Keynote speakers

Dr. phil. Jurģis Šķilters

Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Director of the Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics, University of Latvia

‘Hybrid Communication: Challenges of Format’
Presentation [File is encrypted with password that Bibliotheca Baltica participants received in October e-mail]

Modern library content contains digital and analog representations. In my talk I will argue that the modern media environment in libraries is a process where format (e.g., digital or analog) impacts the perception of the content. Further, I will explain why hybrid communication is not new and how it is foundational to all modern typographic culture generating hybrid cognitive systems linking internal knowledge and memory to external representations. I will also discuss processing advantages of the hybrid communication. I will contrast hybrid communication with a newer development in digital communication where conversation and its dynamics is replaced with a digital multi-format connectivity with a much faster dynamics. I will argue that this latter development generates a split conception of the self (divergent online and offline aspects) that tends to result in a new form of digital solitude (S. Turkle). Finally, I will emphasize that both hybrid and digital communication use the same analog spatial perceptual and cognitive mechanisms.


Renaldas Gudauskas

Director General of the National Library of Lithuania, Bibliotheca Baltica Board Chair

‘Baltic Sea Region Libraries: Leadership in Digital Competences, Solutions, Entrepreneurship’

The world is changing dramatically. The nations exist, but we no longer have national economies – we have a global economic system. Moreover, we must examine every aspect of this system in order to be managing it. Information and communication technologies are an increasingly factor in this world as it enables atypical actors to organize themselves and initiate new movements. Information dissemination and accessibility are underlying factors for sustainable economic, political, communal and social development. The competitive edge of knowledge demands increasingly greater scientific knowledge and depth in management, creativity, and problem solving skills. The concept of Digital Competence is a multi-faceted moving target, covering many areas and literacies and rapidly evolving as new technologies appear. Digital Competence is at the convergence of multiple fields. Being digitally competent today implies the ability to understand media, to search for information and be critical about what is retrieved and to be able to communicate with others using a variety of digital tools and applications. All these abilities belong to different disciplines: media studies, information sciences, and communication theories. It means that Digital Leadership ability, which will help to manage Digital Complexity, can be learned and creating a digital context that supports the development of talent in the Digital Age can become a source of Digital Competitive Advantage. The new rules of the game do not favour the incumbents.


Gunnar Sahlin

Stockholm University

‘Baltic Sea Cooperation for Information Management Within ALM Sector’

The project “Baltic Sea Cooperation within ALM sector” is funded by Swedish Institute Baltic Sea Cooperation, and is meant to be a pre-project. The aim is to get knowledge that might lead to initiative for a larger project, both when it comes to the issues one want to test out, and when it comes to participants.

Partners in the project are Stockholm University, National Library of Estonia, National Library of Lithuania and National Library of Latvia. The project has so far had one meeting among the partners where we discussed the most vital issues.

Tomas Lidman, Gunnar Sahlin and Vigdis Moe Skarstein are project leaders. We will in our presentation give an overview of the aim of the project and how far we have come until now to define the key issues.

The main aim of the project is to strengthen the digital cooperation in the region when it comes to library, archives, museums and other actors that support the infrastructure of culture, education and research. Part of this will be to see how to build services and structures that are important and relevant for these purposes and to see how one may find new ways of working: digital management and digital humanities.

A well organized cooperation within the Baltic Sea Area will make it easier to integrate the whole Baltic Cultural Heritage in the rest of Europe. It is therefore important that the project is known also among the members of Bibliotheca Baltica.


Matias Frosterus

Project Manager FINTO-project (Finto – Finnish Ontology Service), National Library of Finland

‘From Librarian to Datarian: how to Combine Technical Expertise, Librarian Skills and Build a Competence Network’

At the heart of librarianship lies the ability to provide access to information. That information used to be mostly contained in books but now it might be more accurate to say that information can be found in various data repositories – be they physical books or digital files and databases. Librarians have cultivated the skills to order and catalogue these data objects but the application of those skills has mostly been still contained in the library field. Yet data repositories are used absolutely everywhere, gaining access to relevant information is a fundamental challenge of the modern society, and modern librarians have a lot to offer in that regard.

Using as a case example the national-level project undertaken by The National Library of Finland, this presentation will highlight the new opportunities that librarians have when combining their traditional expertise with new technical know-how and efficient networking. The fruit of the project, national thesaurus and ontology service Finto, is being deployed in memory organizations but also in the wider public sector. The basic goal still is providing access by making the publication and use of interoperable vocabularies free and easy leading to interoperable metadata. Through active networking the importance of descriptive metadata, stemming here from a long tradition of librarianship, has not only been codified into the Finnish law but is being further developed in deep co-operation with a multitude of various organizations from different domains.


Sirje Virkus

Professor, School of Digital Technologies, Tallinn University

‘New Library Skills: the International Master in Digital Library Learning’

Digital libraries are digital learning spaces which bring together people, new ideas and technology. The International Master in Digital Library Learning (DILL) is a two-year collaborative master program that started in 2007 between Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences in Norway, Tallinn University in Estonia and Parma University in Italy and which was supported in the framework of the European Union (EU) Erasmus Mundus programme. The program was designed to prepare a group of students from European and third countries, including librarians, archivists, curators, administrators and technologists, who had or would have responsibility for managing digital conversion programs and/or implementing digital libraries and conducting digital library education programs to work in the complex world of digital libraries. DILL seeks to develop technology-based competencies, research competencies, transversal competencies, intercultural competencies and library and information work related competencies. The tenth version of the DILL programme started in autumn 2016. This paper discusses the way how new library skills are developed and future librarians prepared within the DILL programme.


Valtteri Vainikka

Information Specialist, Helsinki University Library, Helsinki University Library

‘Research Support Services @ HULib: New Skills and Challenges for Academic Librarians

This presentation covers recent developments in Helsinki University Library´s (HULib) Research Support Services unit. Three main topics are discussed: (1) bibliometrics, (2) research data and (3) altmetrics.

Bibliometrics have in recent years evolved into one of our core functions. While metrics work is also done at the faculty level, our main customer is currently the university´s central administration. This presentation gives an overview of our current assignments. Interest in metrics work by the library has risen steadily in recent years.

Research data management (RDM) services are also an established practice. HULib is coordinating a national project that recently launched a RDM planning tool, DMPTuuli. We are also working in co-operation with our university´s IT department to develop services related to storing, analyzing, visualizing and sharing research data.

Altmetrics is seen as a potential future core service. HULib has been running a pilot project based on the PlumX software platform since spring 2015. Thus far our testing has involved a limited number of volunteer researchers and has focused on technical issues. We are now in the process of expanding to more fields, adding researchers and looking into widening our software portfolio.

These three strategic areas of development have created a shift in our competence development needs. Within these new frontiers there´s a heavy emphasis on IT and statistics related skillsets combined with a deep understanding of field specific practices. While the development of these skills is being fostered within our library, there still remains a clear need for additional specialized future hiring. To widen the talent pool these recruitment efforts may potentially be international.


Karolina Zawada

Torun University

‘Libraries and Research Data: Torun University’s Open Access Data Project’

I will present importance of digitization and publicity process of both historical and present research data basing on an example of old, archived research.

12 thousand historical glass plates with astronomical images of the northern sky are gradually degrading. Analog data are losing quality even under the best conditions of storage. On the other hand, digital data stored in a local safe can not be easily reused for further research on a large scale. We want researchers to have a chance to look into them and to compare present and archived observations.

Is there a place here for a library? Should librarians take part in such projects? I am convinced they should. The library must be a meeting point, an information center. The library must know if such raw research data exist, where they are stored, what are availability conditions, and where the new ones can be stored. Librarians of the 21st century suggest the researchers possibilities and benefits of widely accessible form of their own research data and show them how to process it.


Dr. Iveta Gudakovska

Director, Library of the University of Latvia

Gita Rozenberga

Chief Librarian, Library of the University of Latvia

‘Open Access: Importance, Challenge, Competences for Society’

During the presentation the main aspects will be discussed, which feature open access great significance among the members of wide society, for example, in the science community, in the education sector, economics etc., and it also shows a big role of the specialists of the librarianship and information, who better sees the picture of the exchange of information.
The librarians are those members of the society, who from the start have tended and still care for the open access to the information and the knowledge. The main knowledge and skills will be outlined, which for the librarians is necessary in order to successfully fulfill their work duties/activities that are connected with the open access.


Giedrė Čistovienė

Head of Project Management Department at Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania

‘Library Advocacy: Challenges and Opportunities’

All EU member states are facing the challenges of social, digital exclusion and lifelong learning. Public libraries have the resources to bridge all these gaps but are under-estimated by policy makers. They have been expanding their role in local communities enormously over the last decades, but they are still related mostly only with the culture. Many of them now help people develop their digital skills, advance or acquire other skills through various lifelong learning opportunities. They have the power to engage with groups and individuals that other public services often fail to reach. For example, Public Libraries in Lithuania are doing a great deal of work to promote social, digital inclusion and lifelong learning. Nevertheless, they are being represented in strategic documents of regional municipalities very scarcely, fragmentary and mostly in a field of culture. The presentation will review the EU wide library advocacy campaigns and the case study of Lithuanian advocacy campaign “Tell your story – be important”: how we strengthened public library positioning in Lithuanian municipalities’, reaching to contribute in Libraries’ better image and funding.


Thomas Stäcker

Deputy Director of Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

‘Re-encoding the Past: the Role of Research Libraries in the Conversion of our Cultural Heritage’

Over centuries libraries were in charge of collecting, cataloguing, describing, conducting research on, making accessible and archiving society’s written cultural heritage. Now the digital turn necessitates to re-think the role of the research library. Similar to processes that took place at the outset of the Gutenberg era activities are underway to transform our cultural heritage to a digital form so as to ensure its longevity and relevance for future scholarly and cultural purposes. The paper will adress issues of programatic digitization, including image digitization and capture of full text, and new digital research methods that depend on digital documents and data, libraries provide. Hence it will attempt to determine the new role of the research library as an institution responsible for re-encoding the past.


Frédéric Blin

Director for Preservation and Heritage Collections, National and University Library Strasbourg

‘The National and University Library Strasbourg: Rising up to the Scientific Challenge’

Main academic library in France with around 4 million items, the National and University (BNU) Strasbourg has the unique status of being an independent institution with several levels of roles, missions and partners. One of the main challenges it is currently facing, is defining its role within the research environment, both regionally and nationally. The complete renovation of the library between 2010 and 2014 as well as the evolution of the academic and research landscape in France laid the fundations of an ambitious vision where skills and competences development will play a major part.

This paper will present the institution, the political and scientific context it is working in, the steps it took during recent years to build its capacity of becoming increasingly active in the research domain, and the strategies it ambitions to follow in order to get to this next level.


Jani Nieminen

Espoo City Library

‘Public Library as a Multicultural Player: Work with Immigrants and Young Adults’

#Yolo, OMG, Lol, Younsters are coming to the library. Stories from the point of view of a librarian : how we have succeeded or have we?


Marie Oestergaard

Head of Community Engagement, Aarhus Public Library

Dokk1: a Transformation of Space and Competences

In 2015 Dokk1 – the new Main Library in Aarhus, Denmark – opened to the public. With its 18.000 m2 library (in a 30.000 m2 building) the library space has been quite dramatically redefined and the usage and programming has been transformed. The transformation of the physical space, the programming and the work with partnerships have underlined the staff competence shift that has been on its way for a long time. With a run through Dokk1 – its mind-set, vision and spaces, this talk will try to highlight some of the new competence arenas in Dokk1. Based on learnings from the past and the present, it will discuss the need for more diversity and autonomy in staff as we progress the work with partnerships in what seems to be moving towards a more network based organization.


Janis Kositis

Training Coordinator, National Library of Latvia

‘Distance Learning: Opportunities and Reality’

Exploring challenges and opportunities of distance and blended learning in 21st century, through NLL Competency development center experience implementing learning platform Moodle.


Eugenijus Stratilatovas

Director of Strategic Development Department at Martynas Mazvydas National Library of Lithuania, Project Manager for Libraries for Innovation 2

‘Non-formal Education in Libraries’

Society is getting smarter and older, but the new old are more active than ever, despite large part of society having higher education, things change so quickly that constant relearning is needed. There is also large group of people without any higher education, and large group of people in Europe (up to 15%) that are illiterate.

Libraries currently face identity challenge trying to decide to witch society problems they are the answer, on one hand still promoting reading, on the other hand trying to stay relevant. Libraries always played role in access to information, and currently they are in best position to provide not only access to information, but also education for people out of formal education system, and people who need guidance and flexibility in their pursuit of knowledge and skills.