May 26, 2022

Conference Paper: “In Copenhagen Libraries are Everywhere”

The following paper will be presented at the 2017 IFLA World Library and Information Congress scheduled to take place in Wrocław, Poland in August.


In Copenhagen Libraries are Everywhere


Mikkel Christoffersen
Copenhagen Libraries

Finn Petersen
Copenhagen Libraries


via IFLA Repository


Copenhagen Libraries is in the middle of a large redesign of its mission and its services. Rather than being a place that provides access – mostly to physical media – we are transforming part of our core service into deconstructed, modular and open learning facilitation and embedding it in Copenhagen environments as diverse as school and kindergartens, gymnasiums and other secondary education institutions, sports and cultural centres – even showing up at for example people’s allotment gardens with inspiration for online research into botany and garden designs – and, yes, the traditional library space as well.

Our goal is to become an integral part of public, urban space as a ubiquitous cultural and learning resource whether you choose to use us where you are, where we are or in virtual space. A primary driver behind our efforts is the concept of “equal opportunity.” As a public library we strive to help our patrons bridge the socioeconomic gaps by providing an opportunity to acquire reading and digital competencies and experiences regardless of background.

We are opening the traditional library space not only through extended self-service hours, but also through open events in immediately accessible spaces. When you walk in the Copenhagen Main Library, you’re likely to find a lecture going on in front of you that you can join, or seminars on dealing with fake news, participatory democracy, Big Data, surveillance and other hot-button issues. Throughout the city you will find not only traditional branches, but also libraries developing into cultural centres and library run institutions such as fablabs and literary makerspaces as well as library employees using the city as both background and primary subject matter for thematic tours.

Direct to Full Text Paper (10 pages; PDF)

See Also: Copenhagen Libraries Website

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.