Lighthouse Sessions 2021

Over the month of June, we hosted sessions focused on civic participation, democratic renewal and innovation in libraries. We welcomed various guest speakers over the course of these sessions to gather their insights into how libraries can develop new activities. 

In discussion with Panthea Lee, Executive Director of Reboot. 

With the erosion of democracy occurring on all fronts in recent years, creating inclusive and democratic public spaces is needed now more than ever. Panthea Lee guides us through how she perceives democratic renewal and how libraries can start to approach this.

Our key takeaways for this session:

  • A starting point for democratic renewal can stem from an accountability or “superpower” approach
  • Trusted spaces are vital in order to harness the creativity, generosity, and vibrancy of the community
  • Fully committing to one type of activity may be intimidating for both library staff and users. It is best to commit 20% of the staff’s time to new activities that they are inspired and energised to do to create a long lasting programme.

In discussion with Gene Tan, Chief Executive Assistant of the National Library Board of Singapore

Gene Tan brings to this session innovative perspectives gathered from his analysis of the private sector. He sets out to highlight his experiments in Singapore and how these can revolutionise the library sector.

Our key takeaways for this session:

  • Look for ways to build “nodes” which will drive people to the “hub” that is the library. This is a way to build visibility in new and innovative ways
  • How can your library be more porous? Where can relationships be built with third parties to develop a learning superstore for the community?
  • Taking inspiration from the private sector does not mean accepting all their values and views. Adapting and translating the approaches of the private sector to libraries is the key to new and innovative services and activities. 

In discussion with PL2030 Founders Erna Winters, Erik Boekesteijn, Ton van Vlimmeren, and Marie Østergård

In our final session, we turn the discussion to our Lighthouse Libraries and network. What practices have they implemented during the COVID19 pandemic that they want to continue? What do they need to continue this? We gathered all their thoughts in this Jamboard.