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A room is not just a room: The Library as shared place and why it matters to communites

CILIP 2019, Dundee, Scotland

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A room is not just a room: The Library as shared place and why it matters to communites

  1. 1. A room is not just a room: The library as shared place and why it matters to communities Christian Lauersen Director of Libraries and Citizen Services, Roskilde Municipality Mail: Twitter: @clauersen CILIP conference 2019, Dundee, June 2019
  2. 2. What makes a great place?
  3. 3. Why do they always put academic experts in the library?
  4. 4. What we are going to talk about today: 1) Why public places matter 2) A way work with public places 3) The Library as place and social infrastructure [I will not be talking about library decor or design]
  5. 5. Some concepts we are gonna talk about •Places: A building or area. Public •Individuals: You and me •Communities: A group of individuals •Libraries: Public, academic, special
  6. 6. To understand the impact of places we need to understand people
  7. 7. A place is not just a place: We respond to our surrondings Environmental psychology (late 1960’s) - Interplay between people and their surroundings - Environtments effects human behaviour
  8. 8. We respond to instutions
  9. 9. Places and people: Why I love Berlin
  10. 10. Chicago heat wave Places and people: The 1995 Chicago heat wave
  11. 11. Social infrastructure are.. ..spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. When it's robust, we are much more likely to engage one another and build relationships. When it's degraded and neglected, we're much more likely to hunker down and be on our own Eric Klinenberg
  12. 12. The Library as social infrastructure: Not only shared books but also shared spaces
  13. 13. Weak social infrastructure and loneliness – the invisible cancer of communities
  14. 14. First life, then spaces, then buildings - Jan Gehl Placemaking: An approach to creating public places to foster social infrastructure
  15. 15. Placemaking Creating public spaces that promotes people’s health, happiness and well being [translated to library context] Creating public spaces that promotes civic and academic communities ability to learn, explore, connect and belong
  16. 16. Placemaking principles • The Community knows best • Places, not designs • Make and act on observation • Requires a vision • Placemaking is an ongoing process
  17. 17. Placemaking case: Roskilde Main Library
  18. 18. Roskilde Main Library, rebuilding and placemaking 2019 New entrance: ”LIBRARY” The smell of coffee and freshly backed bread Green open public area with a stage Transperancy and light Linkage to the city Community involvement
  19. 19. To sum it up • A place is not just a place. It effects us on a practical and emotional level and has the power to shape us, connect us and empower communties • Loneliness kills • Don’t start with the building. Start with the community • Public places as libraries are important parts of our social infrastructure in civic and academic life. Let’s explore that…
  20. 20. Why do they come? Do we have that great tables and chairs? Why don’t they sit at home? Or at Starbucks?
  21. 21. Case story: Trashed campus, neat library
  22. 22. Why do they come? Two approachs: • The library as place (and brand) • Social infrastructure and the life of the user
  23. 23. The Library as brand: Trustworthy since 2600 BC
  24. 24. I am human and I need to be loved How Soon Is Now, The Smiths 1985
  25. 25. The life of the user goes beyond tables, chairs and books Social infrastructure is at least as important as hard infrastructure
  26. 26. The story about Knut, the lonely student
  27. 27. The story about Knut, the lonely student
  28. 28. The library as place and brand are attached to great values Let that place and your actions foster social infrastruture in your community learning, knowledge, trust, inclusion, cultural experiences
  29. 29. Final notes! [Hey Sean, how much time do I have left?]
  30. 30. The librarian Final notes #1: The most valuable asset of a library as place is the employess and the community
  31. 31. Final notes #2: Be like the anthropologist
  32. 32. Final notes #3: Great places are a pinata of inter-related factors
  33. 33. Final notes #4: Functionality, functionality, functionality
  34. 34. Final notes #5: Embrace failures
  35. 35. Final notes #6: Never ever change the library name to something else
  36. 36. Final notes #7: Be proud
  37. 37. Thanks for listening Christian Lauersen Director for Libraries and Citizen Services Roskilde Municipality Mail: Twitter: @clauersen The Library Lab: Library Planet: Instagram: @librarylovestories