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Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLAGoethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Emerging International Voices

They are young, they are bold and they are connected – and they are the future of our libraries. 19 emerging international voices discuss the role of digital libraries – and digital technologies in libraries – in their countries. Join the discussion and participate in a series of online seminars with the best experts in the field. 

Online Seminars

The three online seminars will take place on the 8th, 15th and 22nd October 2020 at 1PM - 2 PM CEST and will be open to the public.

Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Insitut | Created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Recording available soon
Digital(ised) Libraries: Why? What? How?

The first session focused on what we mean when we talk about digital libraries. Paricipants explored the different ways in which digital tools can enhance existing library services, as well as making it possible to offer new ones. The focus was put on the process of creating digital libraries: how can we make sure that we create platforms that suit the users’ needs? 
With Partha Pratim Das (National Digital Library of India) and Katie Moffat (The Audience Agency)

Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Insitut | Created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

15th October 2020, 1PM - 2PM CEST
From a Physical to a Virtual Community Space: What is Possible?

Libraries are often seen as ‘third spaces’, or a key part of the ‘social infrastructure’ of the communities they serve. Much of this is based on the physical spaces they offer. We want participants to be able to explore the question of how increased use of digital tools – in particular remotely from the library – is likely to affect this aspect of libraries’ work. What do we know about how people interact with digital offerings, and how both to attract new users and keep those who are already there?

With Kathrin Schuster (Munich City Library) and Luke Swarthout (New York Public Library)

Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Insitut | Created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

22nd October 2020, 1PM - 2PM CEST
Competitors, Comparators, Complements? Digital libraries and Internet Giants

There have been many obituaries written for libraries, and yet they remain stubbornly present and popular with communities. Nonetheless, the rise of commercial internet platforms, facilitating both access to information and other everyday activities, does oblige the field to think about how libraries prove their ongoing importance for society. The participants in this session explored questions around the purpose and value-added of libraries in a world of digital platforms, what we can learn, and where we can focus.

With: Marie Ostergaard (Aarhus Central Library) and Harry Verwayen (Europeana) 

Emerging International Voices

Meet the global network of Emerging International Voices: young digital experts at their institutions and advocates for the future of libraries.

Rita Aleixo private

Lisbon, Portugal
Rita Aleixo

Nilay Cevher private

Ankara, Turkey
Nilay Cevher

Rachael Culley private

London, UK
Rachael Culley

Ejla Ćurovac private

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ejla Ćurovac

Allana S. Delgado private

Iloilo City, Philippines
Allana S. Delgado

Daria Klenova private

Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation
Daria Klenova

Geetha M private

Bangalore, India
Geetha M

Pau Banyó Magraner private

Beniarbeig, Valencia, Spain
Pau Banyó Magraner

Damilare Oyedele private

Abuja, Nigeria
Damilare Oyedele

ILYA Rogovenko private

Moscow, Russia
Ilya Rogovenko

Simpy Sharma private

New Delhi, India
Simpy Sharma

Zane Siliņa © Kristians Luhaers

Riga, Latvia
Zane Siliņa

Naomi Smith private

London, United Kingdom
Naomi Smith

Madiareni Sulaiman private

Jakarta, Indonesia
Madiareni Sulaiman

Lizet van de Kamp ©Muntpunt

Brussels, Belgium
Lizet van de Kamp

Barnabas Virag © Robert Banczik

Kecskemét, Hungary
Barnabas Virag

Statements on Digital Libraries

We asked the participants of the programme how they felt about the state of digital libraries in their home countries.

Rita Margarida Oliveira Aleixo - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

The digital yellow brick road: Portuguese libraries’ journey

The Portuguese National Library was the pioneer of digital libraries in Portugul. In less than two decades, its digital library evolved from a small digital collection to a large network and content aggregator - setting the standard for other libraries in the country.

Nilay Cevher - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Who wants to talk to the grumpy librarian?

Libraries in Turkey have an image problem. Nilay Cevher reflects on the current situation of literacy, reading and libaries in her country - and looks at what needs to be improved.

Rachael Culley - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Keeping the library ‘digitally open’

Rachael Culley gives a behind-the-scenes tour of the social media strategy of the British Library and tells what the most important learnings from the content production during the lockdown were.

Elja Curovac - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

A library without a librarian it is worthless

Libraries have always been extremely important for every community because they are centres of information, culture, and education, and in them we always have access to relevant, recent and verified data. The most important person in all of this is the librarian.

Daria Klenova - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Increasing importance of social media tools

For years digital services took a very humble place among other types of library services. During the COVID-19 crisis the role of digital offerings has become significantly more important. Nowadays most of the libraries in Russia, no matter how small they are, use technology to improve services for customers.

Geetha M - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Bridging the digital divide

In India, where top 10% of the population holds 77% of the wealth and close to 80% of the population live in extreme poverty due to lack of access to educational and employment opportunities, the digital divide is only increasing this gap. Access to digital libraries is vital in bridging this divide.

Pau Bañó Magraner - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

New opportunities, new challenges

The digital library landscape in Spain varies widely, reports librarian Pau Bañó Magraner. In recent years, he observed an opening of libraries to the platforms already used by the customers – leading to  new opportunities but also challenges for librarians.

Damilare Emmanuel Oyedele - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Infrastructure, flexibility, user-friendliness and accesibility

Damilare Emmanuel Oyedele tells a personal story of libraries transforming the human mind and shows how digital ressources can reach more users.

Ilya Rogovenko - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Storytelling, poetry and hand washing

Russian libraries were very creative in the lockdown period. What can other libraries learn from the best practice examples?

Simpy Sharma - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Helping the community through difficult times

Closed colleges, closed schools, closed libraries. In times of Corona digital libraries are needed more than ever. Not only do they provide food for the minds of the young, they also help libraries stay connected with their members. But there are not only advantages.

Zane Siliņa - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

The old, the new and the unknown

In the course of the pandemic, newly created and existing offers were made accessible to the library customers. But one of the biggest challenges remains making these offers known.

Naomi Smith - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Digital divide between academic and public libraries

The accesibility of digital services is a question of budget and priorities. What strategies do academic and public libraries in the UK adopt?

Madiareni Sulaiman - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Supporting open data and open government

How can specialist libraries transform themselves in order to serve the communities better? On the importance of open data and making information available.

Lizet van de Kamp - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Break the digital landscape free from borders

The lockdown in Brussels has been an acceleratof of change towards digital services for libraries. But how to bring that typical library experience into peoples' homes through a screen?

Barnabas Virag - Emerging International Voices for Library Advocacy. The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA Goethe-Institut | created with Canva | CC BY 4.0

Building on the natural curiosity of people

Katona József Library offers a wide range of digital services: knowledge repositories, portals with digital collections, maps and walks. How can these help to retan readers?


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About the Project

They are young, they are bold and they are connected – and are they the future of our libraries. 19 emerging international voices discuss the role of digital libraries – and digital technologies in libraries – in their countries. Join the discussion and participate in a series of online seminars with the best experts in the field.

The three online seminars will take place on the 8th, 15th and 22nd October 2020 at 1PM - 2 PM CEST and will be open to the public. The seminars will be followed by a 45 minute masterclass with the speakers during which the participants of the Emerging International Voices Programme will have a chance to discuss the subject further. The outcomes of the project will be published on a platform goethe.de/EmergingInternationalVoices as well as IFLA website in the form of statements and articles by the participants as well as a collection of best practice examples of libraries worldwide engaging with their communities digitally.

"Emerging international voices" is a joint project of the Goethe-Institute and IFLA. Its long-term purpose is to establish an international network of young individuals engaged in library advocacy in their countries. The participants had been chosen by the local Goethe-Institutes in an open call process.

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