Electronic services and factual  information

Today's mixed interface: 
Mogens: what is most important is that the site keeps the user interested, curious, and that there are no other distractions.

The group thinks that there will always be both factual information and electronic services on the site (reflecting the hybrid library). 


Restriction or freedom for the library's internet site 


Transferring the library's mission to the net
The group agreed strongly that the content of the library's net site must be formed by librarians working in the field.


Are small and large libraries equal?
Are small libraries being left behind?

An anomaly



Some limitations facing small libraries
Marge: the staff are often few in small libraries in Estonia, and sometimes nobody has an understanding of information technology. The state is helping.
Päivi: it has been time-consuming training staff in small libraries, but the group remarked that in several countries (Slovenia, Finland, Denmark) the state has been active here, for example net-based IT courses for library staff.

Alternatives being considered 

Mogens: Consortium agreements widely used in Denmark.
Päivi: Alle Finnish information sources are free. Foreign sources are negociated by the state and distributed to the region and then the local library, costs being shared at all levels. The EU directive about access only to electronic books in own library is a problem.


Goals for small libraries

Even though members in the group came from so varied institutions as the state, large libraries and small libraries, all agreed on these points for small libraries. After all, the internet by nature gives everyone equal access.


Changes in relationships 

Päivi: About 80 % of Finnish libraries have regrouped into subregions of about 10 libraries. Not the same boundaries as county or region. This has led to good co-operation that has benefited small libraries. Mogens: Silkeborg library now has to find solutions for 4-5 neighbouring municipalities as result of local government reorganising, reducing the number of local councils from roughly 250 to 100.
Darja: Now all public libraries in Slovenia (2,02 m. inhab.) share one catalogue.

The group agreed that co-operation is more important now than ever before for small libraries, and that some force is necessary. All agreed that the ultimate responsibilty lies with the state.  Members from Slovenia, Denmark and Finland agreed that co-opertion with national services has increased dramatically. 


The owner

The user

measuring the users' needs:

Marge: What young people want is forcing changes.                  
Irena: We are working on a net-based activity workshop for children in Slovenia

Mogens: There is a great interest in self-service. Remote control for book location/shelf placing not suitable for small libraries. Radio frequency tags instead of barcodes.

The group thinks that there will always be both factual information and electronic services on the site (reflecting the hybrid library).