Tag Archives: Italy

Reflections on La Biblioteca Che Cresce, Conference, Milan

This week we’re hearing from guest blogger, Sue Considine, a member of the IFLA Public Libraries Standing Committee



In March I had the pleasure to serve as keynote and on a panel at the La Biblioteca Che Cresce, Conference at Stelline in Milan Italy.  I was inspired by all of the innovative work and the unique physical spaces of the Libraries represented on the panel and thought I would share takeaways with you.

First up was Tuula Haavisto, Cultural Director, former Library Director, City of Helsinki.  Tuula shared the planning process that was undertaken for the new Helsinki Central Library Oodi.  She also shared successes and cautionary points, including how “popularity brings positive problems” when a successful new building and plan of service brings in usage and attendance beyond the capacity of the new library and staff.

Following Tuula, I shared, from a United States Library perspective, a talk entitled Beyond Content: Community Engagement through Community Led Participatory Learning and Knowledge Creation.  I encouraged attendees to analyze and assess their organizational cultures, commit resources to lifelong learning for staff members, to undertake rebranding for results as we strive to communicate value and impact, and for Librarians to embrace their role as Facilitators through a Community Led service model.

Next was Theo C.M Kepperman, Director of the Rotterdam Public Library.  Theo focused his presentation on unique, popular programming for “young people” specifically ages 14-26, a population notoriously difficult to capture with library programming.    Theo went on to describe the “three pillars” of successful programming for young people which include Physical- (interior design and incorporation of partners), Content- (sharing digital and physical content and components related to leisure, study, work, and personal development) and finally the Human component- (personnel, partners, community, co-creators).

Meike Jung, the Manager of the Library at Stuttgart, Germany shared inspiring stories of tech integration into library spaces and programming to introduce citizens to not only ythe digital world but to emerging technologies and coding languages that will shape the future of how we interact with technology and the digital world around us.

Emma Catiri and Daniela Cichetti, Librarians in Milan, Italy closed out this extraordinary panel by sharing the plans for their new modern, expanded library facility and how the planning process requires them to explore the territory between innovation and participation.  This was especially valuable as they are in the process currently and they had not only details and information to share but questions to ask as they grow library services on behalf of the community and the larger community they intend to serve in their new spaces when complete.

The panel session concluded with more Q&A than time allowed.  It was an incredible opportunity to share with colleagues and peers, the networking alone made the trip to Italy to speak invaluable.  The Stelline conference is an annual event, and is the largest Library and Information Science annual conference in Italy.  Please consider attending in the future.


Photo exhibition “Terra mia” and Charity


Our colleague, Natia Merlino from Italy has sent this story about a great initiative the  Municipal Library Nicola Pitta has undertaken to support the children of Africa. This too demonstrates how libraries are making a difference in our world.

The City of Apricena, the Department of Culture, and the Library “Nicola Pitta”, with the sponsorship of the National Park of Gargano , promoted the photographic exhibition “Terra mia” The exhibition is part of the “Photo book” project of traveling exhibitions in order to reinforce the concept of existing inter-library cooperation, resource sharing, and other initiatives.

The exhibition “Terra mia” was hosted in the lobby of the Palace of Culture in the months of August 2014. The Municipal Library “Nicola Pitta”, for this event, was on hand to fund studies on the subject with the “Park in Library”, donated by the National Park of Gargano.

At the conclusion of the exhibition photos were bought in charity and the proceeds were used to purchase educational materials and clothing for children in Africa. The material will be delivered personally at the  end December 2015.


L’Amministrazione Comunale di Apricena, l’Assessorato alla Cultura e la Biblioteca “Nicola Pitta”, con il patrocinio dell’Ente Parco Nazionale del Gargano (presieduto dall’Avv. Stefano Pecorella), hanno promosso la Mostra fotografica «Terra mia» dell’Associazione “fotografando”.
L’Associazione è composta da Nazario Cruciano, Claudio Del Fuoco, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Antonello Ferrazzano,  Michele La Monaca, Antonella Pia Merla, Natia Merlino, Bartolomeo Perrotta).

La Mostra rientra nel Progetto “Fotolibro” e nel Progetto di Mostre itineranti-tematiche all’interno delle Biblioteche afferenti ad un unico Polo, così da rafforzare il concetto di Cooperazione inter-bibliotecaria, la condivisione delle risorse, dei progetti e delle iniziative, già valido con la procedura della Catalogazione partecipata.

La Mostra «Terra mia» è stata ospitata nell’atrio del Palazzo della Cultura nei mesi di Agosto 2014.

La Biblioteca Comunale “Nicola Pitta”, per tale manifestazione, è stata a disposizione per studi sull’argomento con il Fondo “Il Parco in Biblioteca”, donato dall’Ente Parco Nazionale del Gargano.

A conclusione della Mostra le foto sono state comprate in beneficenza e il ricavato è stato interamente utilizzato per l’acquisto di materiale didattico ed indumenti per bambini dell’Africa. Il materiale sarà consegnato personalmente a fine dicembre 2015.