Cycling for libraries is about to begin

Cycling for libraries – Librarians on the move

Tomorrow, on 25th of May we will hop on the Turku→Stockholm ferry, and drive to Copenhagen. As you all know, our Cycling for libraries -unconference begins on 28th of May, and our temporary, mobile thinktank of almost 100 people will bicycle 650km to Berlin, and finally merge into the 100th Deutscher Bibliothekartag.

Organizing a bicycling unconference is a huge (surprisingly huge!) amount of work, but luckily it’s fun and interesting. Many things have been prepared, and some things have been abandoned. After being in contact with our participants and our dear friends along our route, i know for certain that this will be epic.

I cannot wait. Adventure awaits!


Tackar för Helsinki Midwinter Darkness Camp

It’s serious business when the Nordic library laboratories meet, like this week in Suomenlinna. One more, thanks everyone, it rocked and thanks Labs for pulling this together. You are awesome, allihopa!

This video was filmed by Åke Nygren, while the video-workshop was shooting us. Also, see Flickr for photos and enjoy the slideshow.

Allow me to rephrase: /we/ are arriving in IFLA2010 by bicycle from Borås

Thank you bicycleimages@Flickr

I announced a few days ago that i’m arriving in IFLA 2010 in Göteborg by bike and am looking for companions. Now i’m delighted that there’s already four of us! 🙂 The weather will be sunny and perfect, i promise.

I’m bicycling Borås→Göteborg IFLA2010. Join me!

2 Männer aus Wien ca 1900

radlmax@Flickr: 2 Männer aus Wien ca 1900

IFLA 2010-conference in Göteborg is up ahead. Like thousands of colleagues worldwide, i’m attending. I’m also attending The Global Librarian, an IFLA satellite conference in Borås. I will bicycle from Borås to Göteborg. Join me, let’s arrive in IFLA together on (two) wheels!

76th IFLA

76th IFLA

Actual IFLA opens on Tuesday 10th of August, TGL is on Monday the 9th. The distance is about 70 kilometers, and (you and) i should make it to Göteborg well before dusk. I haven’t been on the route before, but it goes near some nice lakes, forests, villages, fields and other swedish countryside before arriving in Göteborg. This should be a very relaxing ride, and be quite a nice unformal orientation to IFLA 🙂 Take a look at the route on Google Maps, and it’s also available in Google Street View and of course in Google Earth too so you can do a virtual journey of the whole trip in advance if you want!

If you’re interested let me know by commenting below, joining the Facebook event, emailing me at, or on Twitter or whatever you find most convenient.

This is an unformal and unofficial event. But this is a beginning… 😉

First day of ELAG behind

What really has changed?

The first day of the annual European Library Automation Group (ELAG) -conference in Helsinki is now wrapped up. Great to see so many hardcore information handling experts come together and discuss things.

One thing is more evident now than ever: libraries of today do have programming power and are systematically directing it to tackle a wide variety of problems head-on.

Two more days to go. Keep an eye out for #elag2010/elag2010.

2nd LIBER-EBLIDA Workshop on Digitisation of Library Material in Europe

I just returned from The Hague, where the 2nd LIBER-EBLIDA Workshop on Digitisation of Library Material in Europe was held.

The previous workshop (which i didn’t attend) was in Copenhagen 2007 and this event seems to stabilize as a biennale. See Building the European Digital Library: calls for greater cooperation and Paul Ayris’ article LIBER-EBLIDA Digitisation Workshop in LIBER Quarterly vol 18 (2008) no 1. Personally i regret my failure to properly dig into the archives of LIBER Quarterly before the event. I spent the weekend in Netherlands’ surf-paradise (!!?) Scheveningen and might have as well invested more time reading available background material. On the other hand i was busy visiting Rotterdam, the museum of absolutely stunning M. C. Escher in Den Haag, hanging out with some local squatters before their demo, bumping most randomly to a finnish lad Joel i’ve met in Helsinki a few times and also visiting the public library of The Hague (blogged some observations in finnish).

The LIBER+EBLIDA event itself was most interesting, though i must say i wished for some more dynamic methods of workshopping. In Copenhagen LIBER composed a suite of recommendations and they were revised in The Hague and will be available in the near future. This was the workshopping-part. Most of the time was spent on information dissemination (read: sitting and listening to powerpoint presentations).

Most of the discussion around digitalisation is rather slow, not an awful a lot of happens in a few years time and topics come and go. Personally i think Google and other commercial players bring very welcome dynamics to the arena. We did get to see some implementations too, not just reminders on ”how we should convince politicians that the digitalisation project is of utmost importance and should be funded with public money”. Well, that was repeated quite a few times.

In general the topics were what you’d except; digitalisation, orphan works, Europeana, metadata standards, identifiers, several cases of digitalisation and online publishing materials, funding, open access, some healthy grudge against Google digitalisation efforts and the unresolved problems of intellectual property rights and copyright.

Some of my favourite topics were the LIFE tool for evaluating the cost of digital objects over their lifetime, URN-identifiers and the apparent importance of Europeana as a cooperation project in Europe.

When participants know each other and the subject very well the atmosphere is relaxed and warm, and this was the case (in my opinion anyhow) in The Hague too.

A few people were on Twitter with hashtag #liber but because Twitter is annoying and unpersistant and we didn’t use a more unique tag, that URL will be useless very soon. Nothing particular happened on Twitter, but some of the tweets of interest were read aloud at the venue. I would assume the presentation graphics will be available through the LIBER website, and perhaps audio recordings will be published. Keep an eye on LIBER Quarterly also.

Thanks to LIBER and EBLIDA for arranging the event, and thanks to Koninglige Bibliotheek for a) great acoustics and b) the wifi that i (and surely other people) asked for.