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2012 Prize for Pathbreakers in Library Science Awarded

May 24, 2012

Yesterday the 2012 prize for "Pathbreakers in Library Science" (Zukunftsgestalter in Bibliotheken) was awarded at the Librarians' Day conference in Hamburg. The recipients of this year's award are Birgit Fingerle of the German Central Library for Economics (ZBW) in Kiel, as well as Prof. Roland Rosenstock, Angelika Spiecker, Anja Schweiger, Marten Seegers, and Jan Krienke of the Hans Fallada City Library in Greifswald.

The five-man jury, composed of representatives from the journal BIBLIOTHEK Forschung und Praxis ("Library Research and Practice") as well as the Foundation Zukunftswerkstatt Kultur- und Wissensvermittlung e.V. ("Workshop of the Future for Culture and Knowledge Transfer"), said the following with regard to their decision: "It was no easy task to settle on two winning teams. The large number of submissions received within the scope of the 'Movers & Shakers' competition is a testament to the wealth of ideas, technical expertise, and dedication of employees in the libraries of the German-speaking world." As part of the competition, a great many recommendations for innovative and successful projects were received from public as well as academic libraries in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Birgit Fingerle's project, titled Participatory Innovation: ZBW's Open Innovation Campaigns, showed in a compelling and illustrative way how customers can be integrated into the change process in libraries. "Open innovation" is a key element in innovation management activities at the Central Library for Economics. Customers and external actors can get involved in a variety of ways – for example, by participating in idea competitions. In this way, customer preferences are a main driver of change and innovation at the library.

The participating team at the Hans Fallada City Library initiated a project called the Greifswald ComputerGameSchool: Play, Discover, and Learn. This media education project is a joint undertaking of the Greifswald City Library, the Faculty of Religious and Media Education at Ernst Moritz Arndt University in Greifswald, and the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Evangelical Academy. The ComputerGameSchool is common space for dialog and exchange at the library between gamers and non-gamers, as well as between adolescents and adults. The goal of the project is to strengthen media competencies, address conflicts, and encourage critical reflection on the use of computer games.

The "Pathbreakers in Library Science" award was bestowed at the Librarians' Day conference for the very first time. In addition to the official commendation of the award-winning projects, the journal Library Research and Practice intends to showcase other selected projects in upcoming issues.