Posted by: bluesyemre | March 4, 2018

Modern #libraries: Moving from a transactional to a relational library


Whilst the library of the past was defined by transactional services – lending and returning of books – nowadays the dynamics of the library has changed by adding a relational side to all its processes. This way, modern libraries are shifting from focusing on transactional services, and have become relational which creates more value for the users.

To learn more about the ways this transition is made, we have had a brief discussion with Mogens Vestergaard, Manager of Library and Citizen Service at Roskilde Libraries in Denmark.

Traditional library: a transactional library

Like most countries, all citizens in Denmark need to have free and equal access to knowledge because, as Mogens Vestergaard points out, “the first Danish public library act established in 1964 (and updated in 2000) stipulated that each municipality had the obligation to run a public library either run by itself or in cooperation with other institutions”.

Traditionally, libraries were defined by transactional procedures such as lending and returning of books and other materials, or helping users with their questions about the collection. As this was the case, the main purpose was to fulfill the need for knowledge and education. Mogens Vestergaard highlights that “in the old days you just came in as a user with a certain need, books or a specific question. Librarians didn’t have to create a relationship in that case, they just had to create a transaction to make sure that the users got what they needed”.

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