Librarians of the world unite (and take over)

We are Eva and Liesbeth from the Artevelde University College in Ghent, Belgium. June 4-8 we were lucky to visit the JAMK libraries thanks to the Erasmus staff week. We really enjoyed our stay in Jyväskylä. The program was excellent and everybody was very kind. We enjoyed the mix between visiting libraries and presentations.

We were struck by the similarities between our libraries in dealing with problems like the move towards a digital collection, balance of the collection between English and our own language (Finnish/Dutch), teaching information literacy, etc.

Other things that we noticed, were:

– Everything is open: free wifi, statistics page, library is open to all users, students can walk in freely and borrow books at the self-service desk
– Passionate staff: everyone has their own desk to focus on their job, are member of at least one team according to their interests, lots of international experiences
– Everyone is bilingual: everything is available in Finnish and in English (website, instructions, etc.)
– Move towards electronic material in order to make room for spaces where students can work together
– Lots of support from the National Library, cooperation with other libraries, e.g. joint thesis repository of all the Universities of applied sciences
– Information literacy: we loved the idea of the thesis sauna because it provides help to the students but also trains the staff in the use of databases
Regards,
Eva & Liesbeth

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