Call for Ideas for Next Library® Conference Berlin 2018

Für die deutsche Version bitte hier weiterlesen.

As any Next Library® alumni knows, involving attendees as much as possible in creating the ideas, topics and formats so as to ensure relevance and opportunities for networking and learning, has been a key success factor in the past. For the conference in Berlin, we once again turn to you, the NLC community!

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Call for Ideas - Deadline was 22 November 2017, 10 A.M. CET

The Call for Ideas is over, we thank all submitters.

Please note: At this point, we want to collect ideas for topics. They can be applicable to all kinds of formats: interactive sessions, ignite talks, minutes of madness, pecha kucha, fish bowl, keynote speaks, panel sessions etc.

The aim of the conference 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.

The event in Berlin in 2018 will provide room to address all aspects of Public Libraries as Active Contributors to Community Development in Diverse Societies. We are sure that this subject allows for a multitude of questions and issues that will ensure a scope of relevance and perspective for future of libraries across the world. In case you think of an idea which deals with a different topic please don’t hesitate to let us know. All your suggestions are very welcome!

If you can think of a catchy and memorable title of the above mentioned focus – please share it with us in the commentary field! 

What kind of questions do we need to ask to find answers?

We want to gather questions and find answers and solutions during the Next Library Conference! Please provide your idea in framing a question!

Here some initial food for thought – feel free to add more:

  • The library as (work) space: What will the next generation library look like?
  • The library as a forum for urban development: How can we effectively collaborate with other libraries and partners?
  • What role does the diversity of the users play for public libraries?
  • For what kind of societal questions do public libraries already have the answer?
  • How can we visualize the high potential of public libraries for policy makers?
  • How do librarians need to re-think their job profile, and which life-long learning offers do they need to become the best possible librarian in a world full of digital native users?

Again, please note: Right now, we want to collect ideas for topics. In a second step (presumably in December 2017), we will launch a Call for Proposals (also here on the website), which will then ask for specific suggestions for speakers and projects, incl. formats.

The deadline for submitting your ideas (and a title suggestion, if you want to) is 22 November 2017, 10 A.M. CET. Please use the comment field below to submit your ideas for the conference!

We are very excited to hear from you!

Your Next Library® Conference Berlin 2018 Team

NB: Calls from Next Library® Aarhus available here

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Comment by Jacinta Sutton on November 10, 2017 at 3:25

Hello everyone from Brisbane, Australia

My suggestion is a really interesting format I saw earlier this year at NLS8 conference in Canberra this year, Perth, Australia librarian Andrew Kelly presented 'A Symposium within a Symposium' that enabled deep discussion. From the NLS8 program: 

When you have a new and interesting conference model what do you do? You get inspired by the Bard himself and run a conference within a conference! Rather than listen to someone present a paper, join Andrew Kelly as he facilitates a flipped symposium model. The workshop will take previous speakers and re-present their ideas in an open forum, allowing for in-depth discussion and idea sharing. Compare the two styles and feedback what you liked and disliked, help the new model grow and share the idea with others. Bring questions, share answers, and be the change you want to see.

Find him at @edwardshaddow and

Comment by Noah Lenstra on November 9, 2017 at 17:21

Hello all,

Here in the United States, a major focus is on how public libraries can contribute to population and public health and wellness (see below). I would love to participate in a discussion on the library as a node in a healthy community. Examples of what this looks like in practice can be found here (Library Heroes Make Health Happen)

Comment by Richard Veevers on November 9, 2017 at 15:16

The Library Trope

Our Next dreams are big, bold, bright and its trajectory is clear. Everyone here shares the same vision; it looks much more like this

than this

How do we get our dreams out of here, into there?

Comment by Ilona Kish on November 9, 2017 at 12:08

- What does the future look like (in terms of jobs, social structures, digitisation etc.) and what will be the role of libraries within this future? To what extent should libraries re-think the services they offer to ensure they remain relevant to citizens' needs - and what tools will they need in order to do so? It would also be interesting to think about how libraries can talk about what they are doing effectively to bolster political (and financial) support as times change. 

Comment by Harouna Ahmadou Saliou Yerima on November 8, 2017 at 16:26

Hi All:

My idea is How public libraries can support support needless primaries and secondary schools through a partnership?

How can partnership leads public libraries to contribute in changing their communities lives? 

Comment by Grietje Smit on November 8, 2017 at 14:44

Hi all, from the Netherlands a few ideas.

First: what can libaries do for immigrants en refugees, to get known to their new country. What can libraries contribute to bring young people and students in contact whith refugee famlies (reading) and illitterate families to help them with reading out for their children.

Second: how can we connet our collection to our young and curious visitors by using modern tools like iBeacons and VR

Social media presence: what skills does it ask, how do we improve the presence at the web in a way people like it, how to go 'viral', how can we connect tot the communities people participate in?

Comment by Gunilla Hultsjö on November 7, 2017 at 14:34

Hi, I would like to discuss a new situation that has occured here in Sweden. How can public libraries attract the best employees in the future? Are libraries the kind of Working Place that Young people want to work at?

Comment by Joyce Sternheim on November 7, 2017 at 14:30

Hi everybody, my colleague Rob Bruijnzeels and I would like to address the following question:How to build a library that really connects people?

Both of us are part of the Dutch Ministry of Imagination, a cooperation of librarians, architects, designers and cultural programmers. We encourage and enable libraries to play an active role in their local communities by inspiring and promoting social interaction and knowledge creation. It means we’re not just focusing on individual development, but also on the enhancement of collective intelligence. This calls for a new strategy and a new way of working, but it also requires a stimulating environment where people can meet and where they are challenged to share inspiration, knowledge and insight.

During Next Libraries 2017 in Århus, Rob and I introduced people to the new work process we developed to turn the library into a participatory learning environment. In Berlin we would like to talk about the consequences of our vision for contemporary library architecture. What should be the requirements for future library buildings if we want it to be a place for social interaction and shared experiences? Is it possible to define a new typology for public libraries? And how can we use the expertise of designers to develop truly new concepts? We will be able to incorporate insights from a series of interviews that we are going to have with 9 leading Dutch and Flemish architects. Starting January 2018, these interviews will be published in Bibliotheekblad, the Public Library magazine for the Netherlands and Flanders.

Comment by Miriam Jennekens on November 6, 2017 at 10:35

Hi, as libraries we are changing rather fast. We are in contact with our communities and in stead of being a library who offers a program we now listen to our communities and respond with program to the questions they have. Our question is, how can you learn your staff to make this change in thinking and in  doing of the actual work?

Comment by Basheerhamad Shadrach on November 4, 2017 at 13:15

We should discuss the role of Augmented Reality Assistants in serving the public and if and how these ARs and Public Librarians could co-exist.

Comment by Samar Jammoul on November 3, 2017 at 15:34


I think we should discuss the EU objectives for sustainability 2030  and what will  public libraries offer for their stakeholders to develop its services .

thank you 

Comment by Purity Kavuri-Mutuku on November 2, 2017 at 12:28

Hi all,

i propose a topic on green library trends. For example public libraries ecological influence though green library initiatives

Comment by Stewart Parsons on November 2, 2017 at 12:17

As director of Loud In Libraries CIC, I would love to see the theme of library as:

live original (libraries are the ORIGINAL venue)



civic pride generator

talent pipeline - young  people developing new skills, opportunities, mentoring chances, academic support through creative library programmes (like Loud In Libraries)

explored at the next Conference - Library as incubator of talents and life chances through cool, innovative programmes that are inclusive to all.

Comment by traci lesneski on November 2, 2017 at 4:59
Creating inclusive libraries - policies, operations, staffing, building design process and outcomes, user programming: How do we ensure our libraries are truly inclusive?
Comment by Vanessa Labigalini on November 1, 2017 at 21:34


 Did you receive my message?

 I hope all is well. For us, the experience of having made a presentation at the Next Libraries was simply amazing.( our interactive session: listening create), we are brazilian.  I do not know if you remember, but our focus of work, our job, is with group dynamics, congresses and various groups around the world, is what you usually call the ice breaker. We want to apply to make the icebreakers of the next next library. What do you think of this proposal?



Best regards

Vanessa Labigalini

Comment by Sue Considine on November 1, 2017 at 18:34

Community Engagement and Community building through Informal learning

Changing and future role of librarians in the community, Teams and Shared Leadership

Comment by Dennis Quinn on November 1, 2017 at 17:44

The library as a bonding agent...How can libraries help reunite fractured communities? How can they help foster mutual understanding and respect between different groups/peoples? Would be great to see examples of libraries not only helping with this but actually leading the charge on this front in their respective communities.

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