ALE - Academy of Library Experience

"ALE Academy of Library Experience" is an international ’lab' for library innovation in Aarhus

The purpose is to generate possibilities for Aarhus Public Libraries to gain more new and different ideas and competences for our innovation work, enabling us to offer better services for the citizens of Aarhus.
Continuous updating on network and partnerships, locally as well as internationally, is also part of the purpose.

Aarhus Public Libraries continue experimenting new ways and formats for international collaboration and sharing of inspiration and knowledge on many levels.
For instance, This summer,  1235 participants from more than 42 countries joined the Next Library Online Festival 24 hours event and was organized by Aarhus Public Libraries and co-created by 90 participants and partners. Get the digital goodie-bag for free here: Next Library Festival 2021 - Next Library

Since 2012 sixteen library professionals from Australia, Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Kenya, Namibia, Poland, South Korea and Tennessee, USA have participated as international interns in ALE.
All international interns came to Aarhus on their own initiative. 

New concept from 2018
From 2018 the concept of ALE was reinvented. Aarhus Public Libraries publish calls for applications for international interns twice a year with a total max of four international interns. 
We imagine the intern period will be 1 – 4 weeks. 

Themes and focus. 
We are looking for candidates with creative ideas and professional experiences related to special themes, relevant for Aarhus Public Libraries, both for the library in Dokk1 and the branch libraries in Aarhus.  
The ALE interns will work together with library professionals and innovators, creating new concepts and services, which can be implemented in Aarhus Public Libraries and in the ALE intern’s own libraries. 

Resources and funding
ALE interns must cover all expenses for travel, meals and accommodation themselves. 
Aarhus Public Libraries only cover own staff time and materials used for the workshops and other activities. 

ALE – Academy of Library Experience – test pilots and experiences 2012 – 2017
In the ALE pilot project in 2012 five library professionals visited Aarhus for 1-4 weeks where they cooperated with employees at ITC, the Branch Libraries and the Main Library on developing new ideas.
In the old Main Library building, “Transformation Lab 2” in the lobby was where the visitors' ideas were carried out and where citizens of Aarhus could experience them.
The five ALE international interns were: 
Leonee Derr / Australia, Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel / Poland, Sissy Schiener and Christian Schneider /Vienna and Manuel Seitenbecher / Berlin. 

Rapports from the international ALE test pilots in 2012
Manuel Seitenbecher from Berlin visited us through ALE in 2012. See his article:
"Zwischen Innovation, User Involvement und digitaler Ausrichtung – die Hauptbibliothek Aarhus auf dem Weg zum Urban Mediaspace" (Dezember 2012).

Leonee Derr from Australia visited us through ALE in 2012. See her rapport "Breaking Down Barriers: Engaging Young Adults by Creating a “Geography of Yes!” in Public Libraries": 

2013 – 2015
ALE – Academy of Library Experience was put on hold 2013 - 2015 as staff was busy finishing the new library building, Dokk1.

Three new ALE international interns in Dokk1:
Emma Catiri from Milano, Italy, Andrea Born, München, Germany and Elise Molho, Strasbourg, France.  

Rapport from the international interns in 2016
Andrea Born, Müncher Stadtbibliothek, report in German, page 42 - 45:

Megan Emery from Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA was in Aarhus for four weeks, April 2017.
Megan developed the method  Hybrid Sourcing for the Smart Library project in Dokk1. 

Chaeah Park, Instructional Designer, Intern i Aarhus Public Libraries for 5 weeks, October - November 2018. 
Aticles: Working culture facilitating innovation: what I learned during my internship at Dokk1 in Denmark
My short journey to local libraries in Aarhus: A library is more than a place.


Aune Ndapewa Naambo Iyambo, Namibia, April / May 2019

Letta Ndapandula Shivute, Namibia, April / May 2019

Caroline Wanjiru Ngacaku, Kenya, April / May 2019

Sarah Nyaboke Ogembo, Kenya, April / May 2019

Maja Krulić Gačan, Croatia, October 2019

Danijela Petrić, Croatia, October 2019


Video Interviews with all eight international interns: 

Aune Ndapewa Naambo Iyambo, Namibia

Letta Ndapandula Shivute, Namibia

Caroline Wanjiru Ngacaku, Kenya

Sarah Nyaboke Ogembo, Kenya

Maja Krulić Gačan and Danijela Petrić, Croatia

Chaeah Park, Finland/South Korea

Megan Emery, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA

Elise Molho, Strasbourg, France

Andrea Born, Munich, Germany

​Emma Catiri, Milan, Italy

Manuel Seitenbecker, Berlin

Leonee Derr, Australia

Aleksandra Zawalska-Hawel, Polen

Sissy Schiener, Vienna

Christian Schneider, Vienna

Marie Østergård, Director of Aarhus Public Libraries: