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Aalto-yliopisto, Harald Herlin -oppimiskeskus. Kuva: Tuomas Uusheimo.
Aalto-yliopisto, Harald Herlin -oppimiskeskus. Kuva: Tuomas Uusheimo

The Finnish University Libraries’ Network FUN celebrates its quarter of a century by going straight to the issue, its strategy, and opening its three themes in three webinars – COVID-19 will show if we can get to the seminar in the autumn.

In the second webinar of the series on May 20th FUN Experiment the theme was addressed from three different perspectives. The perspective of an active chamber musician and an AI researcher, the scientific history perspective of a top Open access developer, and the perspective of a Citizen Science pioneer.

Experiments and the importance of communication combined the performances.

The Netherlands, Denmark and Finland are all at the forefront as library countries.
Cynthia Liem spoke about the ongoing Future Library Lab project, coordinated by Delft University of Technology and the National Library of the Netherlands. They experiment and throw themselves into new things, organizing encounters between customers, librarians, researchers and new technology, Future Libraries Lab.

The needs of the customers were also considered – the artificial intelligence researcher is also a trained active pianist and from this perspective, the presentation of the information needs was interesting. According to Cynthia Liem, researchers usually use the library only if they cannot find what they are looking for. This could be helped by both increasing discussion with researchers and increasing library marketing. In general, libraries should tell more about research services so that researchers can be involved. In particular, the library could help researchers by making the researcher’s work more visible and accessible than the researcher themselves can ever do, said Cynthia Liem. Libraries could try to organize open discussion moments for researchers – they could talk about their own work and the library could talk about their own work for the benefit of researchers.

The power of different performances is to open new angles of entry into one’s own thinking. The Future Libraries Lab project also considers e.g. how AI could help open materials and how libraries can continue their search for the future. The goal is to bring out different perspectives so that everyone can get out of their own bubble. In a way, this was also highlighted by Janne-Tuomas Seppänen’s performance, which was a story-time journey into the decisive moments in the history of scientific communication – the development of development can depend on a small coincidence. Academic libraries would need to be well informed about what is going on in their own university research and what is coming.

The communication with others and the experimental mindset came up also in a presentation by Thomas Kaarsted, a Deputy Library Director, University Library of Southern Denmark, who shed extensively light on citizen science. He has specialized in it and has also promoted it for years. The decisive factor in the promotion of citizen science at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, too, had been making various light experiments and finding a connection with the faculties.

The slides of the presentations are on the FUN experiment webinar’s website. Kaarsted’s presentation is available from FUN’s Secretary of Cooperation.

Susanna Parikka
Library Director
Lapland University Consortium Library

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