We want your ideas!

Submit your ideas in comment fields below, please

The overall purpose of the 2017 Next Library®Festival is to inspire innovation in public libraries as centres for learning, innovation, creativity for citizens and community engagement.

The 2017 Next Library Festival aims to provide inspiration, knowledge and insights that will enable the participants to become active game changers and transformers of library services and facilities in close proximity with users and stakeholders in their own community.

The Festival will gather 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.

The 2017 Next Library® Festival invites attendees and partners to participate in shaping the program and themes.

RETHINK is the overall Theme, but we need to decide a number of sub-themes in order to ensure a scope of relevance and perspective for the future of libraries across the world.

Which topics are most relevant for the future of libraries from your point of view?

Use the comment field below to submit your ideas for the Festival (note: you must be signed in to leave a comment). We want your ideas for Topics, challenges, speakers, events, interactive sessions etc.

A few suggestions for themes for Next Library 2017:

-        Community engagement & democracy

-        Social inclusion

-         Digital Literacy, (and tweens & teens)

-        Smart City –Big Data, building trust, the library as first movers on open data, E-governance

-        (Counter)Play in libraries & organizations

-        Libraries in times of Crises

-        Gender Equality

-        Music in libraries – promoting music in libraries. Music is an important cultural language that can promote inclusion, integration and understanding across cultural background, generations etc.)

-        SmartLibrary – investigation user tracks in library spaces (also called POE; Post Occupancy Evaluation)

-        upcoming technology trends

-        libraries as space for learning, meeting, performing and inspiration

-        Branding libraries

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of Next Library to add comments!

Join Next Library

Comment by Ronald Huizer on October 7, 2016 at 16:52

What is the library working & studing place of the 21st century?

Public libraries are seeing an increase in usage of their workings spaces from students, youth, and professionals. Especially larger city libraries with new facilities are very popular. Apart from some issues with noise, libraries are delighted with this attention, but there is a fundamental question that worries the library management: Who are these people and what are they doing here? And what is the role of the library, other than to provide coffee and wifi?

 How vcan we design new value propositions that visitors of the library can experience? These value propositions are inspired on the 21st century skills model (by Kennisnet & SLO) like creativity, collaboration, self-regulation, and critical thinking.

Comment by Sophus Winter-Glasgow on September 27, 2016 at 21:36

Topics I would be interested to see discussed are:

  • Libraries as a space for customers to create content of all kinds.

  • Music and art in libraries. Creation, performance, collection, sharing.

  • Libraries as a place to play for children and adults. Board games, drama, computer games and more

  • Information equity. Empowering all citizens to find the information they need to live an enrich their lives without the barriers of race, class, gender and ability.

  • Empowering the young and the old. Making the voices of youth and the elderly heard in the library sphere and beyond.

Apologies for the lateness of my contribution!

Comment by Carol Priestley on September 27, 2016 at 17:13

Apologies for being slightly late to the discussions.   We very much support Airida's suggestion and had in mind to suggest a theme or sub-theme along the lines "Explore the social opportunities created by the growth of makerspaces in public libraries, through engaging individuals and communities in creative innovation, improving digital skills, learning and strengthening public literacies in design, science and media.  Help build a LIBMAKER network in Europe and developing countries".

Comment by Barbara Swinn on September 26, 2016 at 19:17

I think it is really important to spend time thinking about what really is the Essence of library and would like to propose Grace Kempster as a speaker at NEXT. Grace  has transformed libraries  locally, nationally and internationally and is the most creative thinker and activist for the future shape and feel of public libraries. She says "In considering what next we need to think about the Essence of Library – a unique blend of freedoms and possibilities; the power of constancy and the impact glue that fastens old, young, politicians and people of all kinds to this lifeforce for possibility.  An assayer of ignorance and creator of knowledge spaces in action -they have never been about the books – always about the reading experiences.  Now people more and more read differently – the aroma of the freedoms libraries bring is a rare distinctive and extraordinary heady mix – and only  Libraries liberated from their own small thinking can grow to fill the space that is everyones birthright – the entitlement to be the best you can be how and when you want."

Comment by Catalina Holguín on September 22, 2016 at 15:56
As experts in information access and literacy, libraries have to take up the challenge of teaching digital literacy in its  many shapes and levels of complexity (how to turn on a computer, how to communicate with others ethically, how to search relevant information, how to create valuable digital contents, how to express my ideas, how to code, how to defend an open internet). I agree with other colleagues who have participated in this forum: if libraries ignore this, the digital gap will continue to grow and more people will be left behind. Given that more and more economic opportunities exist on the internet, the consequences of this digital divide are worrisome. On the upside, new opportunities are opening up in this field: for instance, all the actions proposed by the Digital Single Market in the EU, for those of you who live in Europe. 
There is an even more difficult challenge, which is advocating for an open internet where people can participate meaningfully. I recently read an article on The Atlantic by David Weinberger (director of Library Innovation Lab at Harvard) where he argues for the need to save the internet from becoming one big privatized space full of surveillance and data thieves. The way of doing it, he says, is to transfer the joy and wonder inherent in the internet, which is made apparent once you understand how it works, once you can participate through creation and sharing of meaningful ideas. Not on Facebook, but rather outside of it, where there are still plenty of fun things happening. 
He says: "As the Internet’s architecture shapes our behavior and values less and less directly, we’re going to have to undertake the propagation of the values embedded in that architecture as an explicit task. We can encourage the development of sites and services that show off the Internet’s eclectic, improvisational skills. We can celebrate the free culture movement. We can embrace those businesses that respect us, and cast a stinkeye on those who just want our data and our cash. We can try to teach the young’uns how the Internet works and remind them of its glory so that it can be as if they were present at the Revelation."
Comment by Luke Swarthout on September 20, 2016 at 19:57

What would it mean for libraries to see ensuring digital equity as a core mission?

The ability to use technology and the internet is becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.  Historically, when goods shift from being perceived as a optional to essential, new investments and societal commitments become viable.  For example, a belief in universal literacy led to the expansion of public schools and libraries.  The necessity of electricity led to a movement for rural electrification.  In the coming years, as our cities take the digital divide as seriously as literacy and light, how will our communities respond? What new institutions will they create, or how will they try to employ existing community pillars to respond to digital inequities?


Libraries have helped patrons access the internet and also learn how to use basic technology for more than two decades.  What began as simply providing access to information in a digital form has evolved into a larger commitment to help patrons use technology to improve their lives.  As a result libraries are well positioned to serve as guarantors of digital equity in our society.  However, doing so will inevitably require libraries to shift their services as changes in technology alter the nature of that divide.  (Just remember the divide 20 years ago was whether you had a computer.  10 years ago it was whether you had a T1 line.  The divide persists but the substances that separates the technologically capable and technological novices will change).  As the nature of the digital divide shifts in the coming years how are libraries structuring themselves to serve as a vital community institution guaranteeing digital equity in our cities and towns?


Comment by Ilona Kish on September 19, 2016 at 9:05

We would like to see a broad discussion at NEXT on how to foster productive cross-border networks that support innovation in library practice and advocacy.

Many libraries are forging ahead with ground-breaking new approaches to serving their communities, but many more are lagging behind – either because institutional structures have contributed to a fear of change and reluctances to leave previously secure environments or simply through lack of access to re-applicable models.  These libraries need new fora to encourage and inspire them.

Effective promotion and advocacy strategies are key to sustainable innovative practice and should be embedded into the fabric of the libraries long term approach.  How to maintain a vibrant and productive relationship with users of the library and translate that into broad political support and understanding of the libraries long-term goals and missions? 

To put it bluntly – If you are doing something amazing in your library, you need to understand how to make it visible to both potential users and political decision-makers.  If you want to innovate, you need good models, and political support. 

Comment by Marianne Krogbaek on September 19, 2016 at 0:02

It seems to me that there are still meaningful questions to be asked about how the libraries' core values should provide opportunities for change:
- A book provides a physical object which can be seen as a gesture of sharing, a vessel for seeking knowledge and beauty. This has always been at the core of the library, but how has the need for this changed?

- The library has always been a place for reflection, we need it now more than ever. How has this need evolved?

- The meeting with the highly educated expert, who will help us filter information. In what way is this role the same, and what is now different?
Comment by Jeppe Søndergård Knudsen on September 18, 2016 at 23:15

I would like to submit the idea of the library as a retreat space, a place for deep knowledge-seeking and reflection. As a counterweight to the maker-movement and the library as a place for connecting people on a physical and technological level, the library could also be a place to escape the modern day continuos connectedness, a place to be non-accessible.

Comment by Nguyen Thi Hai Van on September 18, 2016 at 18:39

I’m thinking about the followings:

  • Interaction between librarians and community leaders, cooperation between library sector and education sector;
  • Library development orientations in alignment with government programs;
  • Challenges when the poor in remote areas is still difficult to access to information, technology (computers, internet) available in libraries which are located far from them while people near libraries have their own computers, internet. How to make libraries closer to the poor?  
Comment by traci lesneski on September 17, 2016 at 0:12

I'd like to add three thoughts:

  • How can the library be a generative force (equity, inspiration, net-positive water/energy, health) for its community?
  • To further the movement for creating healthy buildings and promoting wellness, what role should the library play (building as role model, innovative programming, staff focus, etc)?
  • How might the IoT (Internet of Things) play a role in tomorrow's library?
Comment by Next Library on September 16, 2016 at 18:25

@SusanneGilling  @Stacie Ledden @Judith Galka @Raquel Cilantro @Kate Ogden @gita joshi @Jan Holmquist @Mylee Joseph @Elly Van Acoleyen @Joel A. Nichols @PARTHA SARATHI DAS @Miriam (Marianne) Posner @Raymond Amanyabyoona @Liz McGettigan @Jolanda Kreuk @Mariella Colon @UMA HIREMATH @Larry Neal @Erin Berman @Ria Gynther @Steven Bell @Ahmed Amin AboSeada @Maxine Bleiweis
Thanks for posting so many new, creative and innovative ideas! We are overwhelmed!
Monday the Next Library Advisory Board will start reviewing your ideas
The RETHINK subtopics will be announced in the beginning of October.
Calls for proposals for Interactive Sessions & Next Library Ignite Talks will follow

Comment by Susanne Gilling on September 15, 2016 at 20:42
During the last decade at least branch libraries have been changing from Classic libraries to local community centers that focuses on user involvement co creation and local communities. Im interested in discussing the experiences, New skills, competencies, methods, organisation, out reach a la Outside the Lines etc it requires to make a succesful transformation.
Comment by Stacie Ledden on September 14, 2016 at 18:47

Since we are currently amidst Outside the Lines, we definitely have that initiative on the brain as it relates to…

  • Collaboration of libraries worldwide to help shift perceptions and generate new ideas
  • Using outreach and social media to help people rethink the library brand
  • Staff engagement through creative idea generation and implementation
  • Libraries putting a community’s strength on display in a time of need/crisis (See how Orange County Library System in Florida responded to the Pulse nightclub tragedy)
  • Embedding the library out in the community, helping people to understand how it’s vital to their lives

These topics have been of great interest to the librarians we've been working with all over the world.

(SHAMELESS PLUG: To see what's happening worldwide during OTL this week, follow along with #getOTL)

Comment by Judith Galka on September 13, 2016 at 14:54

I really like the idea of methodic workshops in personnel development, regarding kind of rethinking attitudes and images of what a library could/should/would be like, if we're doing so. Yes, librarians should be change agents, definitly, but how can we achieve this mind set?

Comment by Raquel Cilantro on September 12, 2016 at 7:15

It would be great to have a workshop or interactive session on public libraries being more inclusive of women in digital, maker and technology spaces. We run a series of female identified maker/publishing workshops and they are very popular. Groups are self motivated and self run - the library is a space that encourages these types of meet ups. The 'gender equity' banner could be explored in these terms.

Comment by Kate Ogden on September 12, 2016 at 3:38

New approaches to staffing and service models to allow libraries to reinvent themselves as agents for social change. Addressing rapid social and technological change with staff who didn't sign up for it! 

Comment by gita joshi on September 9, 2016 at 8:36

Now days Library need to changes and want different strategies for being relevant to their local communities . Librarians need to training and visit in other country library  have skill to discover and drive to change .

Comment by Jan Holmquist on September 8, 2016 at 10:04


Change and disruption are not only buzzwords. Technology, economy and politics is changing the world and our communities at a fast pace.
Libraries are embracing these changes and have different strategies for being relevant to their local communities.
Makerspaces are just one example of how libraries facilitate innovation and knowledge creation in the modern world.
But to embrace change and be a driving force for what fast changing communities need, librarians need to have skills to discover and drive change.
"The librarian as a change agent" is our idea for an interactive workshop that we will be happy to run at NEXT 2017 and we suggest it as a theme for NEXT too.

Mylee Joseph, State Library of New South Wales, Australia (Mylees NEXT LIBRARY profile)
Jan Holmquist, Guldborgsund Public Library, Denmark

Comment by Elly Van Acoleyen on September 7, 2016 at 22:14

I think social inclusion is an important topic. It is closely related to community engagement, participation and democracy. We want a library to be accessible to everyone. But it seems to be very difficult to reach more vulnerable people (for whom the library could be of great value). People who are lonely and isolated, or are living in poverty, or have a certain disability,… do not always feel comfortable between the library public. I think we can join forces with the social and welfare sector. These sectors work with the individual: together they look for opportunities to participate and overcome certain (personal, financial,…) barriers. The library can start from the community. They have experience in bringing people together and in community building. Communities can organize themselves in a way that more vulnerable people can take an (ordinary) place. The clue lies in the departure from talents and assets: what are people passionate about, what gives them energy, what are they good at and also: what can they offer each other. Can libraries support strong resilient communities that can overcome exclusion and solitude?

Get social with us



Do you want to make sure that your library is well equipped for the challenges ahead? PLEASE RESPOND NOW!

Posted by Daniel Deppe on October 8, 2021 at 12:26 0 Comments



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


© 2021   Created by Next Library.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service