The LibrarIN project members organised their General Assembly Meeting for the third time, from October 4 to October 6, 2023. LIBER Europe hosted the event, which took place on the premises of the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. After nearly a full year of activities within the project, it was the occasion to assess the progress of the different work packages, foster the collaborations that have developed throughout the project, and explore the next steps for the project’s course.
The meeting started with an introduction from Hilde van Wijngaarden, LIBER Europe board member and Director of the Vrije Universiteit Library, followed by a warm welcome from Andrej Vrcon, Head of International Projects at LIBER Europe.
The discussions focused on the latest achievements of WP2 (Conceptual framework of participatory management and sustainable growth), WP3 (Thematic and empirical work in selected co-creation areas), and WP4 (Measuring and monitoring co-creation in EU public libraries). As planned, following the design of a comprehensive conceptual framework, upcoming activities include case studies to understand how libraries approach digital innovation, entrepreneurship, and living labs. Subsequently, a survey will be conducted to gather data on co-creation initiatives within European libraries.
The second day of meetings was dedicated to coordinating the different work packages – a crucial and fruitful exercise for the project’s future success. Metrics and the next planned actions regarding dissemination and communication were also discussed.
The day concluded with two outings, with project members split into groups: one group visited the Singel Library of the University of Amsterdam in the heart of Amsterdam for a guided tour and a short presentation on innovation activities. The other group visited the Allard Pierson Artis Library, located in the Plantage neighbourhood since 1868, preserving manuscripts, printed books, drawings, watercolours, journals, and archives on natural history.
The last day brought a novelty to the program. After a short online induction in September, the Stakeholder Panel met for the first time. The panel comprises 29 stakeholders, and includes library managers, directors of international library associations, policy makers, academics, and civil society representatives from all over Europe, who will share their expertise and experiences with the LibrarIN project members until the project’s end. To facilitate their inclusion in the project, a few presentations were given about the project’s ambitions and aims, as well as the role the panellists could and should play within LibrarIN.
In conclusion, in a world cafe format, panellists and project members exchanged ideas on the five topics of digital transformation, social entrepreneurship, public-private networks and social innovation, and living labs for co-creation and co-innovation. Their immediate input will guide the project’s future developments.
The following General Assembly meeting will be held during spring 2024 in Finland by VTT.