As we kickstart 2024, we wanted to take a look back on 2023 and take you through the highlights of our year. Two of our projects, FEPL and ADELE, are wrapping up in February – while others like RL:EU and ECS have interesting events and activities upcoming.

One of the key highlights of 2023 were the three successful in-person meetings in Ghent, Aarhus, and Lisbon organised as part of the Future of Europe for Public Libraries (FEPL) project. FEPL brought together librarians from all over Europe to discuss the role of public libraries around the topics of digital worlds, sustainability and democracy. A highlight from the democracy camp in Lisbon was the opening message from Dubravka Šuica, Vice President of the EU Commission in charge of Democracy and Demography! The success of these meetings and positive feedback we received demonstrated the importance of exchange, conversations and collaboration across European countries to shape the role of public libraries in our society. Look out for the publication of the project’s outcomes and key findings – coming soon!

It was a big year for the Advancing Digital Empowerment of Libraries in Europe (ADELE) project, as the tool underwent testing across our network of public libraries. In August 2023, PL2030 hosted 27 librarians from Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Ireland, Italy, and Slovenia in Brussels for one of the learning, teaching and training exchange weeks. We also gathered best practices of digital innovation of public libraries from the PL2030 network, which will be compiled in a collection of 100 case studies. Mark your calendars for February 1, 2024 – as we officially launch the ADELE tool during the project’s final international webinar!

As part of the Resourcing Libraries to EU Resources (RL:EU) project, PL2030 organised local events and attended the Informatie aan Zee 2023 conference, where we hosted an interactive workshop to inform professionals within the wider library sector about funding opportunities at the European level. This is shaping up to be an exciting 2024, filled with more local events, mentoring sessions, and the highly anticipated RL:EU Conference: Digital Upskilling for Libraries in Europe in Lisbon on April 10, 2024.

The European Citizen Science (ECS) project brings together 10 public libraries across Europe to create a globally connected, inclusive, and robust citizen science community. After the insightful focus groups in 2023, get ready for a year full of events as the libraries start organising their own citizen science events throughout 2024! Stay tuned for more.

2023 saw the publication of ‘The Rough Guide to Citizen Engagement in Public Libraries’, a collaborative effort between Lisbon Libraries Network and PL2030, which explores the role of public libraries in facilitating citizen engagement processes. This toolkit showcases how public libraries can wield influence, fostering social impact within and beyond their communities. It advocates for libraries as pivotal spaces for collective policy-making and addressing societal challenges.

We also have a new addition to the team! In June 2023, we welcomed Juliette as our Communications and Project Officer. As PL2030 continues its ongoing advocacy efforts at the EU level, the EU Belgian Presidency has us buzzing with excitement. We’re eager to amplify our efforts in putting libraries firmly on the EU agenda!