation with the energy adviser in our municipality The visitors can borrow it for 3 weeks but has to pay a 20 Euro in security but will get it back if the bicycle is not damage at the return. The amount of electric bikes in Sweden has increased and this a good way of trying to see if you want to buy one.

Hästveda branch Library has a little seed library. You can leave seeds from you garden and you can change seeds and take something new to try. A very nice way without costs to develop you garden and the visitors really like it. After the session a librarian from Borneo came and spoke to me about the seed library.

This is one of the most interesting and charmig thing about IFLA.
The possibility to discuss and listen to and get inspired about
libraries all around the world.An advantage we all must be aware of and of course use to our best.

Now I,m curious about your Libraries. What kind of special things do you have in your Library? Should be fun if YOU can give me some examples just to inspire me and other libraries.