Use the Users

User driven innovation as a force for development - A co-operative project with Herning and Roskilde Libraries

The project is concluded, and the results can be found at:

See also: Images and slides from the camp at 24th of April, 2008


Despite the straightforward title, this project has an important message: We need to include the users in the development of the libraries of the future! The project aims at putting libraries in the yellow jersey in this development, and make user driven innovation a supporting force for development in the Danish public libraries. We will do this by gathering, testing, adapting and communicating methods for user driven innovation in order to make the concept easily accessible for the target group of libraries.


Decreasing loans and visits to the libraries, along with online libraries and licenses that go unused to the desired extent has contributed to the questions that the Danish libraries wish to ask: What kind of library do the users want?

Asking is not Enough

The users are often asked about the development of libraries. The response is that they wish for more of what we are already providing. The responses do not point to new library services, which could be explained by the fact that libraries perform user involvement in a way that only leads to knowledge about the users’ perceived needs and the users’ traditional perception of what libraries are.

Use the Users’ Creativity and Competences

In order to utilize the users’ competencies and creativity, the libraries must become better at using new methods and creating development processes where the users are not just asked “what they want”. Instead, we must design and develop with the users. There is a need for methods that springs from the users and their actual and future needs rather than their perception of the current library.

User driven innovation is the key. User driven innovation is an area with many new and familiar methods for designing services and products that are adapted the users’ needs.

User driven innovation could be the answer to developing a modern and desired library. This project brings libraries to the front and presents tools for user driven innovation that are new in the world of libraries, but are adapted to the libraries’ needs.


Knud Schulz, Manager of the Main Library


Phone 45+ 8940 9201