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Welcome to Herning – and our new library. Presentation: My name is xx and I am xx in the library.
The programme for your visit will be as follows:
We start here in the Conference Room where I will tell you about the building process and our thoughts and ideas in connection with the library and the organization.
This will take about 25 minutes.
Then it is time for a walk. We will take a tour round the house and then we return to the Conference Room for questions.
Let us start with our new branding film.
Why a new library?
Today the library is the citizens’ local gateway to the knowledge and culture of the world as well as a place of meeting and experience for the local population, and this makes quite new demands to a library. To content as well as to siting. The library’s sole function is no longer to lend books and other materials but also to support interactive presentation of knowledge, learning and experience.
The old library was a 20-minute walk from the town center and this meant few “chance customers”. A more central position would make it easier to go to the library, now placed far more convenient, also as regards public transportation.
Another important aspect in the decision making: moving the library would lead to more activity in the town center because of the number of citizens who now and in the future will use a super modern library. It would also lead to a student environment with quiet work places and the possibility of group work.
Therefore, the parties behind the 2013 budget decided to establish a top modern library in town center.
So it took two years to get a new main library in Herning.
After budget conciliation architect and engineering firm were chosen – the local architect firm of Kr. H. Nielsen together with GPP architects and Rambøll started considerations and examinations of the building. The programme presentation was ready just before Christmas and was handed in for approval in KFU in January and final approval in Town Council came in February – and they said: GO
Then the steering group and the work group began working with ideas and planning the possibilities of the house. Project proposal and work description were made. Tenders were invited in July 2013 and on August 10 it was announced that CC Contractor had won the assignment as general contractor.
We invited for groundbreaking on September 5 and the first hole was made in one of the many walls to be broken down.
Then the great rebuilding from an old sixties supermarket building to a new raw, exiting house – to the Herning library of the future – began.
What it used to be – This is what the front looked like in 2013 when the rebuilding started.
This is the building seen from the parking space where we have extended the library with about 260 m2 in 2 stocks.
The budget for the library was 80 m. 60 m for rebuilding and 20 m for project steering and interior design. That amount gave us 5,914 m2 with about 4,600 m2 for the user related floors Street Level and The Deep.
Let us make a tour round the floors. We start in Dybet: This holds the entire collection from 0-99.9 and from A-Å. Before moving we had a major discharging campaign casting off items from 700,000 to 450,000. Why move something you don’t use or you can get digitally? We have integrated the stack collection, leaving only the very special items in the compact shelves. Everything is available to the users.
The street level is the place for the users to be inspired – they are to experience and meet – to be activated. About 10 exhibition points present knowledge and inspiration to the users through changing exhibitions with thematic and media related content. We also present digital services as for instance Bibzoom and E-reolen on a large wall with 9 screens.
The café has front and entrance to the pedestrian street. It is run by one of the best cafés of the town and shares opening hours with the library. Further down The Main Street – as we call the passage between the two entrances – in continuation of Aroma we find the Platform with room for absorption with access to newspapers and magazines. From time to time you will find small events like music or book cafés. The only area dedicated to a special group is BøH-landet – the area for 0-6 year children and their grown-ups – and Grotten just outside BøH-landet is the area for tweens. Here children can read and play and interact with floor and screen.
On Street Level to the south we have made a Silent Room also with room for absorption. Students can work here, either with their own laptop or with a borrowed pc.
We now move a step up in the building. To where we are now.
First floor of 670 m2 has been built on approx. ¼ of the building’s foundation. Here we have 3 conference rooms next to each other. They can be put together to 2 or 1 big room holding about 150 people. We have 2 conference rooms to the west – Kørner1 and 2 – where the Danish artist John Kørner has designed the carpets. These rooms are for minor events, as for instance homework café and learning activities. Furthermore, we have 3 project offices and rooms for volunteers/conference rooms for small staff groups.
Second floor is administration. We are about 65 members of staff and we have all become much closer. We used to be rather apart in a long office passage. Now we all work in open offices of min 5 and max 13 people. We have many glass walls to create visibility and transparency to each others’ work.
Then how have we organized?
We have made an adjustment of the organization. The point of departure no longer is who we service rather what service we render? We no longer use the traditional division between Children, Adult and Music.
We have chosen 3 fields EDU, EVENT and EXPO (exposure) to be the central services of the modern library of today and tomorrow.
For this reason, we have given them high priority in the organization also in terms of resources.
The 28 intermediaries who are attached to these 3 fields spend 1/3 of their working hours on:
EDU – learning and teaching EVENT – events and experiences EXPO – exhibition of media and content Apart from these 3 fields the intermediaries are attached to different functions. This could be purchase of materials, presentation for children, local libraries etc.
In FLOW our assistants take care of finding and placing books as well as handling materials.
We have in-house Service – that is CB & Development, Administration and IT.
How did we organize our user service: Part of the time spent on EDU, EVENT and EXPO we got from changing our service.
We have 5 service points on Street Level. Here you will meet uniformed intermediaries in staffed hours – 10am-7pm Monday to Thursday, 10am-5pm Friday and 10am-3pm Saturday/Sunday. We have self-service from 8am-10am every day and Monday-Thursday from 7pm-9pm. Saturday we have self-service from 3pm-5pm and Sunday is a bit special. We have self-service from 8am-5pm, where the users let themselves in, and then we have chosen to staff the children’s department with one intermediary from 10am-3pm.
We share a service codex for the entire house. All users should feel they are important and we welcome everybody. We are visible, wear uniforms and we look the users in the eyes. We are helpful and welcoming – we pay much attention to the needs of the users. We are available. We pay much attention to the zones being inviting and that everything is nice and tidy. It should be nice to stay here.
We have become new roles and we have worked out standards for these new service functions. These standards describe the work field and the demands we have to these roles.
The host: a bit of a Jack-of-all-trades, bids welcome, signs up new users, guides on, for instance to the toilets. Walks the Main Street between the two entrances.
Info: Intermediary for short inquiries, quick help to find a book or an entry.
B1B: both online and here-and-now help – we have had this service for 5 years and people use it more and more, but mostly students and high school pupils. We would like even more people to book us, so in case of long inquiries we make a here-and-now booking and go on to the dedicated zone. This means that the person responsible for B1B stays in Info until a long inquiry turns up and then go the corner. We try to draw the users’ attention to the possibility of getting more dedicated help.
BøH-landet: Presentation for the 0-6 years old and in Grotten just outside BøH-landet for Tweens.
Phone/mail: operation of the library’s main number and mail, which are open from10am-4pm. Help is available for self-issue and book return machines.
As mentioned before, we have made an organizational adjustment. Many did not get their new assignments until after we moved. The intermediaries’ time in the public area has been cut to 4 or 5 hours after we moved – these hours are now spent in the new fields. We began working with the new fields as early as April 2013 where the intermediaries were placed according to their wishes. Before moving, the fields have gone through competence development courses, made plans of action and planned the autumn activities. Along with this, the library should work and we have developed and planned a removal and a content in record time. It has been a challenge to make all ends meet.
To inform and involve the staff in the process has been – and will always be a challenge. We started the process by forming 26 small work groups of 2 or 3 members who came up with ideas for chosen subjects: placement of materials, displaying of signs, conference facilities, self service solutions, café, ideas for the small children, opening hours and so on. We have continued to work on many of these subjects and included staff if it made sense.
At the same time, a work group for building and interior design was appointed. This group included staff from IT and Presentation and together with Management their have come up with input and decisions on the many processes concerning content and technical solutions.
We all have to get used to a new house with new procedures and new roles. We had extra staff the first 3 weeks – guide and help at the machines to help the service functions.
36,800 in January quarter 2014. 154,500 in October quarter 2014. At present, 1,600 on an average in January 2015.
Lending was about 1,800,000 items a year.
Herning public library
• Old library from 1970. Needed
• Activities in the City centre
• Easier access
• Better student facilities
Facts on the building process
• Budgetary conciliation 2013 – decision on September, 2012
• Programme presentation is prepared – on December, 2012
• Programme presentation approved in KFU (Cultural and
Recreation Committee) – January 2013
• Project proposal is prepared – on April 11, 2013
• Building put out to tender – on August 10, 2013
• Groundbreaking – on September 5, 2013
• Inauguration – on August 30, 2014
65 staff members in open offices of
min. 5 and max 13 people.
• Management – head of library, deputy head of library and head
of library learning services, head of development, head of
• Departments – EDU, EVENT, EXPO, FLOW, in-house service
• Functions – Purchase of materials, presentation for children,
local libraries etc.
• Eye contact, distictness, appearance
• Helpful and professional service
• Inviting rooms
• BøH-landet (Children’s Dep.)
The Greatest Challenges
• New organization
• The daily opreation of the library contra development
• Creating ownership of the process
Experiences so far
• New surroundings – new habits
• Great interest - 186.000 visitors during the first 3 months
- 75.000 visitor in September
- 4200 new users (1/9 – 1/3)
- 313.000 from September to March
- 1700 visitors daily