Public libraries are places of knowledge-gathering and dissemination. Yet this knowledge grows and changes as modern society develops. In the future, libraries will not so much resemble a collection of media as they will a platform for bringing people together and helping them share knowledge. Furthermore, in a multi-ethnic urban society, libraries will play an important role in cultural education in that they will promote both individual learning and cultural participation for all citizens.
The Next Library® Conference in 2009 paved the way for the redesign of the innovative public library in Aarhus and has since become one of the most important international conferences for public libraries. Its task is to explore the future of public libraries in the 21st century at greater depth. In late summer 2018, the conference has taken place at the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB) and addressed the new role of libraries as motors of social change and places for communicating urban diversity. The conference has also examined current developments in the area of library work and encouraged networking between members of the educational, cultural, design and urban development fields. In this way, the organisers wished to offer impulses to the German library sector and municipal development. The decidedly international orientation of Next Library® Conference was meant to advance its ideas to Europe and the world.
Next Library® Conference was an event for experts and professionals with a distinctly creative character. In addition to a competition, the conference in Berlin has included various workshops and participative events at a “Library Campus” with showrooms that allowed participants to put their innovative concepts to the test using physical prototypes. These small, temporary installations, such as “POPup Library” have provided the general public a glimpse of what the “library of tomorrow” might look like.
Next Library@ Conference — The Future of Public Libraries. An event of the Zentral- und Landesbibliothek Berlin (ZLB)* and the Kulturstiftung des Bundes** in cooperation with the, Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH and Aarhus Public Libraries. Next Library Berlin is a Satellite Conference of Next Library@ Aarhus. *Central and Regional Library Berlin 1**German Federal Cultural Foundation