The Ministry of Culture and Local Government Denmark:
Involving citizens in the the future planning of local libraries
Citizen debates with dialogue between the citizens
Libraries are changing. In order to plan the library of the future for local needs, local citizens must be engaged in a qualified dialogue. A dialogue that the Ministry of Culture and Local Government Denmark wanted to initiate – especially with members of the public who do not use the library.
PLUS Agency therefore planned a different type of citizen meeting that toured four municipalities to gather experiences, ideas and suggestions for the library of the future. A large number of people, from school pupils to pensioners, were invited, and journalist Anja Bo was the moderator.
Over five different activities, people were given the opportunity to talk to each other and reflect on their need for information, culture and activities that the library could help to fulfil in the future.
Aktivities lead to collection of knowledge
The activities produced different products, e.g. photos of inspiration boards, prioritisation of resources and offers, and postcards where people had written their thoughts about the library.
Based on the activities, there was subsequent dialogue with the Minister of Culture, the Chairman of Local Government Denmark’s Cultural, Business and Planning Committee and the Mayor of Rebild Municipality, Leon Sebbelin.
The activities were so successful that the Ministry of Culture decided to roll them out to libraries all over the country so they could hold their own citizen meetings.
PLUS Agency therefore adapted the activities into a plug-and-play dialogue kit that the libraries could download. Complete with instructions and printable files of all the materials.
How to activate non-users
Would the general public come to the library if there were free concerts? Do they use YouTube or books to look things up? What could a library be used for if there were no books on the shelves? And is there a need for a library at all when literature, films and music can easily be found online?
Foto: Steen Brogaard
From debate meetings to citizen workshops
With the dialogue kit in hand, each library can hold a complete workshop that takes between 60-90 minutes, from welcome and introduction to summing up.
The workshop is designed for 5-40 participants.
All the material can be downloaded here
Mette Bock and Leon Sebbelin presented the dialogue kit to the Library Director’s Association at their annual meeting.