Thursday, August 4, 2011

PL 33/11: Leaders with experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — plinius @ 4:43 pm

At IFLA Jens Thorhauge and Erik Thorlund Jepsen will speak about the Success or failure of digital library services – a decade of Danish experiences.

The summary says: – The ongoing shift of paradigm from analogue to digital library services has changed the concepts of information services and reference work in less than two decades. The paper presents a review of three categories of services developed and presented in Denmark from the mid nineties till today:

  • 1) services that did not survive in spite of a vast remount of resources invested in them.
  • 2) services that managed to develop
  • 3) new services that are user inclusive, responsive and interactive.

In my Norwegian blog I have addressed a similar question to Norway’s library leaders:

– Where should we place our own digital projects – (with names) like, BIBSYS, Kulturnettet, BIBSYS Emneportal, Detektor, Biblioteksvar, Reaktor, Second Life, Ønskebok and all the others – within these three categories? Who would be willing to pose such questions in an equally critical and self-critical way?

The services will be reviewed in relation to their innovative impact and actual use and their potential to meet various user needs. Focus will be on lessons learned that have a perspective for future services.

Are we (in Norway) equally willing to learn from our own experiences (which are as mixed as the Danish ones)

Journalists, bloggers and commentators from below have many views on such issues. But what do the leaders of the profession think?


  • ST 56/11: Bibliotekledere. This blog post identifies Norway’s library leaders (defined by their positions). The total lies between fifty and sixty. We have about two thousand active librarians and about four thousand library staff (FTE’s) alltogether.


  • the change of reference and information services in libraries has occurred incredibly fast.
  • the reference collection… has today more or less disappeared
  • [Today] hardly anybody would …  go to the library and look something up in an encyclopaedia.
  • The use of reference collections is – at least in our country, Denmark, generally extremely low
  • The idea that a library … should not present these works may be unbearable for those, who created the collection. …
  • Sometimes libraries were chasing the latest fashion on the web
  • Second Life was an example on that, and who remembers Second Life today?
  • We did not have the time (or did not bother in our search for new roles?) to evaluate the experiments we did.
  • We never did a coherent and comprehensive evaluation
  • It is time to sum up some important learning particularly from the failures.

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