Silkeborg & Herning Libraries – Re-designing library spaces and buildings


The newly rebuild and refurnished Silkeborg Library and the new Herning Library in the west of Jutland

Saturday 12 September 9.45-16.30
Fee: DKK 600 (EUR 80) including bus, coffee/tea, water & snacks in Silkeborg and lunch coffee and cake in Herning
Meeting point: Dokk1 Information Desk at 9.30
Participants min. 30 max. 48

Links: Visit Silkeborg  Visit Herning

Silkeborg LibraryApproximately 40 km west of Aarhus, Silkeborg is beautifully situated among some of the largest lakes and forests in Denmark. Silkeborg Library is an icon for library innovation in Denmark. They have been first in Denmark to provide free internet access for citizens, first with an automated receiving robot system and first to present 'The open library koncept'. Dedicated to meet citizens’ needs for learning and cultural experiences the library has re-designed spaces and services in the old library building. The library staff will share and discuss their strategies and their results with you. Doris Birch Friis and Maria Louise Christensen will be your hosts during the visit.


Herning Library

The number of visitors at Herning Bibliotekerne has tribled since the new library opened in Herning City in August 2014. The library in Herning is the meeting place of the town – a modern community center where citizens are free to get together, to learn, to experience and to apprehend culture and at the same time understand digital and social media. Where it is possible to study, to be inspired or to play – or simply just hang out with a cup of good coffee. A house full of good service – not to mention a multitude of cultural events and learning resources.

We are to witness a super modern library and head of Herning Bibliotekerne Pernille Schaltz will give us a guided tour including a talk about library development and service concept.

9:45                   Departure from Dokk1 (see map)
10:30 – 11:45    Visit at Silkeborg Library
12:00                 Bus from Silkeborg to Herning
12:30                 Arrival and Lunch at café Aroma in Herning Library
13:00 – 15:30    Visit at Herning Library
15:30                 Return to Aarhus
16:30                 Arrival at Dokk1

Lunch will be provided in Herning and there will be coffee and a snack at Silkeborg Library. Staff from the Next Library Crew will be guide on the tour: Anne-Marie Schmidt tel: +045 2920 4190 and Henrik Traberg

We reserve the right to alterations and surprises

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Comment by Next Library on September 29, 2015 at 16:12

Participants said:

Take-away advises – for the sites you visited or for the organizations of Site visits

  • (2) Maybe the people at Silkeborg could speak a little louder
  • (8) No, everything was really well organized
    • It was fine and nice. Don’t change anything
    • Everything was fantastic. I’m so pleased.
    • It was a great visit.
    • This was excellent!
    • It was perfect. Liked it a lot
    • Both well organized + welcoming. No changes.
    • Excellent presentations!
    • Timing was good. Balance between presentations and free-time was right
    • More water would have been nice
    • Some instructions on whether it is acceptable to take photos of people. As visitors we don’t want to be inappropriate.
    • Modern design and services essential for the future of library services
    • Love the hosting + warmth of the Danish hosts
    • Should have known a bit more about the fab-lab in Silkeborg
    • Thank you for your kindness.
    • More time for site inside libraries. Organization was very good. 
    • I found everything nice, interesting. The sandwich to lunch great! Put I prefer real cooked/warm lunch.
    • Keep the Site visits.
    • Participants are interested to see all areas
Comment by Next Library on September 29, 2015 at 16:12

Participants said:

Did you find inspiration for innovation of your library or community work?

  • (4) Yes definitely!
  • Yes, Yes. So many ideas, global atmosphere, furniture.
  • Absolutely! Took away ideas that can be put into work immediately
  • Modern attractive libraries with a range of services and activities to get a new audience.
  • Yes. For example how to work with displaying books and media – how to use different themes.
  • Absolutely! New ideas + energy.
  • Yes! I will ask my politicians to go to Herning and LEARN!
  • Yes! I took a lot of pictures and I will use it for innovation. Also I will use the word “deep” for my library.
  • Yes, definitely. Both libraries were inspiring though in different ways. 
  • Yes indeed. A lot of ideas about how to decorate.
  • To change the layout to attract more children
  • Yes I hope my library could become more attractive and improve our services
  • Herning: Service concept, specialization in everything
  • Silkeborg: Interaction with the customers
  • Absolutely. The design elements were fascinating
  • Yes indeed. Both in Silkeborg and Herning. I got the courage to continue my own processes.
  • Yes I did. Children’s department and IT tech. Action monitors.
  • Yes many inspiring things. For example I was inspired by how to visual our own re-designing process to politicians and the citizens.
  • Yes, for library design and staff models.
  • Both libraries are relevant to us
  • Silkeborg: collaboration + partnership model  
  • Good solutions and ideas
  • Yes, the way design can play a role in talking to feelings  
  • Yes – book a librarian (15 minutes to 30 minutes)
Comment by Next Library on September 29, 2015 at 16:11

Participants sais:

What was the best and most interesting experience during the site visit?

  • Both were interesting
  • The visit to Herning was even more inspiring
  • Stand-up libraries
  • The furniture and the variation
  • Welcome feeling on both libraries
  • People are more important than books
  • library services
  • Manifest through design
  • Seeing how different libraries have been designed to meet users’ needs. Deliver services emphasis on developing activities to meet different user needs.
  • The libraries role in the cultural and economical institutions
  • Interesting to hear the background of the library, see pictures and then go on tour at library.
  • Loved both libraries.
  • Herning Pernille (?) wonderful woman.
  • Herning: The intellectual process that had made the rapid change of the library environment and attitude among the staff. A success!
  • The space for visitors of the library – very nice.
  • Spaces with wonderful furniture.
  • The idea of “the Deep” in Herning. The children’s department in Silkeborg.
  • Herning and everything they have done with few resources.
  • Got a lot of ideas to bring back home, liked how the libraries have used and decorated the open spaces.
  • Recommended books creative. Books display
  • The creations of libraries. The design of spaces.
  • Silkeborg was beautiful. There were little spaces in spaces. I liked that very much
  • Wonderful library. In Herning I liked the idea of exhibitions; some themes around the library. And nice furniture for exhibition. A great children’s department.
  • Beautiful libraries!!
  • Herning: design!
  • Silkeborg: with less money done fine results.  
  • Both sites were equally impressive and beautifully designed. I enjoyed the services in each.
  • That the libraries were so different
  • Interesting that Herning put all the books and media in “the Deep” and work a lot with spaces in the public areas.
  • General view of libraries (building and so on)
  • IT infrastructure
  • Automatic check-in/out book system
  • Children’s library in Herning
  • To hear about the quick process to build a new library and organization in Herning
  • Silkeborg: educational activities
  • To hear the head of the staff at Herning talk about the new organization and the process behind it.
  • Herning: The experiences of introducing new ways of working – what worked and what didn’t.
  • Herning was fascinating. Grateful for the willingness to discuss benefits/challenges of staff model.
  • Herning: different service model using library staff for activities + professional work + outsourcing processing + shelving. Love “the deep”.
  • The most interesting was to see two different libraries and how the work.
  • The furniture!

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Posted by Next Library on September 14, 2021 at 10:51 0 Comments

Our good friends and partners at EIFL have great news! The new EIFL Public Library Innovation Award call – for public libraries supporting education recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic – is now open for applications.

Read more about the award here.

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