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Background

During 20-21 of January a meeting between the Nordic national libraries was held in Copenhagen. The theme of the meeting was: opportunities for cooperation in the Nordic countries on the basis of the status of each library. In addition to the library directors the IT-managers were present. During the meeting the national libraries presented reports on the areas of technical infrastructure, digitization, digital preservation, and strategies around these.

The meeting ended with Erland Kolding Nielsen and the other Nordic library directors gave Jonas Ahlberg an assignment to arrange a meeting with the other Nordic IT managers. The purpose of the meeting was to produce a document with possible areas of cooperation based on the various road maps presented in Copenhagen. The results will be presented at the NORON-meeting in Oslo on the 3 of May.

Summary

The meeting was held in Stockholm on the 17-18 of March. It was a productive meeting, where a number of common areas for cooperation were identified, discussed and structured with the help of a mind map. A number of important factors for future successful collaborations between our countries were agreed upon. A Wiki was set up and it will serve as a knowledgebase to increase awareness of our respective businesses and make it easier to identify areas where we can give and get help, share experiences, find concrete collaborations and possibly perform work for each other.

The meeting

During the first day the participants made a visit to the digitization division and the system development group at the audiovisual department followed by a visit to the digitization division at the IT-department. The day was rounded of by a dinner with invited representatives from the library's various IT departments.

Day two was devoted to strategic discussions about possible areas of collaboration.

It started off with a discussion of the assignment with the aim of setting a realistic ambition for this report. The important first step is to share knowledge and to raise awareness of where each country stands in various areas. This will make it easier to find specific areas for cooperation between our countries. The group concluded that it seems rather impossible to find areas where all libraries work together but it seems very likely that cooperation between two (or more) libraries could be very fruitful in very specific areas.

The participants then identified key areas of cooperation, which was sorted into several main groups with subgroups. The following seven main groups were identified:

  • digitization
  • digital deposit
  • digital preservation
  • infrastructure
  • metadata
  • organization
  • web access

The participating libraries then selected the four most pressing topics from the main- and subgroups.

To be able to get a good overview of the designated areas for collaboration the group decided to build up a Wiki.

The Wiki will function as a knowledge base for the different areas in which the libraries are engaged and will continuously be added with information about these subjects. 

As well as providing information on where we stand in the identified areas the Wiki could also be populated with information on skills, equipment, ongoing and upcoming projects, meetings, conferences, workshops and other events of importance.

It was decided that the group of IT-managers will meet once a year and the next meeting will be held at Mo I Rana in the spring of 2012.

The participants did not rule out the creation of other subgroups under the IT-umbrella that could meet regularly or ad hoc. For example: A delegation from Sweden will visit Denmark later this year to learn more about how the danes work with their web harvesting, digital preservation and storage from a technical and organizational point of view.

A catalogue of skills on the Wiki could facilitate future inter institutional collaborations. A program for exchanging staff between the countries could be beneficial for the institutions.

Another interesting scenario is the possibility to share work with each other. This is an area that should be explored further. Off course there are legal implications with this that must be examined by the legal expertise.

In discussing future collaborations and common projects the need to raise funds for those is a necessity. What kind of Nordic funds are available? We did not really know much about that, but this is another area that needs to be looked further into.

The ambition now is to add material to the Wiki, which will intensify the contacts between the libraries and increase the opportunities for future successful collaborations.

Conclusion

All in all it was a very good first meeting with a lot of wise thinking and forward looking.

The participants of the meeting agreed that the key to a successful future cooperation between our countries first and foremost lies in the task of raising awareness about each others activities which includes describing to each other where we stand in the various fields that was identified.

The general feeling is that we have a lot to learn from each other and that this meeting with the benefit of the new Wiki and the topics that where identified will be the start of several successful collaborations between our libraries in the future.

A big thanks to all of you and a special thanks to Bjarne Andersen for his ultra swift production of mind map and Wiki.

Jonas

Keywords for the Charter document

  • Raising awareness about each others activitites
  • Yearly meeting for IT managers
    • Sub groups could meet ad hoc
  • Learn from each others
    • Catalogue of skills / projects
    • Inter institutional
    • Exchange staff
  •  
  • Identifying common activities / projects
    • Concrete first steps
      • Explore possibilities for sharing work and the legal implications with that
    •  
  • Knowledge building in new areas
  • Discuss common topis
  • Workshops
  • Area in the WIKI for workshop proposals
  • Long term strategies in common
    • Digital Legal Deposit
    • Mobile Platforms
    • Repository Technology
    • Storage
  • Nordic funds ?
  • Sharing information about other interesting events like conferences and workshops
  • No labels