Families at Play in the Library

Purpose of the Project

The overall goal is to collect knowledge about families and play and develop and test models and concepts for families with children, especially within play and play culture in relation to libraries.

The project’s models and concepts must represent breakthroughs and radical innovation in relation to the existing experiences in public libraries.

Website: www.legende-familier.dk/english

The Project’s Target Group

Parents with children are the project’s primary target group. Delimitation: Families with one or two parents of all sexes. The smallest child in the family is 11 years or older. There are no social, ethnical or geographic profiles to be taken into account.

Project Organization

Steering Committee:

  • Tina Bang Andersen, Aalborg Libraries
  • Inge Müller, Randers Library
  • Stine Liv Johansen, Center for Playware
  • Knud Schulz, Main Library, Aarhus Public Libraries
  • Lotte Duwe Nielsen, Main Library, Aarhus Public Libraries
  • Jane Kunze, Main Library, Aarhus Public Libraries

Project Owner: Knud Schulz
Project Manager: Mette K. Jensen
Project Group/Project Consultant: Lotte Duwe Nielsen

The Project was supported by:


Knud Schulz: ksc@aarhus.dk

Lotte Duwe Nielsen: LDN@aarhus.dk

Conference and Theme Days in Relation to the Project:

Learn to Play!
Competency Development day, 14. September, 2010 10:00-15:00, Aalborg.

On this day, we will discuss what play is, why it is important, how quality toys are qualified, and what the role of play in libraries might be. There will be presentations from Stine Liv Johansen (Phd. Aarhus University (formerly Center for Playware)) and Klaus Thestrup from VIA UC, which will deal with play both theoretically and practically.

Play in the Library
Conference held in Aarhus (May 17th) and Roskilde (May 19th) 2010.

The conference was the result of the report ”Fremtidens biblioteksbetjening af børn”, published by the Danish Agency for Library and Media. Focus was especially put on section 4; “Børn leger – på biblioteket”. The two projects “Families at Play in the Library” and “The Librarians as Playmakers” have investigated the role of play and its opportunities for further development in the library.

The programme focuses on play, play culture and the cultural and societal importance of play, as well as how we, as a library and librarians, can create space and opportunity for play.

Presentations from the conference:
Presentation of ”Families at Play in the Library” and “Children Librarians as Playmakers”.
By project managers Mette Kirkegaard Jensen, Main Library, Aarhus & Rikke Skuldbøl Jacobsen, Guldborgsund Libraries.

“Families at Play in the Library” has worked with creating concepts and play for the entire family in the library. The project has tested radical new ideas and gathered knowledge and results that will be presented in the presentation.

”The Librarians as Playmakers” has worked with developing the role of librarians as an active facilitator in play and creative processes through an intensive competency development course. Ideas and experiences will be presented in the presentation.

Families at Play in the Library

Librarians as Playmakers

Why Should you Play in the Library?

By Stine Liv Johansen, lecturer , Ph. D. Center for Playware at DTU/DPU

With starting point in project ”Families at Play in the Library” and the report ”Insight in Play: A guide to the Playscapes of the Future”, Stine Liv Johansen will talk about the importance and premises of play for the children of today, as well as which perspectives play can cause in the public library; challenges as well as consequences.

Where We Came From, Where We are Going, and How We Get Away With It

By Rick Erwin, Director, City Museum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

City Museums 55.000 square meters are an eclectic mixture of playgrounds, surreal pavilions and architectural marvels created from unique, found objects. Thought out by the renowned artist Bob Cassily, the musem was opened to visitors in 1997, pleasing both young and old in St. Louis. Listen to the ideas behind the museum, and the special way in which the museum is built.


The results from the project is being told in these movies.

Watch the movies


Inspiration Catalog