Maija Berndston Creating Digital Inclusive Environements
European Congress on E-inclusion:
ECEI09 - Technology and Beyond
in Public Libraries
Creating inclusive digital environments
Brussels, 22-23 October 2009
Helsinki City Library
Paul Otlet – a Visionary
• We need visions
• The role of public libraries
• From hybrid to boundless
• An example of new service
• Ideas for implementation
The World City – a Utopian Vision
• In 1910, Otlet and La
envisioned a "city of
knowledge", which Otlet
originally named the
"Palais Mondial" ("World
Palace"), that would
serve as a central
repository for the
The World City – a utopian vision
• A city, which like a universal
exhibition brings together all the
leading institutions of the world
and would radiate knowledge,
construct peace, universal
• The design of a Mundaneum (1928)
and a World City (1929) by Le
Corbusier in Geneva next to the
palace of the League of Nations.
Prescient of the World Wide Web
• Otlet's writings = prescient of the
current World Wide Web.
• His vision of a great network of
knowledge was centered on
documents and included the
notions of hyperlinks, search
engines, remote access, and social
networks—although these notions
were described by different
The nature of the new world that was in
• How knowledge might be mobilised
to manage social change more
effectively than in the past.
• To assemble and interrelate all
documents in their various
• The objective was universality.
The library, the museum and the
archive were all to be seen as
aspects of a single documentary
• The interlinking that was necessary
had to be centralised in a
• In a great world palace, the
Mundaneum, would be located the
nerve center for managing
knowledge acquisition and
dissemination on a global scale.
• A world city representing
symbolically a new polity in which
international relations of all kinds
could be rationally ordered for the
benefit of mankind.
• The Mundaneum, he tells us, is an
idea of universalism. It is an
institution in which is brought
together “the museum for seeing,
the cinema for viewing, the library,
encyclopedias and archives for
reading, the catalogue for
consulting, the lecture, radio and
the disc for listening, and the
conference for debating
Knowledge organisation and a new world polity: the
rise and fall and rise of the ideas of Paul Otlet, By
W. Boyd Rayward*
The Ubiquitous Society
Connects everyone and everything.
Easy connection to networks ”anytime, anywhere, by anything
and anyone”. A society where ICT will be everywhere in daily
life and can easily be used.
Person to Person plus Person to Goods, and Goods to Goods. In
every aspect, communication will play an even more important
Creation of vitality of the individual, vitalize the society.
Based on users’ viewpoints.
Close to the user.
Users can be suppliers too, ”prosumers”.
Library – a space for democracy
- Non-commercial meeting
- For all – for free
- Versatility of medias
- To meet like-minded
- Supermarket of
Library – a space for culture
- Individual’s development;
individual needs as
- Abilities: literacy, it-literacy,
- Economical development
- Social development, for
example energy, consumption,
Library – a space for learning
- Identity - local, regional,
- Forms of culture/ means
- Word, image, sound
Helsinki City Library
Vision 2000 - 2005
The whole nation’s
serving locally, acting
Hybrid library: www.lib.hel.fi
VÉÄÄxvà|ÉÇ S S
Ask Online h h
http://www.li e VÉÄÄxvà|ÉÇ e
b.hel.fi l l
e e VÉÄÄxvà|ÉÇ
- contains Reading places
about Finnish Workstations
the Finnish service
HelMet – iGS - Information
weblibrary Gas Station
Boundless Library: The digital
Visibility, library ”in
to meet the your pecket”
Learning enviroment Guidance
The boundless Experiences,
Photo: Anish Kapoor
Information Gas Station iGS
On the web
On the road
• Answers, guidance and
• Treshold to participation
as low as possible
• Customers participate in
creating the content
• Promoting library
materials and personnels
iGS on the road: The Information barrel
• Fast and flexible touring
• Designed to function in
• The Barrel has visited
shopping malls, festivals,
fairs, schools etc.
iGS on air – “Ask anything”
• Co-operation with
• Question of the week -
answer given in live radio
• Over 70 000 listeners
• Co-operation, not
• Teaching and ”librarish”
elements are hidden
• Library goes where the people
• Reaching the non-users
• Library 2.0 extending beyond
web services and use of new
• Using all three iGS ”products”
to market library services
• Enhancing information seeking
skills of the whole staff
What kind of libraries do we create?
Information Gas Station
• Answers to approximately
10 000 questions yearly
• Visits to IGS-webpages
Kallio Library 800 000
• Answers to approximately 6 - more than in any branch
600 questions yearly library
• Libraryvisits 434 424 • Collection: archive with 50
(year 2008) 000 answers
• Collection: 96 049 • Staff: approximately 50
• Staff: 28 people in 20 libraries
1. The changing role of the customer
• Focus on the end-user and customer experience, not
just the information.
• Look into mass-customization: how to customize the
library experience to each individual regarding
• Involve the net generation or experts from outside
your own field for rethinking the justification for
2. Use new technology and work innovatively
• Look beyond first hand metadata, to second party recommendations and
• Utilize open data more, build interfaces for people to do mashups with.
• Build mobile applications to locate books and get instant social navigation to
library books on-location and online.
• Look at QR-codes or similar cheap technologies and stamp them into every
book for contextual information.
• Look into user-generated taxonomies (folksonomies), information
visualization and new ways for “putting the same book in multiple shelves”.
• What augmented reality applications could libraries develop/use?
• Stop watching TV and work on (the next) wikipedia.
3. See beyond the existing
• Transform the library facility to something that encourages participation or
new reasons to go to a library.
• Understand the changing framework, not just the the (changing) content.
• Don’t do the mistake of replicating libraries online as it is. They already did the
mistake of replicating the classroom online.
• The web is not a destination, but a network of decentralized components.
Harness the network properties.
• Understand the technological, social and
economical drivers for future developments.
• Rethink the virtual visit to complement physical visits.
• Understand contextuality provided by the web and how to tap into it from the
The Mundaneum – the brave new library?!
• Google’s mission is the same as
libraries have had for centuries.
It’s time to understand digital
convergence in new ways.
• Why are libraries not as visible
as Google? Why don’t we have a
• Why are not libraries marketing
them as citizens´special
• What is the Mundaneum today?