EDGE2019 Conference Programme Preview 

Confirmed speakers so far:-

Melanie Huggins, Executive Director, Columbia SC.

Richland Library set out to create spaces and services that would help create a more resilient economy, attract and retain a creative class of residents, support artists and entrepreneurs and encourage greater community cohesion in our neighborhoods. That vision—Library As Studio— has transformed the way we think about our role in the community, making us a vital partner and catalyst for solving community problems and creating opportunities for the community to learn, create and share together. Huggins will discuss the vision and approach that has guided the transformation of the entire library system.

Jesper Klein, Project Manager, National Library of Sweden.

The nowadays well grounded principle that library services should be universally designed together with a global digital transformation of reading dramatically change the preconditions for all types of libraries. In both mature and quickly growing ebook and audio book markets in Europe and other places like the USA and East Asia we see libraries build services that make use of open technical standards, user centric design and open source co-op to become more interoperable, and more importantly – more user friendly and with better usability. What is the libraries role in relation to commercial publishing and retail in the digital domain? And what can we do to make digital library services more inclusive to all including people with disabilities and other prioritized groups?

Ilona Kish, Director PL2020 & Trustee of Libraries Connected, Belguim.

Working with Google on a digital toolkit with 10 libraries across UK & Ireland. Will share the experience of the project. Ilona manages the Brussels team, their Advisory group and other strategic relationships within the Programme and is responsible for strategic guidance and management. The programme is run by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation. Ilona previously served as Secretary General of Culture Action Europe, a European Umbrella association promoting arts and cultural associations across Europe.

Leo Appleton, Research Student, Edinbrugh

This paper will present on the findings of a longitudinal research project which looks into the value and impact of public libraries in the UK on citizenship development within the Information Society. The data informing the research has been gathered through a series of repeat focus groups which have taken place in eight different local authorities throughout the UK between 2014 and 2017. As the research draws to a close significant insight has been gained about the role of the library in the 21st century with regard to its epistemic function, its role in curating and organising print resources, the social functions of the physical library and the abstract perception of the library in delivering its citizenship mission.

Henrik Jochumsen, Associate Professor, University of Copenhagen 

In his talk, Henrik Jochumsen will concentrate on the public library in urban development. As a result of the Danish research project “Public Library in Urban Development – Creativity, Innovation and Experience which is based on case studies in Europe and North America “The three-function model” has been born. The three-function model describes how the public libraries contributes to city and community development in three different ways: as a place, as a space and as relations. By taking his point of departure in these concepts Henrik Jochumsen will focus on how the library can serve as a catalyst for change and urban development, how the library can enhance a creative and innovative city and how it contribute to synergy, connections and transformations through new creative partnerships. The aim is to create a platform from where it is possible to emphasize and communicate important aspects of how the public library can be an important part of a vibrant, livable and coherent community.

Gemma Williams, Librarian, HMP Norwich

For the last six years HMP Norwich library, in association with local group the Forget me Nots, has been running a weekly Cognitive Stimulation Therapy group for older prisoners living with memory loss and dementia. The project, which won the CILIP Libraries Change Lives 2017, uses an evidence based and NICE guideline recommended group therapy to provide support to a highly socially excluded and vulnerable group. Library manager Gemma will discuss the growing needs of older people in custody, the role of libraries as a dementia friendly space, working with volunteers to deliver mental health interventions and changing cultures of care in institutional settings, and will present a short film of the HMP Norwich group.

David Stoker, Departmental Director/Manager, Liverpool.

Liverpool’s transformation has not have been easy and there were many lessons learned. Delegates will learn from Liverpool’s experiences.  Not all of authorities will have access to funding, or have large spaces, or extra staff, however  there are events, projects, & innovations that Liverpool are doing that could be adapted to any library, on any scale.  David will pass on these library gems.

Martin Hamilton, Futurist at JISC.

Martin leads Jisc’s Future and Emerging Technologies team, generating and channelling new ideas, and building partnerships to bring them to fruition. He is particularly interested in the societalimplications of ubiquitous robotics and artificial intelligence, and humanity’s emergence as a trueinterplanetary species.

Billy Agnew, Director of Viarama

Viarama began in 2015 and was created to use the powerful technology of VR as a force for good in our communities. We work to improve the quality of life among school children, senior citizens, and 18-to-24 year olds. We train and employ the latter group to take VR into mainly schools, nursing homes, hospices, and hospitals. Everywhere we work we see the positive effect VR has immediately on those who experience it, and often the reaction is profoundly moving. In nursing homes for example we allow people to draw or paint again, climb a mountain, fly a plane, or do whichever one of the many things we offer.