This week, a bunch of enthusiastic, hard-working, service-minded and skilled library and IT professionals working in different kinds of library environments in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden met in Helsinki for a two-day event. The event, aptly named Helsinki Midwinter Darkness Camp 2011, was meant as a place to discuss ideas for services and innovations, to get to know one another and to hear what colleagues had been up to in the neighbouring Scandinavian countries.
Cooperation on Nordic level has a history but the IdeaCamps stem from the grassroots and aim at creating something new, together. The Scandinavian libraries resemble each other in a number of ways. Still, as elsewhere, libraries and consortia work nationally and regionally on their own development projects.
The resources are relatively scarce and it is hard to make big things happen on your own. It is probable that many of the projects have started from scratch and come to similar conclusions without resoucrces for taking the service to the next level. This is where Scandinavian, European and international cooperation comes into place: not inventing the wheel four times but only once and then being able to assemble the whole bike, so to speak.
During the two days in Helsinki the participants discussed e.g.
- a social approach to mobile services (bookspotting!)
- P2P loaning for mobile devises
- gaming at libraries (naming themselves Nordic Gamebrarians)
- a Nordic Video Lab and
- combining physical library spaces and digital content in new ways.
This is not the last you’ve heard of Scandinavian Library Labs and Idea Camps. Stay tuned – and tune in!
Pictures from the Nordic Labs can be see in Flickr
Twitter hashtag: #nordiclabs
Videos in English (also on the IdeaCamps)
(The flyer: libraries.fi)