During the last Readmagine conference there was a dialogue between Susanne Gilling (Aarhus Library, Denmark), Eric Brys (Cyberlibris, France) and David Streatfield (International Libraries Consultant, UK) on the new role of libraries within the digital context and how this role could match with the new means of the content industry.
This conversation took place at the auditorium of Casa del Lector (Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, Madrid) as part of the Readmagine 2018 conference which is organized every year, during the first week of June. In this web site all the interested can access to the video of whole conversation and here is a very brief interview with the speakers.
Susanne Gilling believes that libraries are public services dedicated to satisfy the needs of citizens and should understand, in its own interest, the great value of not only, knowing readers or patrons very well but, also learning and collaborating with them.
David Streatfield said that there is certain ambivalence about the role of digital. In some countries, digital services have been developed to re-launch public libraries and imaginative services are being provided in all types of libraries, from 24 hours enquiry services in academic libraries to helping farmers obtain EU subsidies. In other countries, politicians have used the illusion of ready access to e-knowledge as an excuse to slash school and public library budgets.
Eric Brys stated that the traditional means that librarians use, is to follow a top-down approach, because they are the experts who classify, shelve and recommend books. But the other option is bottom-up: Try to decipher/compute the various (reading) networks embedded into patron’s data.
The members of this panel agree that libraries can’t be simply a warehouse for books, because that path could lead them to some kind of social irrelevance. The most successful and active libraries are transforming their offer into a set integrated by the co-creation of patrons’ ideas and the design of community experiences or learning with free, immediate and delocalized access to the contents.
Susanne Gilling is the Head of Local Branches and Library Services, Dokk1 (Aarhus, Denmark). She is librarian and management education. In Aarhus Public Libraries since 1997, various positions. 2014 Head of Local Branches (18). 2017 Head of Library Services, Dokk1.
Eric Briys is the founder of Cyberlibris, a French firm established in 2001. Cyberlibris is the pioneer of institutional subscription based digital libraries. Cyberlibris clients include business schools, universities, corporations, public libraries. Eric is a former investment banker and a former Professor of Economics and Finance. His latest book, entitled « D’or et d’airain : Penser, cliquer, agir » was published in 2017 by Les Belles Lettres.
David Streatfield has been involved with impact evaluation for more than thirty years.
He is Principal of Information Management Associates a consultancy, training and research team focused on evaluating information and library service provision and particularly on assessing the impact of these services. He has conducted impact evaluation consultancy work for the International Development Research Centre, IREX and the US Public Library Association as well as facilitating a two year university library self-evaluation programme (involving 22 UK university library teams). He is currently leading the programme evaluation for the IFLA International Advocacy programme and last December completed a ten-year spell as Independent Impact Consultant to the Global Libraries Initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.