Next Library Festival 2021


Next Library Festival 2021 took place online on June 3. With the motto "The sun never sets on Next Library" we followed the sun around the planet and the event was online for 24 hours. 

We had 1235 participants from more than 42 countries. Thanks to all of you for participating!
The program was organized by Aarhus Public Library in collaboration with Next Library Advisory Board, conference partners and  with more than 90 co-creators. 
Thanks for all the great sessions, talks and happenings!

Check out highlights via #nextlibrary and tweets here.

This is where you will find links to photos, videos, keynotes etc. Do you have anything to share you can always reach out to us on


Ryan Jenkins: Part 1 - Part 2

Peter MacLeod:"Democracy’s Second Act: Creating The Society We Want with the Public We Need"

Rolf Hapel: "Past the Pandemic: Libraries - What's Next?"

Tour Your Library

Biblo Tøyen - Oslo

Bjørvika: The main library in Oslo

Oodi: The main library in Helsinki

Mutante liberia, Columbia: Camilo De fex and Luciana Gómez

Valongo - Portugal

Cologne Public Library - Germany

Veria Public Library - Greece

Goa - India

New Central Library in Utrecht - The Netherlands

Castlewood Library, Colorado, USA:

Inspirational Talks

Come Together: librarians across borders for better communities / David Lankes

Why Libraries are essential to democracy Sean McNamara, ​Head of CILIP in Scotland. CILIP in Scotland is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation with CILIP, the UK library and information association:

Towards a Research Practitioner based Pedagogy of learning-by-doing in the library / Amos Blanton

Being purposeful / Vicki McDonald

Designing for Playful Democratic Participation / Mathias Poulsen

Experimenting for an Uncharted Future. Ideas from the National Library Board of Singapore / Gene Tan

Prioritizing Equity in Public Libraries: The First Steps / Skye Patrick

A library visit is not just a number: The value and impact of public libraries / Christian Laursen

Deichmann Library's new strategy / Knut Skansen

Athens Comics Library


EIFL: 10 EIFL Innovation Award winners cover key ingredients for innovation in this JAM (Just-a-Minute) session 

Creative Writing on Instagram Live Streams - Vantaa City Library

From third place to third space - Alignment House

Ignite Talks

Seeds in the City / Kaja Ahnfelt, Deichman Grünerløkka, Oslo, Norway

The SDGs in the library field and beyond / Jan Holmquist

Library of Local / Casey Conlin

A call for equal chances to digital education for prison learners / By Irina Grigore, Biblioteca Judeteana Antim Ivireanul Valcea - Romania (Valcea County Library)

Library as a Creative Dorm in Zambia / Allan Mudenda Hagwelele

5 Ideas for School Libraries  / Centre for Learning, India

An Inclusive Playful Learning and Creativity Decisions / Kaunas County Public Library

The Covid-19 Library Pack For Learning / About democratic access to digital education for young offenders inmates and adult prison learners / Yusuf Ganyana, Laibu Mkononi Library, Kenya.

Libraries and their Architecture in the 21st Century

IRIS: Media Literacy in Aarhus

How to Make a Robot Dance / Hannelore Vogt

Under the sky: Shanyuan Family Story / Jun Chen and Yu Zhang

Centre for Learning / Usha Mukunda, co-founder of Centre for Learning, Bangalore, India

Take to the Stage / Susana Silvestre,  Chefe de Divisão da Rede de Bibliotecas de Lisboa, Portugal

Open to All  / Susana Silvestre,  Chefe de Divisão da Rede de Bibliotecas de Lisboa, Portugal

The Green Way/ Susana Silvestre,  Chefe de Divisão da Rede de Bibliotecas de Lisboa, Portugal

Joy of Reading Award

Learn more about the nominees

Winner of the Joy of Reading Award 2021: Za’atari Camp Libraries 

Winner: Za'atari Camp Libraries

Nominated: De Schoolschrijver

Norminated: Reading on the Street 

Nominated: he Great African Read

Nominated: Accessible Library

Nominated: The Treasure Chest


Lyrics for the co-created Choir of Complaints song.


This poem was co-created by participants at the INviteME Online sessions: 

INviteME poem
You can lean on me 
sit down and relax 
Don´t feel too blue 
Not that comfortable but 
encouraging play 
longing for the world outside 
soft woollen green 
connecting me with my grandparents 
embracing and giving peace 
welcome to my home 
connected but still protected
join me
Warmth and give me a hug
this is where you are meant to be
Im the mum my kids need
Night air
texture and home
Lean into me I got you
let´s trust each other
Let me hold you.

Announcement & Call for ideas

Next Library 2021 was organized by Aarhus Public Libraries in co-operation with the Next Library Advisory Board, conference partners: 

Athens Comics Library

Bibliotekschefforeningen (Danish)
Danish Library Association

Deichman (Oslo Public Libraries)
EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries)

MIT Media Lab

Occupy Library / Progress Foundation

State Library of Queensland

Systematic / Joy of Reading Award

TASCHA - Technology & Social Change Group, University of Washington

Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin

Get social with us



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Since 2018 the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe takes part in the…


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