Public Libraries
as Social Innovation Catalysts
Prato CIRN Conference, October 29, 2013

Aldo de Moor
CommunitySense
WWW.C...
Public libraries in crisis: from threat to
opportunity
• Public libraries urgently need to reinvent their role in society
...
Research questions
• How to create sustainable collaborative networks of
communities across organizations and sectors?

• ...
Social innovation
• Many definitions…
• Social (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
– A novel solution to a social problem ...
Social innovation collaboration model

Core Community
C1
C2
C3
Developer
C4 C5
network
User network

Stakeholder
network
Social innovation process model

Source: http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/Social_Innovator_020310.pdf
6
Social innovation sensemaking
• Cross-sectoral social innovation = prolonged multistakeholder dialogue

• Aim: creating we...
A practical Social Innovation
Sensemaking method
• Using Social Innovation Collaboration &
Process model “lenses”
• Worksh...
Intra-sectoral sensemaking:
A “public library toolbox”

9
Inter-sectoral sensemaking
Case: “Kinderkennisbank”

10
“Kid’s Knowledge Base”

http://www.kinderkennisbank.nl

11
Inter-sectoral sensemaking:
Public libraries x universities

12
Inter-organizational sensemaking:
Feasible inter-sectoral project scenario

13
B@ttleweters happening!

Source: Yvonne Kimman

14
Intra-sectoral sensemaking:
scaling up public libraries innovation

15
B@ttleweters format – scaling up…

Brabant
… and up

Brabant
Social innovation lessons learnt
• Bring in outside stakeholders (early)
• Public libraries often better at later innovati...
Towards a SIS methodology
• Initial validation of support for stage 1-3 social
innovation process (up to prototype)
• Now ...
Public libraries & communities
• Public libraries
– Bridging the institutional and community world

– Catalyzing communiti...
How to scale up community
involvement?
Community of innovation

Communities of
practice, interest, collaboration

?

Commu...
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Public Libaries as Social Innovation Catalysts

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Public libraries urgently need to reinvent their role in society. Through social innovation, libraries may adopt new functions and roles and even act as innovation catalysts in networks of increasingly interdependent stakeholders from different sectors. We investigate how to design such inter-sectoral public library innovations that are embedded in existing organizational practice and are both sustainable and scalable. We outline a practical social innovation sensemaking method based on a combination of a social innovation collaboration network model and process model. We show how we did an initial validation of the method using the results of two exploratory workshops with professionals in the Dutch public library world. We discuss the implications of this approach for expanding the role of public libraries from providing access to collections to becoming social innovation and community catalysts.

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Public Libaries as Social Innovation Catalysts

  1. 1. Public Libraries as Social Innovation Catalysts Prato CIRN Conference, October 29, 2013 Aldo de Moor CommunitySense WWW.COMMUNITYSENSE.NL Rutger van den Assem Cubiss WWW.CUBISS.NL
  2. 2. Public libraries in crisis: from threat to opportunity • Public libraries urgently need to reinvent their role in society • From “keepers of collections and buildings” to “agents of innovative community empowerment processes” (Andersen et al. 2013) • Hubs in networks of overlapping communities of interest, practice, and collaboration • Social innovations: new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations (Murray et al. 2010) • How to use social innovation to scale up the community role of public libraries? 2
  3. 3. Research questions • How to create sustainable collaborative networks of communities across organizations and sectors? • How to embed interorganizational innovations in existing organizational practices, so that they survive beyond the project stage? • How to grow and link communities of interest, practice, and collaboration with both place-based and virtual dimensions? 3
  4. 4. Social innovation • Many definitions… • Social (Stanford Social Innovation Review) – A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals • Economic (e.g. Midpoint Brabant) – Governments, enterprises and educational institutes jointly explore new possibilities, discover markets, develop areas and facilities • Summarizing – Jointly with all stakeholders find sustainable solutions for societally relevant problems – Create individual and societal added value 4
  5. 5. Social innovation collaboration model Core Community C1 C2 C3 Developer C4 C5 network User network Stakeholder network
  6. 6. Social innovation process model Source: http://www.nesta.org.uk/library/documents/Social_Innovator_020310.pdf 6
  7. 7. Social innovation sensemaking • Cross-sectoral social innovation = prolonged multistakeholder dialogue • Aim: creating web of organizations and communities into a new governance structure that is generating innovation and producing societal learning and change • Sensemaking: ongoing retrospective (& prospective!) development of constructing plausible images from a social context (Weick et al 2005) • Intra- versus inter-sectoral sensemaking 7
  8. 8. A practical Social Innovation Sensemaking method • Using Social Innovation Collaboration & Process model “lenses” • Workshop 1: intra-sectoral sensemaking – Filling the “toolbox” – Potential inter-sectoral project scenarios • Workshop 2: inter-sectoral sensemaking – Feasible inter-sectoral project scenarios – Actual project proposal outline 8
  9. 9. Intra-sectoral sensemaking: A “public library toolbox” 9
  10. 10. Inter-sectoral sensemaking Case: “Kinderkennisbank” 10
  11. 11. “Kid’s Knowledge Base” http://www.kinderkennisbank.nl 11
  12. 12. Inter-sectoral sensemaking: Public libraries x universities 12
  13. 13. Inter-organizational sensemaking: Feasible inter-sectoral project scenario 13
  14. 14. B@ttleweters happening! Source: Yvonne Kimman 14
  15. 15. Intra-sectoral sensemaking: scaling up public libraries innovation 15
  16. 16. B@ttleweters format – scaling up… Brabant
  17. 17. … and up Brabant
  18. 18. Social innovation lessons learnt • Bring in outside stakeholders (early) • Public libraries often better at later innovation stages (sustaining and scaling) • Public libraries can shift their roles in the social innovation collaboration networks over time • Their large social capital makes public libraries key social innovation catalysts 18
  19. 19. Towards a SIS methodology • Initial validation of support for stage 1-3 social innovation process (up to prototype) • Now working on stage 4 (sustaining) • New domains • Further refinement – Selection of participants – Coordination with developers – Legitimacy & stakeholder/community involvement 19
  20. 20. Public libraries & communities • Public libraries – Bridging the institutional and community world – Catalyzing communities of (social) innovation addressing complex societal issues (metacommunities) – Librarians stewards of communities of interest, practice, and collaboration (“public sensemakers”) • Community informatics-based research frameworks and methodologies useful 20
  21. 21. How to scale up community involvement? Community of innovation Communities of practice, interest, collaboration ? Communities of practice, interest, collaboration Communities of practice, interest, collaboration 21

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