As part of the piloting period of the Digital Travellers project, the Finnish Library Association (FLA) is running a series of virtual meetings between librarians. While we have developed national databases for the librarians to find resources in their language, we want to develop a Digital Travellers community that will support, inspire, and empower each other. To get this community started, the FLA hosted the first event in this series of international networking workshops.

The meeting was split into two rooms to allow the librarians to exchange in smaller groups and was framed with questions such as:

  • Who’s in the room and what do you do in your library for digital education?
  • How could you improve digital education in your library?
  • What are some of the good practices you’ve seen during the pandemic and beyond?
  • What do you think is the future of digital education online or offline in your library?

The librarians indicated that they used various approaches ranging from not overcomplicating subjects, to trying different tools and adopting the preferred one, and giving overarching presentations of online tools to train their participants. Overall, many noted that there was occasional fear and apprehension on both sides as the lack of knowledge and skills can seem daunting however, once these were overcome with training and through phone calls, the participants were confident and able to navigate platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Google Meet, Jitsi. Despite the restrictions put in place during the pandemic, librarians found that people would join in these digital education activities through word of mouth.

While our librarians may have had initial positive results from their digital training activities, most noted that digital education was not a priority in their libraries and they still felt that people may not want to come back into libraries once the pandemic eases. However, one librarian noted that they would develop an online conferencing programme based on this experience. 

We’re so excited to have had this first event with such a positive outlook from the librarians involved! We’re looking forward to the next iterations of this networking event.

If you’re interested in getting involved with the Digital Travellers, you’ll find contact details for all the partners here. Drop an email to the project lead from your country and we’ll get back to you asap.