June 24, 2007

Innovative Public Library Services Around the Globe, Or, Learning from our Global Neighbors

What I learned: 
  • Norway has book boats!
  • Sweden has individual ergonomic workstations.
  • Interactive Information Center at Oslo Public Library
  • Dogs are allowed in in Public Libraries in Scandinavia
  • Sweden is already on 3rd Generation RFID and has automated check in and check out
  • Robotic book transfers have been being used for 20 years in Sweden
  • librarians stand on OUTSIDE of the reference desk - Roving Reference is the norm
  • almost all shelves along with other things are on wheels so everything can be moved around
  • look not only to other innovative US libraries but also look around the world to find out how they do it in other countries
  • check out the Biblioteca de Santiago, Chile:
    • they have vending stations in the subway
    • biblioboat - library on boats
    • bibliobike - library on bicycle
    • open air market lending points
    • there are no prohibition signs in the library!
    • "Everything is possible in the Library"
  • Check out http://lsit.coe.ecu.edu/white/ "Flatworld Libraries"
  • Singapore National Library uses RFID and color coding to sort and shelve books - it only takes 7 minutes to get the book back to the shelf in the right place.
  • Hong Kong uses over-the-head book return conveyer belt system
    • they largely use cash cards in place of actual cash, and library cards are usually optional and can be registered for online
    • within some HK libraries are bookstores so you have the option to buy books

Program description:  This program highlights innovative technology and programming from around the world including Chile, Scandinavia, Russia, and Singapore. Book sorting robots, innovation in the Santiago Public Library in Chile, and libraries in Scandinavia with over ten years of RFID experience will be featured including colorful images showing the innovations.Speakers: Donna Lauffer, Associate Director, Branch Services, Johnson County (Kans.) Library; Mollie Fein, Director, Essex Area Branch, Baltimore County Public Library; Jim Keller, Architect, VITETTA (Penn.); Kathleen Imhoff, Executive Director/CEO, Lexington (Ky.) Public Library; Carl Birkmeyer, Media Services Manager, Baltimore County Public Library; Gonzalo Oyarzun, Director, Biblioteca de Santiago, Chile

ALA | PLA at ALA Annual Conference

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