Model Programme for Public Libraries

Kultur styrrelsen




Co-creation focuses on how to create new solutions with rather than for citizens. By involving citizens' experience and resources, co-creation can contribute to identifying the services and offers that create real value for the library's users as well as for society's citizens. 


The public libraries are unique arenas for co-creation processes. Co-creation at the public libraries is about involving the citizens in both the idea development phase and in the execution of events and initiatives. The purpose of co-creation in the development of the libraries is to create activities that the citizens will definitely both want and benefit from. Users go from being passive recipients of offers to being pro-active players who create and realise new and focused activities and solutions. In other words, the library should not solve municipal issues by itself, but, for instance, facilitate meetings, act as host, create settings and be a network resource in the municipality. As an example, collaboration can be established with local trade unions, children's services, family counsellors, pedagogical and psychological counselling services, and local associations such as the Red Cross and Save the Children.

In connection with co-creation, it is worth considering the following:

  • Use of the library space: Consider who could benefit from the unique library space; which meetings can take place there? Not just for those who make their way to the library of their own accord, but also for those who rarely or never visit. What would it take to make them feel at home and that they can use the space as their own? New layouts and innovative thinking may be required. It may also mean that a few rules have to be stretched, but the library as a democratic platform should be to the advantage of everybody. 
  • Think in terms of relations: Do not think in terms of solutions. As a library, we like to fix things and come up with solutions, but co-creation is more about curiosity. What do you want and what do you need? It could all start with a good cup of coffee. Read more about curiosity in connection with user inclusion here.
  • The library as a host: Can the library gather the right people, and how is the right setting created? It is about creating space for participation where citizens can meet as equals and be acknowledged for their resources.
08. Sep 2016 at. 16:01

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