Do you want to be a buddy?

Connect with your Berlin colleagues and take your conference experience to the next level.

 What is the idea?

There are approximately 800 employees working at the Berlin public libraries. Not all of them can attend Next Library® Conference Berlin. However, it is a fantastic chance to host this event, and we want to make the most of it. This is how we came up with the idea of the Buddy System. Simply put, it offers Berlin librarians a chance to meet up with some of the international conference guests outside the actual event, and in turn it gives the global conference goers a chance to meet with the locals, and get some insights into Berlin, and life as a librarian in Berlin, and maybe a drink, a laugh, some company. Language barrier concerns are real, so please be patient with each other and encouraging.

We do not propose one-on-one buddy meet-ups, but rather small groups, for a number of reasons. This means: 

  • one Berlin buddy will hang out simultaneously with up to four international guests

or

  • two Berlin buddies will hang out simultaneously with up to eight international guests.

So, for example, if you are a small delegation coming from the same library in Poland, why not find yourselves a Berlin buddy? (That's one buddy for all of you, don't be greedy, there are others who also want one. :)) If you are coming to Berlin by yourself, even more reason to find a buddy, and join a small group.

Timewise, we are considering the evenings of 11 September (Tuesday) and/or 13 September (Thursday) as perfect buddy meeting & hang-out slots. Your buddy will spend their free time with you. We tried to keep the whole process as simple and bilateral as possible, so please liaise directly with your buddy to arrange whatever fits you and your little buddy group best.  

Who is my buddy?

Your buddy works in one of the many public libraries in Berlin. They will not automatically attend the conference, in fact, we try to advertise this as an opportunity to meet an international colleague specifically to those poor souls who did not manage to get a ticket to the conference but would still like to benefit from that fact that the international world of library innovators is in town. The buddies will show you their Kiez (neighbourhood), favorite bars, places, restaurants etc. It is not a touristic program nor a site visit nor a dating platform, but an opportunity to talk about the librarian world or anything and everything. We want you to feel welcome in our city and give both Berlin librarians and international guests that extra moment to connect, learn from and inspire each other.

How do I find a buddy?

Visit the Next Library® member page. Enter “BUDDY” into the search field. You will find all Berlin buddies listed with their profiles. Pick one and send them a message within the system.The buddy will then inform you whether you can join their buddy group.

We recommend the Next Library® Berlin Campus as a meeting point for all buddies, but feel free to arrange whatever fits you and your Berlin buddy in direct communication.

If there is no hit after you have entered "BUDDY", we've run out of Berlin buddies. We're constantly trying to acquire more Berlin buddies, so please bear with us and return to the site at a later date.

How I met my buddy…

Once the conference is over and you are back home again, please write us about your experiences. What worked? What could have been better? Give us a review, please.

You will never walk alone!

Feel free to contact us with any questions or problems you may have at buddy@zlb.de.

all pictures: © Creative Commons CC0

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