The 10th Congress of Baltic Librarians (CoBaL10)

Libraries in Communities

12–13 October 2015

National Library of Latvia

Mukusalas iela 3, Riga


Opening session


Opening speeches by:

Andris Vilks, Director of the National Library of Latvia

Janne Andresoo, Director of the National Library of Estonia

Renaldas Gudauskas, Director of the National Library of Lithuania

Katre Riisalu, President of the Estonian Librarians Association

Alina Jaskūnienė, President of the Lithuanian Librarians Association

Kristīne Pabērza, President of the Latvian Librarians Association


Keynote speech by:

h9eGWh9QJukka Relander, President of the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA)

Jukka  serves as a Chairman of Finnish Library Association since 2009 and was elected president of EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations) in May 2015. He is  an active cultural, social and political worker, and besides being involved in library organisations he is also a member of Helsinki City Council, chairperson of the Parliamentary Council for Gender Equality, member of Committee for Human Rights and member of Cultural Board of Helsinki. He has a bacground in history, having obtained a Master of Arts from Universities of Helsinki and Sussex with specisalisations in Finnish history, social psychology and English and American studies, and has been a lecturer and researcher at the Institute of History at University of Helsinki. He is also a succesful author and media personality – has published several books on history, society, culture, libraries and religion, and has been a long-time radio host at Radio Helsinki, TV host at YLE and columnist at Helsingin Sanomat and other publications.

Libraries, Politics, Societies

Libraries provide an existing network of public services, which are available within a walking distance at least in major cities. How can we use this resource more effectively? How could civil society benefit from them? Could libraries provide a platform for co-operation for both, public, private and third sector? And how can we use new tasks that libraries have as arguments when lobbying for them?



Ragnar Siil 2Ragnar Siil, Creativity Lab

Ragnar is a founder and managing partner of Creativity Lab, cultural policy and creative industries think-tank and consultancy group with offices in Tallinn and Riga. Previously, Ragnar has worked as a Estonian Undersecretary for the Arts. He was responsible for drafting new Estonian cultural policy guidelines for 2020. Ragnar was also chairman of the European Union expert group on cultural and creative industries. Since 2014, he has been advising Ukrainian and Georgian governments in cultural policy reforms. Currently, Ragnar is advising the drafting of a new visionary document “Libraries in the 21st century” for Estonian libraries.

Libraries in the 21st century – opportunities and challenges

The world around us is changing rapidly. These changes – including cultural, social, demographic, technological, political – can be seen both as threats and opportunities. Most of the changes will happen despite our best efforts to avoid them, whether we like it or not, so the question is – how can libraries take an advantage of these trends. Estonian libraries have initiated a visionary process with a code name “Libraries in 21st century” to analyse the role of libraries in the future. We look at the major trends, key enablers, main weaknesses and possible strategies to strengthen the position of libraries in the years to come.

RamuneRamune Petuchovaite, EIFL

Ramune is the Public Library Innovation Programme Manager for EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries). Her responsibilities include managing development, delivery and evaluation of a range of activities that support introduction and piloting of innovative public library services that contribute to community development. Since 2012, Ramune has worked with over 30 projects in more than 20 developing and transition economy countries. These projects have focused on crucial community development needs, such as farming, health, employment, education and social inclusion. She has also helped to develop a framework and curriculum for building public librarians’ capacity in Africa.

Before joining EIFL, Ramune served as Chief Specialist at the Division of Information Society Development of the Ministry of Culture of Republic of Lithuania, where  she was responsible for coordinating the implementation of the state-funded library renovation and modernization programme, including the “Libraries for Innovation”,project that was co-funded by the  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Ramune has also lectured library and information students on library management, project management and other subjects at the Faculty of Communication, Vilnius University.

What drives public library innovation?

Since its launch in 2009, the EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) has, by offering small grants on competitive basis, supported start of 49 new public library services in 27 developing and transition economy countries. These services have enabled more than 10,000 people to gain new skills and knowledge, which directly benefit their education and health, as well as their social and employment prospects. EIFL has also disseminated the results of partner libraries’ services widely, to inspire other libraries to innovate and to encourage them to take up successful innovations. In 2014, we conducted research into what motivates public libraries to innovate and how information about service innovation travels in the public library sector. Our main tool was a survey, which reached 120 library professionals from more than 30 developing and transition economy countries.

This presentation reflects on EIFL-PLIP’s practical experience of supporting development of new and innovative services in low resource environments, and shares the findings of our research into take up of innovation in public libraries. In presenting at CoBaL 10, we seek to stimulate Baltic librarians’ discussion of the question: ‘What drives public library innovation?’

HanneloreHannelore Vogt, Cologne Public Library

Dr. Hannelore Vogt is the director of the Cologne Public Library since 2008, one of the biggest library systems in Germany. Before that she was head of the Würzburg City Library which has been the winner in the national library ranking (BIX) four times in row and was elected “Library of the Year”. 2015 Cologne City Library was elected “Library of the Year” as best library in Germany.

She is a member of the IFLA Metropolitan Libraries Standing Committee, a longtime chair of the Advisory Board “Information and Library” of the Goethe Institute and worked as a Strategic Advisor and Reviewer for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Global Libraries, Global Development). Apart from having a degree in Librarianship, she also has a PhD in Cultural Management in the field of library marketing.

She is a consultant for library management worldwide and has many publications to her credit in the field of customer orientation, innovative services and library management.

Geeks, Games and Gadgets – Innovative Services and the Transformation of Space

The presentation focuses on best practice most vital to the future success of public libraries. Topics like customer orientation, formation of (unusual) community partnerships, successful advocacy, tailor-made innovative services and new program formats like geeks@cologne, travel slam or silver gamers. This implies a transformation of the physical space and the services as well – the library as a makerspace and a community hub. How to implement the change within the library team will be highlighted as well.

11798410_1004795436209117_1499596234_nVeronika Raudsepp Linnupuu, Viljandi Town Library

Veronika Raudsepp Linnupuu is the head of reference rooms in Viljandi Town Library since 2009. Veronika graduated University of Tartu Master of Arts in Social Sciences (Cultural Management) in 2012. Veronika earned ELA acknowledgement “The Best Young Librarian 2013“ for launching and coordinating a successful Viljandi Town Library project Kultuurikonks (Cultural hook).

In addition to her basic work at the Viljandi Town Library, she has been involved in the kindergarten’s Board and the trade union. Now she is active in the Town Cultural and Education Committee and is the Chair of the Working Group on Fresh Approach created at the ELA.

The Refreshing Breeze to Help Us Forward

The changes in last decades have been very rapid. It has influenced everything around us – the economy, social developments, education systems and the way people work. There are so many new opportunities that libraries have to ask themselves – what should they focus on? Since autumn 2013, many of Estonia’s professionals agenda has been on finding the solutions that would work in Estonia. Within Estonian Library Association, we formed an Estonian Working Group on Fresh Approach to find solutions for most urgent topics. Questions risen by IFLA are very timely and input gathered so far shows that it is essential to continue discussions on several issues and use conclusions for developing Estonian library services in near future.

Latvijas Bibliotekāru biedrība