"When it comes to our schools, we'll buy all the help we can get."
The Danish municipality of Hjørring decided that staff at the schools' pedagogical learning centres should do as little administrative work as possible in connection with the implementation of the municipality's new Cicero library system.
The local authority has therefore invested in a system administrator for schools, and extra teaching has been purchased for all the municipal libraries. The objective of all these measures is to assist librarians in a smooth switch to Cicero. Benthe Hansen, Library Manager at Hjørring Bibliotekerne (Hjørring Libraries) explains:
"It's important to us that our staff feel they have the skills they need to do their job. At the same time, we want to make sure that our staff can devote the lion's share of their time to providing service for students and library users."
"We're sweeping the clearest path we can"
With a new system administrator linked to the pedagogical learning centres, school librarians will be working closely with Systematic, which will be handling the technical and administrative sides of the implementation process. Training is being provided at all municipal libraries to provide librarians with the best possible conditions for the switch to Cicero.
"We want the change-over to be as smooth as possible and to minimise any frustration the staff may experience from switching systems. That's why we want to have our employees feel that they're getting the help and training they need, and that the final result will be excellent," adds Benthe Hansen.
At the library level, Benthe has asked staff to describe all their tasks from the perspective of how they currently deal with them – so that they can build up an overview of how corresponding tasks will be processed in the new system.
"It's a bit like a curling match, where we're sweeping the clearest path we can. At the same time, we're doing our level best to brush away every little stone, bump and obstruction we can find. We want to make it clear that we have the system and the implementation under control, and that the end result will be fantastic," she continues.
Benefits of the Danish Joint Library System
Hjørring municipality is the final local authority in Denmark to join the system, thereby closing the circle of the nationwide project to implement FBS. The project provides a shared solution and joint operations for the more than 2,000 public libraries and pedagogical learning centres based in the Danish local authorities.
At Systematic, Vice President Martin Brøchner-Mortensen is delighted that the Joint Library System now encompasses facilities in all the local authorities in Denmark, including 1,375 schools and 976 library branches. Denmark is the only country in the world to have set up a community of this kind around its library system, and it is an initiative without equal elsewhere.
"The Joint Library System project has a big on community , and everyone benefits from any development initiatives thus undertaken. We're currently attracting a lot of attention from other countries that are interested in finding out more about the Danish model and about Cicero library administration system that's behind it, because they can see it has so much to offer," he explains.
In Hjørring municipality, too, Benthe Hansen is quick to point out a number of positive elements in the Joint Library System.
"The best thing is that it's a shared system that you can use in all parts of the country. And there can be no doubt that citizens' search options will be much better served by Cicero than by the system we're use at Hjørring Bibliotekerne at the moment," she says.
Cicero is scheduled to come online in Hjørring municipality in June 2018. Until then, Benthe Hansen explains that it's a matter of continuing the work to eliminate as many obstacles as possible from the path ahead so as to ensure the change-over is as painless as possible.
"We see our decision to bring in a system administrator and extra training as a form of investment – and we're convinced the money we've put into the project will pay dividends in the long run," she concludes.