Project ALMPUB

The ALM field, digitalization and the public sphere

This is a project of our partners in Oslo, in which many members of the network NLUS are involved.

This project will investigate the impact of digitalization – here understood as the proliferation in society of digital production, distribution and consumption of culture – on the role and function of archives, libraries and museums as public sphere institutions. The research project relates directly to the primary objectives of the Kulmedia programme and the call: It aims at enhancing a knowledge base relevant for facilitating open and informed discourse, under changing technological conditions; it aims at generating knowledge related to the shifting conditions for providing access to and mediating from collections in libraries, archives and museums; and it studies user perspectives and the promotion of cultural citizenship in an increasingly complex society.

The project ALMPUB is funded by the Norwegian Research Council and will last from October 2016 until 2019. It is one of the projects in the KULMEDIA programme.

The project is coordinated by the Department of Archival, Library and Information Science at Oslo and Akershus University College. There are several partners from Norwegian Universities involved, as well as the National Library of Norway, researchers from Finland, Denmark,  Sweden, Germany, Hungary, USA and Switzerland.

The kickoff meeting took place on October 3, 2016 in Oslo.

News from NLUS

Our network is still working on the main topics. We have involved new members from other countries and we are trying to get funding for our research. In October we had a meeting in Den Haag in which our research topic was worked out more in detail. Olindo sent us a foto of the work they did in that workshop. It gives an impression of the relation between public libraries and the cities.


We hope that we get the possibility (i.e. the funding) to work further on this model. So far the cooperation in our network is very fruitful and I guess that everybody learns from the experience and the exchange of ideas.


New developments in public libraries #nlus (update)

On the second workshop the members of the NLUS network discussed different research projects. And we got to know that there is a trend in the Netherlands to close down branch libraries (for example in Rotterdam). There was a significant decrease of book lending and also (less significant) in visitors of libraries. In Denmark there is a trend of increasing visits to libraries while lends also decrease.

Some figures from the Netherlands presented by Olindo Caso:


The closings are usually due to budget cuts. Responsibles try to reduce costs by closing library branches. But with which longterm effect? That rises new research questions: what is the effect of closing branch libraries to the population or the social and cultural life in the city districts? In Denmark staffless libraries with lower costs seem to be a solution, maybe this also a model for other countries? And figures from Denmark show that numbers of lending are increasing in staffless libraries…

Update (29.8.15): Hans Christoph Hobohm tried to quickly compare the figures from the Netherlands with the German library statistics. He draw a quick diagramme showing that the situation in Germany is not (yet) so dramatic. The visits are quite stable and even the loans are still quite high – only the members/active users declined slowly in the long run.



Second day of the Oslo workshop

After discussions about ongoing or planned research projects in the different countries and funding opportunities on the first day we continued the work on the second day. Different research projects with their research questions and methods were presented. Furthermore we will sketch out our next steps towards a common proposal. We have in mind a COST action and we plan to set up a task force that will elaborate a proposal. Maybe also for an ERASMUS+ activity.

The members of NLUS disussed also open questions about a draft of a common research proposal. We aim to work further on it with the target of a proposal for Horizon2020.


Many thanks to the colleagues from Oslo and AkershusmCollege for the organisation of the workshop and the nice evening program with dinner in Ekebergsrestauranten from where we had a great view on Oslo.



Presentation at German Library Congress

At the German Library Congress 2015 in Nürnberg Rudolf Mumenthaler and Karsten Schuldt (HTW Chur) present on Friday 29 May the Network on Libraries in Urban Space and its research questions and activities. They will talk about the background and purpose of the network and discuss the research questions that were developed and discussed during and after the workshop in Chur. The slides (in German) will be published after the congress.

New publications

Members of the network recently published new articles on the topic of libraries in urban space:


  • Blumer, Eliane ; Schuldt, Karsten (2014). Urban Revitalization, Gentrification, and the Public Library: The Case of Lausanne, Switzerland. In: LIBREAS 10 (2015) 26
  • Evjen, Sunniva (2015). The image of an institution: Politicians and the urban library project, Library & Information Science Research, Volume 37, Issue 1, January 2015, Pages 28-35, ISSN 0740-8188,

Meanwhile we are working on common research papers (or sketches for such a papers) in our group. And some research teams are preparing project applications for national funding programs.


Discussions on research topics

On the third day of the workshop on Public Libraries in the City the participants defined some main topics that could be the core of future common research projects.


In a next step we discussed three of these topics (or cluster of topics) in smaller groups. The goal was to define the topics and to sketch research questions.
  1. Library differentiation and identity
  2. Livable cities, libraries and the creation of place/space
  3. Impact of Libraries

We will work now in these groups in order to formulate the concept and to define research questions for each discipline. A more detailed description will follow on the website.

Presentations at the Workshop on Public Libraries and the City

On the second day of the Workshop on Public Libraries and the City (11.-14.11.2014 at HTW Chur) members of the NLUS presented their actual research topics.


Daniel Walser (HTW Chur, Architecture): Architecture and urbanism (Daniel Walser: Architecture and Urbanism)

Henrik Jochumsen (University of Copenhagen): The Model of the Public Library in Urban Development (Henrik Jochumsen: Four Spaces)

Olindo Caso (TU Delft): Libraries 2.0 – a new generation of public buildings for the contemporary city (Olindo Caso: Libraries 2.0)

Dorte Skot-Hansen (University of Copenhagen): The Four Spaces: A new model for the public library (Dorte Skot-Hansen: Libraries in Urban Development)

Susan Ng-A-Tham (TU Delft): Colonial Architecture and Town Planning (Susan Ng-A-Tham: Repository Colonial Architecture)

Ina Blümel (TIB Hannover): Library services for architects (Ina Bluemel: Architecture and LIS)

Sunniva Evjen (Oslo and Akershus University College): On Libraries in Urban Space (Prezi presentation)

Tonje Vold  (Oslo and Akershus University College): Gamle Oslo, a small library with big impact (Tonje Vold: Gamle Oslo, a small library)

Ragnar Audunson  (Oslo and Akershus University College): The public library as a hub in urban development of a multicultural suburb

Marjolein Oomes (Netherlands Institute for Public Libraries): Public library research in the Netherlands (Marjolein Oomes: Public Libraries research)

Karsten Schuldt (HTW Chur): Landmark Libraries in Urban Space (Landmark Libraries)

Nathalie Vallet and Els De Vos (University of Antwerp): Research topics at the Henry van de Velde research group (Nathalie Vallet: NLUS)

Program of the Workshop on Public Libraries and the City

Tuesday, November 11

17:30-22:00: Arrival and get-together at Martins-Tower, Chur
Food and drinks will be served

Wednesday, November 12

Workshop at HTW Chur, Pulvermühlestrasse 80
State of the Art: Architecture, Library and Information Science, Sociology

09:00-10:00: Welcome (with corissants and coffee)
10:00-12:30: Presentations and discussions: current questions and methods (architecture)
12:30-13:30: Lunch at Mensa HTW Chur
13:30-15:00: Presentations and discussions: current questions and methods (library and information science)
15:00-16:30: Presentations and discussions: current questions and methods (sociology)
16:30-17:30 Discussion
19:00: Dinner at restaurant Marsöl, Chur

Thursday, November 13

Workshops at HTW Chur
Internationalisation of the network

09:00-12:30: Open space workshop: overlapping research fields on Public Libraries and the City. Can they be combined?
12:30-13:30: Lunch at Mensa HTW Chur
13:30-17:00: Planning of shared research projects
17:00-18:00: Excursion to public libraries in Chur
18:00-21:00: Apéro at Pädagogische Hochschulbibliothek, Chur.

Friday, November 14

09:00-09:30: Visit at the Kantonsbibliothek Graubünden, Chur
09:30-11:00: Conclusion, farewell – next steps
11:00-12:30: Guided tour in Chur