Public Library e-Lending Models

Offering new services in order to meet the expectations of their patrons has always been one of the challenges public libraries must deal with. The commercial e-book market is escalating and e-reading is becoming more and more popular, so it’s not strange that public libraries have studied the possibilities of offering e-books to their patrons.

Civic Agenda and the digital library organisations for The Netherlands ( and Flanders (Bibnet), along with professor Frank Huysmans with the financial support of Taalunie have carried out a study and  published a report (last 12th December) “benchmarking the performance of 18 public library e-lending models across 15 countries in Europe and North America” including Belgium/Flanders, Czech Republic, Estonia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States and Canada/Quebec.

 This new study “highlights that cooperation and collaboration between libraries and publishers represents a key ingredient for e-lending success – alongside the readiness of libraries to share their knowledge and experiences of e-lending with each other”.

 The study shows the different approaches at the different countries and aims to “deliver an e-lending model through which libraries can offer all e-book titles available to all interested patrons”.

You can read the full text here:  A Review of Public Library e-Lending Models

Library advocacy in Europe: the Reading & Writing Foundation

Launched on 2004, the Reading & Writing Foundation is an initiative aiming to “raise awareness of the significant levels of illiteracy, in children and adults, in The Netherlands and abroad”.


Public libraries are a significant part of their work, having been selected to carry out the work on the Public Libraries 2020 Campaign, in Europe. “The goal is to support the transformation and updating of public libraries and expand their role as engines of development”.

As part of this campaign, they offer advocacy grants (they’ve closed the first round but 2 more rounds are to come in the next year) for projects at local, national or international level, that “outline services that public libraries provide in the areas of social inclusion, digital inclusion or lifelong learning”. They have published the 4 projects selected in this first round by the PL2020 Advisory Committee.

They’ve also presented a video (officially launched last 10th December) “highlighting how public libraries in Europe strengthen communities and help people” titled Libraries Change Lives

Another interesting initiative is the MEP Library Champions, consisting on showing members of the European Parliament a public library in their countries “to build a group of library advocates among the European Parliamentarians that will support future library initiatives at EU and local level”.

UNESCO World Library of Science

UNESCO has recently launched WLoS (World Library of Science), a free online resource for science learning.

“It contains hundreds of peer-reviewed articles that use text, pictures, illustrations, and videos to make scientific concepts easy-to-understand. The WLoS is also a community hub for learning. Users can join classes, start groups and connect with other learners”.

The resources offered are high-quality educational material, peer-reviewed and multimedia.

“The WLoS is more than just a traditional library: it is a dynamic resource that allows users to collaborate with others, personalize their learning experience, pose and answer questions, and collaborate with others while exploring scientific concepts. The WLoS fosters knowledge-sharing and peer-learning”.

Find it here:

CILIP blogger challenge winner

A couple of months ago we published a post about the CILIP blogger challenge 2014, a competition “giving you the opportunity to talk about important library, knowledge and information issues” with over 70 participants.

Now, they have announced the winner and finalists. You can see the list and read the posts through this link:

ALIA Report on e-books and e-lending in Australian public libraries

ALIA (the Australian Library and Information Association) launched in 2013 a report (based on a survey) studying the e-lending in Australian public libraries. The same survey was carried out in May 2014, and a month later they released its results: the ”Comparison of e-Books and e-Lending in Australian Public Libraries 2013 V 2014“, which you can see here:

In April 2014 they released the Elending Landscape Report 2014, which “identifies worldwide public library initiatives to secure ebooks for borrowers”. The report was prepared by Brussels-based Civic Agenda. We published a post about it a few months ago.

Key figures about Public Libraries in Europe

NAPLE Working Group on European Library Figures was created in 2013, aiming to collect and share statistics about public libraries in Europe through NAPLE members.

 The group is formed by NAPLE representatives from Croatia, Portugal, Finland and Czech Republic and is coordinated by Maarten Vandekerckhove, NAPLE representative from Flanders.

 Firstly, they defined a set of figures, around 40 items describing some general information, figures about collection, ICT, library staff, finances, users, loans, community services and events. Then, they linked every item to international standards concerning library statistics: the ISO.

 17 NAPLE members have sent their figures to the Working Group, helping to build a document that hopefully will help to show the impact public libraries have on European society. It’s an open document, so will be updated in the future with figures from other European countries.

You can see the results through the Links & Documents tab at NAPLE web, or clicking here:

Internet a decade later and the update of the IFLA Internet Manifesto  

In 2002 IFLA approved their first Internet Manifesto, providing “an early recognition of the vital role that the Internet plays in the work of library and information services”. 2 days ago, last 25th November they`ve launched an update of that work, that “reflects this experience and reinforces the vital role of library and information services in ensuring equitable access to the Internet” and can be found here:

But how was the Internet in 2002, when the IFLA Manifesto was approved? Best Education Sites, a project that gathers a panel of specialists from different fields “counseling to analyze the state of the academic web space” which was awarded by the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) with the 2014 Best Websites for Teaching & Learning Award, launched a couple of years ago, in 2012, the results of a survey where (with information from Nielsen, Google and CNet) the Internet in 2002 is compared with its version a decade later.

 The results are quite enlightening. Web pages reached 555 million in 2012, while a decade before it was 3 million. Connection speed has almost tripled (from 16 seconds average to load a page to 6 seconds), etc.

You can see the results of this study in this highly user-friendly website:


Linking Open Data cloud diagram 2014, by Max Schmachtenberg, Christian Bizer, Anja Jentzsch and Richard Cyganiak.

Call for papers: ISKO-UK Biennial Conference (London, 13/14 July 2015)  

ISKO (International Society for Knowledge Organization) was founded in 1989. Today, it “counts about 600 members all over the world, from fields such as information science, philosophy, linguistics, computer science, as well as special domains such as medical informatics”.

 It has 12 chapters for different countries or regions around the world. ISKO-UK will be celebrating their biennial conference next 13th – 14th July 2015 in London. 

Call for papers is open, deadline for submissions has been extended from 29 November to 7 December). You can see all the details at  

Latest news from the Sister Libraries Blog

This week at Sister Libraries, take a look at the new Polish Library joining the Program.

 Visit the Sister Libraries’ blog for further information.

Dialogue on Public Libraries

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries is a forum that gathers “thought leaders from business, technology, education, government, the nonprofit sector and libraries” seeking to “shape and advance a renewed national vision for public libraries in the 21st century”.

Amongst their conclussions we’d like to highlight this: “To get started, public libraries, library directors, library staff and their supporters must forge new partnerships and collaborations in the community and align their work with the community’s goals”.

They have launched a web with very interesting resources, apart from the full report they’ve elaborated, “RISING TO THE CHALLENGE: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries”. One specially has caught our attention: Strategies for Success. It consists of specific action steps for 3 different stakeholders at public libraries: 15 steps for library leaders, 15 for policymakers and 15 for the community.

You can find all the information here