The network-project aims to transfer the Design Thinking toolkit to Nordic and Baltic public libraries through workshops and to build a network of design thinkers in libraries and other cultural institutions across the Nordic/Baltic countries. The goal of the network is to learn from each other, develop contacts and exchange knowledge and experiences. This project will add a Nordic approach to the design thinking-toolkit.

Project duration

October 2018 – June 2021

Lead partner

Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania

Project Partners

  • Aarhus Public Libraries (Denmark)
  • Reykjavik City Library (Iceland)
  • Libraries of Malmö (Sweden)


Source of project funding, value (EUR)

The project is cofinanced by the Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme for Culture, the project value is 130 000 EUR.

Nordic-Baltic Mobility Programme logo

Project description

Rapidly changing needs of users and society requires continuously and creatively to improve and adapt their services and products. To better understand users’ needs, libraries, cultural and artistic organizations need new tools which will enable staff to see their organization from the users' perspective and to initiate updates and changes of services while using user-centric approach. The project aims to implement such toolkit in Nordic and Baltic countries and to share experiences and knowledge about design thinking across countries. This is done through workshops by adding new Nordic/Baltic methods and tools to the toolkit and by working on design challenges together. The chosen toolkit has been developed by Chicago Public Library and Aarhus Public Libraries with support by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the previous project “Design Thinking for Libraries”. It is a comprehensive new resource for any staff member hoping to advance their library by using human-centered design methods. The Design thinking toolkit is a way for libraries, cultural and artistic organizations to make sure that they keep developing according to the needs of their users.

Project Team at Reykjavík City Library

  • Guðrún Baldvinsdóttir, Project manager, Literature & Youth Program Okið, Department of Innovation & Communication
  • Droplaug Benediktsdóttir , Graphic designer, Department of Innovation & Communication
  • Guðrún Elísa Ragnarsdóttir, Divisional Librarian, Grófin Culture House
  • Embla Vigfússdottir, Divisional Librarian & Design Thinking Ambassador Okið, Gerðuberg Culture House


Project coordinator

Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdottir, Head of Innovation & Communication, Reykjavik City Library. 

Contact persons for the Project

  • Povilas Sapkauskas, Manager for Cultural Activities at the Project Management Unit, National Library of Lithuania,
  • Helene Bruhn Schvartzman, Project Manager and Consultant of Civic Engagement, Aarhus Public Libraries, Denmark,
  • Guðrún Lilja Gunnlaugsdóttir, Head of Innovation & Communication, Reykjavik City Library, Iceland,
  • Andrea Hofmann, Project Manager, Business Developer, Libraries of Malmö, Sweden,