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International Emerging Voices© Goethe-Institut

Emerging International Voices: The Goethe-Institut Programme with IFLA

The COVID-19-crisis has been a turning point for many libraries worldwide. The digital offerings, often seen as a complementary offer to books and events taking place locally, have become the core element of providing users with information. But how to build up a digital community around a library? What does connecting to a digital community mean? What role do the social media play in engaging with the users? What is the purpose of a library in the great abundance of streaming platforms?

The outcome of the project is a collection of best-practice-examples of libraries worldwide engaging with their digital communities. In a series of three webinars experts from community building field will share their knowledge with the participants and the global librarian community.

1. Digital libraries: what do we mean by that?
What does a digital library mean? What are the offerings: beyond eBooks? How does the conception process look like? How are the users involved? A best-practice-story of an interesting platform

2. Digital libraries: we build it, but will they come?
We take the community around our physical libraries for granted; but how do we create a community around digital libraries? How do we make sure they come – and come repeatedly? How can we facilitate interaction within the digital offerings? What role do Social Media play – and how can we use them to bring people to our platforms?

3. Digital libraries: how can we compete?
What is the purpose of a library in the great abundance of streaming platforms? How can libraries learn from the big players – and where can they make a difference? How to manage our own expectations?


The participants spread the word about the webinars and engage their communities in a debate around the topics. After the three rounds each participant sums up their experiences as well as the ideas generated through the webinars and social media exchange with fellow emerging voices in an article. The articles will be published on the websites of the Goethe-Institutes and licensed as Creative Commons BY–SA 4.0 in order to achieve the biggest outreach.

„IFLA Emerging international voices“ is a joint project of Goethe-Institutes around the world and IFLA. Its long-term purpose is to establish an international network of young individuals engaged in library advocacy in their countries. The participants will be chosen in an open call process in the participating regions. The emerging international voices network would continue in 2021. Out of 15 participants six will be chosen to take part in IFLA 2021 in Rotterdam.

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