UK and Scandinavian cultural services and technology expert, Axiell, regularly presents an award to recognise the Digital Cultural Institution of the Year. This year the award was presented at its prestigious two-day symposium ‘Rethinking Libraries?', held in London on 2-3 November, for senior managers from archives, museums and libraries across Scandinavia and the UK. The 2011 theme for the award was "going digital to increase value for end users".
Axiell CEO, Jerk Sintorn, says, "We chose this theme to encourage cultural institutions as they make their transition into the digital world, so that they can better reach their communities, partner with local government, business and other organisations, as well as to become more responsive to local needs and to develop new services for the benefit of end users."
Axiell customers and businesses could nominate archives, libraries and museums for the award and three were shortlisted:
- Silkeborg Libraries, Denmark for opening up their libraries for the community in evenings and weekends
- Stockholm City Libraries for their websolution biblioteket.se, Sweden
- Jönköping School Library Service, Sweden for the way it built a digital platform for its schools
The winner, Jönköping School Library Service, Sweden, was chosen for its tremendous success in enabling students, teachers and parents to work digitally 24/7 through its use of Axiell Arena's library web portal to develop an online digital knowledge bank and to support learning in innovative ways. In the proposal it was mentioned that the school library service in Jönköping has been a front runner and the first school system to develop its services in such an innovative way.
Elisabeth Fridsäll-Emilsson, development manager, Jönköping School Library Service, says, "At the School Library Service we have worked for several years on improving our services to the school libraries by offering them digital sources. With Axiell Arena we have found the solution which allows us to increase our services to teachers and pupils."
The desire to integrate several databases and portals into one system encouraged Jönköping School Library Service to use Axiell's Arena 24/7 library web portal to create a new web-based platform for the school libraries that gives users one entry point to search for information, materials and resources from various digital sources as well as their school library. The platform is designed to serve as an educational tool serving teachers and students as well as other school staff and parents.
Kålgårdsskolans idea library, Jönköping School Library Service
Videos of the symposium presentations and the Powerpoint and Prezi presentations can be viewed at www.axiell.com/london
The Digital Cultural Institution of the Year award was open to users in any of the Axiell territories. Nominations could recognise increased value that cultural institutions provide; the way that the cultural institution has used existing portlets and functions in a creative and visionary way; the way that the archive, museum or library developed special features presenting cultural heritage in a new and innovative way; or by offering new digital services to end users.
Axiell has offered the award three times before. Previous winners include:
In 2007 Aalborg Libraries – for its project "The mobile Library"
In 2008 Celia, the Finnish library for the visually impaired, which succeeded in converting many of its processes to digital technology
In 2010 Norrköping City Libraries for its progressive work in creating "Salongen", a complete website reflecting the gamut of the library's activity and accomplishments in a very educational and engaging way.
- Silkeborg Libraries, Denmark
The libraries were shortlisted for creating a more open library, where citizens have access to the library's physical resources through a digital solution. This innovative idea has been such a success that it has inspired many other libraries to develop similar solutions.
- Stockholm City Libraries for their biblioteket.se, Sweden
Stockholm City Library continuously works at the forefront of library web technology by building its own solutions and by cooperating with partners on the market. By investing in front-end technology, Stockholm City Library gives other libraries the opportunity to study and to be inspired in their own choice of solutions. Stockholm City Library started an ambitious web building project in 2005. It went live 2008 and was among the first library web portals that included the catalogue and web 2.0 features. The library is now presenting its own second generation of web including a mobile web. Stockholm City Library has also been active at the forefront of Scandinavian eBook discussions.
The library has made marked progress in engaging staff in building a virtual platform for reading experiences. Stockholm is a good example of a library that pushes the borders to find out how a library can establish itself in the world where their customers take a more active part, the virtual world.
- Jönköping Schools, Sweden
The School Library Service works to develop all the schools in the Jönköping municipality by running a number of development projects and acting as a central support for local library representatives. Alla skolbibliotek i kommunen bör, utifrån ett vidgat text- och mediebegrepp, utvecklas till att bli Mediatek.The school library service has helped the local school libraries to develop their text and media stock range to ensure that their libraries occupy a prominent role in education and knowledge and become the media heart of the school. The School Library Centre also regularly pays for children's authors to visit to local schools.
The School Library Service introduced eBooks in 2009 to selected schools in the municipality and interest in e-readers has grown dramatically since, with the school Library Centre continuing to support schools as they further develop their use of eBooks.
A collaboration with the Skolbibliotekscentralen Culture Department in a project called "creative language environments" has helped make language learning more attractive to boys at Läsovilliga High School who are encouraged to read with the aid of new technology and new media. This is leading to the development of teaching using expanded text and media concepts.
Axiell Group AB
Axiell Group is the world's fifth largest company in the sector, supplying IT systems and services dedicated solely to libraries, archives and museums as a target group and with its focus on library development.
Axiell develops technically advanced and innovative solutions in close cooperation with its customers. More than 1000 library organisations with thousands of branches in the Nordic countries and in the UK use Axiell's library management systems and Axiell Arena, the tool for the virtual library. The system for archives and museums, Axiell Calm is used by over 400 archives and museums in Europe.
Axiell Group is a group company with six subsidiaries in Sweden, Denmark and Finland as well as the UK. www.axiell.com
Axiell Ltd. provides library software solutions to one third of local authorities in the UK. The company is a leading business solutions supplier to libraries, archives, museums and records centres. Axiell UK offers its customers both software and hardware and a full range of implementation, facilities management and integration services, and the company continues to be a pioneer in software development for libraries.