2014 Bringing Libraries on the agenda - a political Question


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Today I make a presentation on the Pre-conference for Decision Makers at the IFLA President´s Meeting 2014 in Helsinki.

The title is "Bringing Libraries on the agenda - a political Question" It's a introduction to The Danish Library Association and its unique organizational structure that involves both politicians and professionals.

In the Danish Library Association we represent one of the more radical solutions to achieving this political approach to working for libraries: We have brought the political decision-makers and the library professionals together in the same association. The President is always politicians and local politicians always constitute the majority.

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  • I’m Michel as you know,
    and I’m the New director of The Danish Library Association will make a more formal presentation of myself in a moment.
  • 2014 Bringing Libraries on the agenda - a political Question

    1. 1. Bringing Libraries on the agenda - a political Question Introduction to The Danish Library Association and its unique organizational structure that involves both politicians and professionals Michel Steen-Hansen Director The Danish Library Association msh@db.dk www.db.dk @saintmichels Pre-conference for Decision Makers at the IFLA President´s Meeting 2014
    2. 2. Short introduction DLA (Danish Library Association) has a special association structure of local politicians as well as library professionals on the Council. The President is always politicians and local politicians always constitute the majority President Vagn Ytte Larsen President of the Danish Library Association Steen B. Andersen
    3. 3. What is the meaning ? • How do we define the modern library? • Why is it so expensive to run modern libraries? • How can we make politicians understand the new definition of the modern library and the cost of running it? • And why is the library chancing character?
    4. 4. My experience is that it is way easier to convince the politicians of the need for books, than it is to convince them of the need for internetservices, development projects and contracting of database licenses.
    5. 5. The modern library  is an house of identity  more than just books  developed together with users  contributes to the knowledge society  create community benefits and social capital
    6. 6. Denmark 98 municipalities and approximately 480 public libraries, to a population of 5,5 mil. people
    7. 7. 483 Libraries (half closed since 1980, but 77 new ”pick up places” in stores and 150 “open libraries”* See the next slide ) Public libraries 1996-2012 Central Libraries Branch Libraries Busses Pick up places
    8. 8. 150 “open Libraries” in Denmark We have 98 main-libraries and 350 smaller Libraries, some of them we call “open Libraries” it is term for a concept that allows users to access the library space in principle 24/7 and serve them- selves with loans and return materials. And use the computers, read or maybe even set up a meeting or an event, if the space allows it. In the first instance the term ‘open library’ was chosen as the concept was implemented in libraries that had typically been branches with short – and often inconvenient – opening hours. And ‘open library’ is also a term preferable to ‘self service library’, as this concept requires another kind of professional support enabling the users to complete the necessary transactions themselves and to find their way in the library. In a few years this concept has spread to 150 libraries in Denmark and more are planned.
    9. 9. 9 36 million visitors 2011 (A small increase in the last years)
    10. 10. Opening hours Central Libraries Branch Libraries Busses
    11. 11. I 2011 udlånte bibliotekerne 77 mio. materialer Loans of materials from libraries (Books represents about 70%) renewals loans
    12. 12. Books Audio Books Periodicals
    13. 13. Periodicals Physical loans Total
    14. 14. Folkebibliotekernes økonomi efter indtægt/udgift og tid 2009 2010 2011 2012 Bruttodriftregnskab operating accounts 2 886 017 2 910 841 2 790 901 2 791 007 Lønudgifter Salaries 1 802 464 1 814 681 1 746 489 1 724 895 I alt, materialeudgifter material costs 368 044 354 495 335 622 319 862 Materialeudgifter, bøger Books 224 688 209 630 209 120 204 376 Materialeudgifter, andre materialer Other material costs 145 995 147 086 128 981 121 622 Øvrige udgifter other expenses 679 054 687 314 644 059 671 036 Indtægter Revenue 254 195 266 314 264 174 272 134 Public libraries economy by revenue / expenditure and time
    15. 15. ?
    16. 16. Don’t forget us We have to explain who we are, if we want the politicians to remember and understand the modern library
    17. 17. Bringing the libraries onto the political agenda
    18. 18. Library Association structure • The Danish Library Association is organized on the basis of a number of local associations working on regional level. • These local associations elect representatives to the Council of the National association. • The Council elects from within its members, an Executive Committee with ten members including a President, who is always a politician, and two vice presidents (one of them is a library professional)
    19. 19. DLA Organisation
    20. 20. Who are the DLA members?  Danish municipalities, represented by their politicians  Library decision makers and professionals as well as library associations and – institutions  Other cultural associations  Students of the Royal Library School
    21. 21. DLA Vision  To support democracy development by promoting free and equal access to information for all Danish citizens  To further the development of Danish libraries – in particular the public libraries  To influence and stimulate library development through lobbying and political work – nationally and locally  To further library development through cooperation between politicians, librarians and library related institutions
    22. 22. DLA Objectives The association shall  Advocate for library development towards city councils e.g. Danish municipalities  Secure its members influence on library development issues  Serve as an inspirational network for local and national politicians, library employees and others taking an interest in libraries and the information and cultural sectors.
    23. 23. Members 2014 76 of 98 Municipalities (Representing 90% of a population 5,5 mil.) Personal members 350 Institution members 44
    24. 24. How does DLA work db.dk
    25. 25.  Lobbying towards all relevant decision makers  Raising awareness and debate on relevant matters  DB Annual Meeting – is the meeting place for politicians and the public library sector  National and regional library conferences on hot topics  Carrying out, initiating and participating in library projects and surveys  Participating in official hearings/central committees nationally and internationally How does DLA work Annual Meeting 2009
    26. 26. Challenges • Support transformation of Yesterday’s Library to The 21st Century LIBRARY (physical and digital) • Make politically approved library strategies on a National and Local level and to finance it • Focus on the Local Governments and the new politicians after the local election in 2013
    27. 27. New narrative frame We need to create a new narrative frame Create a definition for what the modern library is Constantly debating how to describe it.
    28. 28. fremtidensbiblioteker.dk In the Danish libraries we have created a Thinktank "Future Libraries"
    29. 29. Bringing Libraries On the agenda - Let’s do it together ! See this presentation at Biblioteksdebat.dk Michel Steen-Hansen @saintmichels Michel Steen-Hansen msh@db.dk www.db.dk Biblioteksdebat.dk Let's Link?: linkedin.com/in/saintmichels twitter.com/saintmichels facebook.com/saintmichels
    30. 30. Urban Mediaspace in Aarhu which opens April 2015 Black Diamond/The Royal Library ee You in DENMARK! @saintmichels Msh@db.dk b.dk
    31. 31. ….a little about me • Michel Steen-Hansen • Director of The Danish Library Association from December 2008 • Master of Science (history and geography) Roskilde University • Former : – Director for Slagelse Library – Head of a historical archive in Ringsted – Chairman of Denmark's archive organization msh@db.dk www.db.dk Biblioteksdebat.dk Let's Link?: linkedin.com/in/saintmichels twitter.com/saintmichels facebook.com/saintmichels
    32. 32. Reach out - relevant offers to the entire population • Think in terms of public service • Work systematically with new partnerships and varied offers to all segments • Meet people where they are: – on the web, – in their homes, – in schools, – on the job, – in the club, – at the concert or the football match • At the LIBRARY