New Challenges for Public Libraries

How can the City of Aarhus benefit from using open-source software?

About the project
Libraries are a strategic asset for the European identity, diversity and citizenship. Public libraries, which are deeply rooted in the European history of cities, communities and rural lives are undergoing a profound change due to the development of the Web, the rapidly evolving information technologies and the "dematerialisation" of the book.

While the supporters think that their role remain however important, in face of the need to expand digital services, many, also among the policy makers, seem to consider its role nearly exhausted. The discussion focuses not only on the economic sustainability of the library services, often underutilised, but even on the identity of the services themselves. The challenges are real, complex, and varied and need new answers which requires new perspectives, tools and approaches.

Aarhus’ role as mentoring partners
Aarhus contribute to the project with knowledge and expertise about design thinking for public libraries. We were part of the first major initiative to developing a practice around human centered design in public libraries the Global Libraries project ”Design Thinking for Libraries” in colaboration with Chicago Public Libraries and IDEO, funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Design Thinking for Libraries have become a symbol for change and it provides a set of tools for innovation from within the libraries.
We aim to help the partnering libraries become confident Design Thinking practitioners and to provide a network between various transnational innovation strategies.

From June 2016 to June 2018


Project organisation
The partnership is composed of six partners from 5 different European countries:

CSBNO (Libraries Consortium of North Milan)
Biblioteca Arese
Biblioteca Civica Cinicello, Il Pertini
Biblioteca Pero
Lombardy Region
Bicocca University

City of Aarhus

Biblioteca Lucio Craveiro da Silva, Braga

Biblioteca Nicolaie Iorga, Ploiesti
Progress Foundatio