Next Library calling: We want your ideas for 2019!

Submit your ideas in comment fields below, please

In 2018 Germany borrowed the brand Next Library® for a remarkable satellite conference in Berlin.

In 2019 Aarhus Public Libraries are taking Next Library® back home to Dokk1 in Aarhus, Denmark, to create our recognized biennial Next Library 2-4 June.

What's the purpose of a Next Library event?
The overall aim of the Next Library® is to provide inspiration, knowledge and insights that will enable its participants to become active game changers and transformers of library services and facilities, in close proximity with users and stakeholders in their own community.

Next Library is highly interactive and invites participants from all over the world with diverse experiences and perspectives that can inspire each other in the sharing and development of cutting edge rethinking and practices of public libraries.

What are we looking for?
We are looking forward to receiving your ideas for themes, topics, challenges, wild card events and new formats of learning & playful sessions etc.

From the start of planning Next Library 2019 we invite attendes and partners in shaping the program – and – that’s why we want your ideas:
Which topics are most important in the library business in 2019?

Submit your ideas now!
Submit your ideas below – whether it’s a grand theme, a small topic, a challenge or just something you’re wondering about and would like to be discussed. It can also be wild card events, playful sessions or new learning formats. Note: you must be signed in to leave a comment.

Submission deadline is extended to October 7 2018.
Take a look at the full timeline for planning Next Library 2019 here

Next Library 2019 is organized by Aarhus Public Libraries in collaboration with partners & sponsors
Next Library Advisory Board
EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries)
The Danish Library Association
DMXJ Danish School of Media and Journalism
Aarhus City Lab
Progress Foundation, Occupy Libraries

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Comment by Nonja van der Ark on October 11, 2018 at 18:53

Participation pain or fine?
Participation of low-literate autochthonous people in the library is a challenge.
With the Language in Motion project, it is possible to let those groups of people participate in the library community
Language in Motion started in May 2018 with different types of people from our society.
For example people with intellectual disabilities, young people with autism, elderly people with memory problems and derailed youngsters who try to get their lives back on the road with help.
Together we develop activities that suit the needs of the group.
For example supping in the canals of Alkmaar to pick up trash and a 'Climb to Heaven' was made with different groups.
By participating in these activities people become familiar with the possibilities of the library to improve the basic skills and the step of taking part in the various possibilities is smaller.

At the moment we are working with young people who have difficulties in participating in society to develop a project in the library. In this project meeting and learning skills that are necessary to function well in society is the starting point.
A number of young people who have a form of autisme are currently working on a p.r. film about the library.
Participation is the golden word in the library community. But ... what are we going against? Does it mean giving space to the other person that you give up your own space?
And what does that do with colleagues and regular visitors?
We at the Kennemerwaard library would like to tell you about our participation adventure at next library 2019 together with young people who have a form of autisme and the professionals who work with those young people!
Kind regards,
Nonja van der Ark
Bibliotheek Kennemerwaard
Alkmaar Nederland.

Comment by Next Library on October 9, 2018 at 14:52

Thank you so much for all the creative ideas and great statements you sent to us!
For this first call of ideas Next Library 2019 received ideas and statements from 102 people from 31 countries: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, Israel, Kenya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, South Africa, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, UK, Ukraine and USA
The ideas were sent to us via:
72 Cards with 76 names collected at Next Library Satellite Conference Berlin 12 – 15 September 2018
19 Comments on Next Library web:
6 Comments on Next Library facebook
1 comment via
The Next Library Advisory Board and Next Library Executive Committee are now reviewing the ideas. Stay tuned for announcement of themes and calls for proposals for Interactive Sessions & Ignite Next Library Talks Monday 15 October. 
Best wishes, 
Next Library Crew

Comment by James Wachira Waruinge on October 8, 2018 at 14:41

Having an open mind and through the experience gained by working with communities across Africa, I can strongly say that "Enabling Information access" should be the main theme in the next library conference. Libraries are The hub of Information and Knowledge for Empowerment and they enable access to information for knowledge and transformation of livelihoods. 

Reading promotions, equipping kids with digital skills, creating friendly library spaces all these will contribute enablement of information access. Most people in rural areas esp across Kenya, Africa have no access to the internet and they mostly rely on our libraries. As an ICT officer we have come up with tablets that are equipped with digital content that help our users to learn, play and grow and through this, they access thousands of information. The next library should be about: Read | Know | Empower. You can all access more of what we are doing on our website 

Comment by Joyce Sternheim on October 7, 2018 at 15:40

After having contributed to the 2017 and 2018 Next Library Conference, my colleague Rob Bruijnzeels and I from the Ministry of Imagination strongly feel that the 2019 conference should be dedicated to reflection. What have we learned so far? What are the most enduring ideas we heard? And what happened after the conference? Did people actually start new experiments to bring these ideas into practice? And how has that turned out?

We think Next Library should not just be a community of ideas, but also a reflective community. It won’t bring us any further if we come up with a new theme every year, without discussing what has truly been valuable in the past conferences and therefore deserves further investigation.

In the past we have heard some very inspiring keynote speakers, like Peter Macleod, David Lankes and  Nina Simon. In our opinion their vision of the role of libraries in the enhancement of the collective intelligence of communities is so crucial that they deserve further exploration and testing. We would like to hear from libraries that have started new projects to better their communities. And we also think it would be a great idea to invite some of the same keynote speakers again to help us reflect on the experiments libraries have started. That way we can truly learn together and not just exchange ideas.

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 6, 2018 at 11:10

Library metrics - How can a library measeure his social and economic impact on the community? 

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 6, 2018 at 11:09

Libraries as community hubs - How can a library foster development on depressed communities? 

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 6, 2018 at 11:07

Emergent literacy - How can libraries work with parents and caregivers in order to create awareness and action for them to work and develop early literacy with their babyes and toddlers?

Comment by Susana Silvestre on October 6, 2018 at 10:15

Libraries and emergent literacy

How to bring families to the fight against illiteracy?


The impact of the libraries

Can a library be a catalyst for social and economic development?

How to measure the social and economic impact of a library in a community?

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 5, 2018 at 13:55

Libraries and the elderly.In some communities, the elderly live in isolation and fear of a society they feel excluded from. How can libraries help them find their place in the community? What can libraries do to bring them out of home and feel usefull again?

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 5, 2018 at 13:51

Libraries and social cohesion - can libraries foster social coehsion by collecting and showcasing collective memory of the community?  How can libraries actively participate on creating or strengthen a community identity, and thereby helping understanding its social and urbanistic changes.

Comment by Paulo Alexandre Morais da Silva on October 5, 2018 at 13:39

Social inclusion and public libraries - how can public libraries promote social inclusion? What can libraries do to fight prejudice and discrimination of minorities like migrants? I  balieve public libraries have a role on this matter, so I think a session on this subjetc  would be very helpfull because migration is happening and prejudice too.


Comment by Helene Bruhn Schvartzman on October 3, 2018 at 12:05

Sustainability and Libraries - exploring the core of libraries as essentially /potentially sustainable both socially, economically and climatewise.

How can Libraries more explicitly join in facilitating a more sustainable future by creating platforms for sharing ressources, knowledge, gear, ressources, care, practice and storytelling.

Comment by Next Library on October 3, 2018 at 8:26

Idea from Adele Patrick:

A Think-in for 100 Action Take Aways. Making and facilitating a space in order to generate 100 ideas to activate when we return to our library spaces that will enable change, encourage use by ‘easy to ignore’ groups, address social injustice and make our resources (even more) relevant in our diverse and shifting political, social and cultural contexts.

In the space of 45 mins or so (or whatever time slot/s would be available) having an introductory 6 minute Pecha Kucha style outlining of some challenges and opportunities for libraries (as the frequently anchor organisations in our communities) to support and incubate social change.

In small groups, teams will then share some examples of innovation, successful risk taking and change making work developed in their own settings (1minute per person) before generating as a group, using rapid-fire methods as many Ideas for Action as possible that are ready to Take Away (and require minimum resourcing to expedite). The ‘100 ideas for action’ will be shared through social media and amongst wider Next Library participants.

Reporting on how many have been used and developed could be shared at the subsequent Next Library gathering.

Comment by Boris Zetterlund on October 2, 2018 at 10:33

The elephants in the roomwhy we need a hybrid library

The library community hail initiatives for national digital services and embraces social media.

With a national service you gain synergy, you lift the financial burden from struggling community libraries, equalise the service for everyone, and ease the strain on being digitally savvy locally.

But it may be a pyrrhic victory if it undermines the local library integration in the community and inclusion of the same in the library services. The solution is to channel national digital library services through the local library.

Social media is not a sustainable platform due to integrity and exploitation issues but function still as an alternative communication channel.

This, the view on national digital services and social media (the “elephants”), means that the local library should besides being the third place physically establish the third place digitally, the hybrid library.

The local hybrid library user experience will in a not so distant future explode digitally with information and dialogue on current subjects, information on events and the events themselves (including broadcasting, chats) followed by the event documentation, crowd sourcing, book clubs, resource sharing, projects ...

Privileged citizens enhances their opportunities with the internet smorgasbord, those with less social and cultural capital not so much. By including the community in the local library digital services the library will support, include and learn about their patrons in the digital world, bridging the digital divide.

The approach, inclusion of the community, is key in the movement from NPM (New Public Management) to NPG (Governance) and is a path for the library community as well.

The presentation/session/workshop should/will use examples from around the World.

Comment by Mikael Böök on October 1, 2018 at 9:51

In his Manifesto for Global Librarianship, R. David Lankes said: "The future of the profession is in a global knowledge school of thought." A "school of thought", he added, is "not a network, or a committee, or association." 

Although I did not attend the NextLibrary in Berlin, and therefore do not know exactly how much, and how deep discussion Lankes's idea aroused there, I do believe  that it deserves further investigation and explanation at the NextLibrary in Aarhus. Therefore, I suggest the theme: "a global knowledge school of thought."

Greetings from Finland,



Comment by Rishikesh Paul on September 30, 2018 at 17:37

What are the roles that libraries and librarians will play in future for our society?

Have we ever thought about producing and collecting daily life-related information for the local people, community or marginal people?? Did we think , how much a city-dweller like me need information daily? Citizens, students, farmers, villagers etc. need local information daily. Although for general information we depend on google but we can't depend on google much for authentic, reliable local information that can serve our daily information needs. 

For example, I need to visit a private doctor. Naturally I would like to visit the best doctor at reasonable price near my residence. In my city there are  hundreds of private practitioner. How can I find out my expected doctor?? This is local information. Google can't provide this information for me. Then where and to whom I should go for help?? Is there any trusted social institution or reliable person that will find me out that information??

Another example: A tourist came to my city. He needed a good residential hotel at a reasonable price. Then where should he go for this information?? This is local information and google is not able to meet his need.

In this era of tons of information, most of the information fake, unauthentic and unreliable. Information finders are at perplexed at this bundles of unwanted information. they do not find out the right information at right time. In this situation libraries trusted social institution and librarians are the trusted persons who provide the right information at right time.

In future, librarians must play as role of information scientists, knowledge manager and knowledge scientists. They will produce and collect new information for not only local community and people but also for government policy makers.

As a knowledge scientist, the librarian will participate in policy making meeting for local government and central government.

Now-a-days students want to be doctor, engineer, scientist and bureaucrat. In the future, student would like to be knowledge manager, knowledge scientist, information manager, etc.

And that should be the next library's and librarian's mission and vision.

Comment by John Ahaya Malamba on September 30, 2018 at 13:01

Session will focus on the importance of community libraries in rural developing countries, challenges they are facing and the need to support community libraries and put focus in developing countries.

Comment by John Ahaya Malamba on September 30, 2018 at 12:46

A theme focusing on  '' COMMUNITY LIBRARIES ARE VITAL  FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT'' there is need for creation and supporting community libraries in developing countries. The need to set up financial allocation to support the running day or day to day activities.

Session need to focus on the importance of reading culture ,access to information for community development are the major key roles for rural Community Libraries in Developing Countries. Challenges community libraries are facing in developing countries and need grant support for long term sustainability.

Comment by Maganda Isa on September 30, 2018 at 8:38

A theme on Youth involvement in Public and Community libraries to empower them in talent development, leadership and public speaking skills to reduce on political violence during and after elections of political heads in developing countries.  

Comment by Maganda Isa on September 30, 2018 at 8:19

A session focusing on Empowering Public and Community Libraries in developing Countries for more effective and efficient service to communities.

A theme on Giving more information accessibility opportunities to rural populations in developing countries

Maybe something in lines with Empowering Public and Community Libraries in developing countries for long-term sustainability and continued service. 

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