Library Space

About the project in English

The objective of the project Library Space in Troms is together with local communities to develop the public libraries to be knowledge, culture and literature centers, meeting places and activity arenas. The project aims to skill the library staff to give them power to effect change. Our aim is to provide a sound basis for change within a realistic framework, focusing on continuous possibilities for change. A key aspect of the project is entering into local fellowships and collaborating with other local institutions and organizations.

The project is funded by the National Library of Norway and the county administration. It also relies on the local authorities involved to contribute, this has in addition released over 1 million NOK from the participating municipalities.

Red shelfs at Tromsø Library and City Archives.

Red shelfs at Tromsø Library and City Archives.

In order for communities to be attractive and vibrant places to live, it has always been important to have art and cultural institutions that bring enriching experiences to their inhabitants. For an institution to be a placemaker, it has to offer facilities, activities and experiences that are attractive and interesting, and that make a difference in people`s everyday life.

Naturally, where we are situated and the size of our communities has a bearing on what we can do. The lack of resources in staff and the small unities also means that we have to be realistic and make changes without breaking our necks at the same time. We need to build good networks. It is important to focus on sharing our knowledge, inspiration and resources so that we can be stronger and better to handle challenges.

It has become clear to us that over the past three years of the project we have helped create a fellowship that is making a difference for those involved. We experience a greater awareness of the issues, and many have acquired the strength to undertake the process of change.

The participating libraries have become more visible in their local communities; the project has triggered funds to upgrade libraries, new user groups and partners have been attracted, and our competency to effect change has increased considerably. We also experience that the role of the County Library as a regional development actor and as advisors within the library sector has also been strengthened.

We have a strong belief in the idea that our libraries can function as engines of change, to create good local communities.


«New Roles – New Spaces» in SLQ Volume 46 nr.2/13

Paper IFLA Paris Satelite Conference – August 2014 – “The cultural anchor – the library as placemaker, catalyst and local icon”