Ignite Talks | Nordic Libraries Together

Thursday 19th of October at 1:30-3:30 pm

Short talks addressing the main theme of the conference: Public libraries as a social platform

Martin Memet Könick, Paulina Stanley and Jacob Lindblad: Borrow a Democracy Ambassador – strategies for strengthening Democracy 

“Borrow a democracy ambassador” was a part of an initiative that the City of Landskrona Public Libraries undertook before the 2022 election in Sweden. We aimed to strengthen the participation in the democratic system by providing the service of borrowing a democracy ambassador to interested organizations and individuals. We are now moving forward after the election to strengthen the understanding of, and participation in, the democratic society. Let us tell you about our work to underscore public libraries' important role as facilitators for questions about democracy. 

Martin Memet Könick, City of Landskrona Library Director, Elected Member of IFLA:s Standing Committee for the Public Libraries Section. Martins main goal is to take on the challenges facing society and democracy today and use and develop the power of Public Libraries as a force for an equal, smart and fun future.  

Paulina Stanley, City of Landskrona Democracy Ambassador, MSc in Sustainable Urban Development. Paulina has an academic background in architecture and sustainable urban development. Her work consists of themes related to participation, democracy and social sustainability, both from a city- and library perspective. 

Jacob Lindblad, City of Landskrona Librarian. Jacob's responsibilities in Landskrona include working with digital and democratic participation, social sustainability and accessibility. He wants to explore how the public library can be the engine for meaningful democratic experiences. 

Martyna Karolina Daniel and Hildur Björgvinsdóttir: Let's Chat with an Accent - a safe space to practice speaking Icelandic    

Weekly meetups for anyone who wants to practice their Icelandic speaking skills in a friendly and relaxed environment with experienced teachers. We offer 4 different activities aimed at people with different interests and learning preferences and create opportunities for people to meet early on in their language learning journey and make new friends while learning the language.   

Martyna works as an intercultural specialist for the Reykjavik City Library where she develops projects that promote the library as an inclusive and intercultural space. With equity in mind, she works on methods that activate the participation of diverse groups in the library's programming. She likes to explore different ways to foster meaningful intercultural connections, often using visual arts as a way to bring people together beyond language barriers.  

Hildur, who studied anthropology and cultural communications, works as a project manager of events and education at the Reykjavík City Library. Among other things she welcomes groups of students and new Icelanders with other mother tounge than Icelandic and organises multicultural projects. 

Hanna Hopea: Library services, truly available for all 

Hanna has been leading projects that co-operate with organizations that focus on people struggling with difficult life situations. The aim has been to get a better understanding and learn, for example, how to communicate with patrons who are facing difficult situations in their lives.   

Hanna Hopea is a librarian at the Central Library Oodi in Helsinki.   

Sara Bindeballe: Bringing more voices into the conversation   

At Dokk1 we believe that libraries can be important platforms for public conversation – and the more voices join in, the better. Currently, we are exploring how we can engage more diverse groups of people to join our debates, workshops, and activities – and also how we can design these events to increase active participation. In this talk we will share some thoughts and examples.

Sara works with events and activities in Dokk1 (Aarhus, Denmark) and is currently part of the Aarhus Public Libraries’ efforts to strengthen local democracy, e.g., by organizing debates, initiating new partnerships, and teaching civic engagement workshops for schools.  


Further information:

Barbara Helga Guðnadóttir, Library Manager at the Reykjavik City Library Grófin
barbara.helga.gudnadottir@reykjavik.is | 411 6130