Generation Code 2020
ENSSIB and partners
France, Denmarkn and Sweden
PLACED is a European research project, which responds to the European Union call “ERA-NET Cofund Smart Urban Futures” (ENSUF) on the development of new public services.
From 2016 to 2020, through PLACED, we sought to support the transformation of libraries from knowledge centers focused on documentary collections, to spaces for sharing knowledge through the organization of participatory activities and cultural events. Through the development of new digital services, aimed at facilitating the discovery of events, the participatory documentation of these events, and their integration into the collections, the PLACED project took up questions of mediation, participation and visualization mentioned above.
We were thus able to explore the design of digital services for libraries, by focusing in particular on the relationships between events organized in libraries and collections, and on how digital platforms could allow a better integration of the two. Contrary to a vision of dematerialised digital services, we have sought to anchor these digital services in the physical space of libraries, to facilitate discovery and better integrate events and collections. The services we have sought to design are based on the active participation of users, and the co-creation of knowledge that will be integrated into the collections.
These services could not have been designed without a real partnership and a solid participatory approach bringing together research institutions and libraries to understand and develop accessible and usable digital services. This approach has materialised through numerous design workshops bringing together librarians, designers, computer scientists and researchers in the information and library science fields, all partners of the PLACED project.
The project is supported by eight partners: three libraries: DOKK1 in Aarhus (Denmark), the Lundby library in Goteborg (Sweden), and the municipal library of Lyon (France) and four academic partners: the University of Aarhus, Chalmers University in Goteborg, CNRS, and ENSSIB, National School of Information Sciences and Libraries. Finally, RISE, based in Sweden, plays an advisory role on the project for the final valuation of the results.
Design workshops between partners, featuring university students or professionals from different countries during congresses or national meetings, made it possible to design digital services in the form of malleable prototypes that can be quickly modified to meet the needs and requests of project participants. This approach has allowed us to identify many ideas for services that can be implemented in libraries and while also allowing iteration of the different prototypes throughout the project by adapting to the specific requirements of each partner library.
The PLACED project resulted in the production of two prototypes. PARTICIPATE, which allows everyone to document events that take place in a library. Upstream, librarians can associate documents with the event, from collections or elsewhere (Web, magazines, mainstream media). During events, users and librarians can take photos, videos, post comments, and associate this content with the event to document its progress and discussions. And EXPLORE, in which librarians can showcase events and PARTICIPATE content, whether in the form of interactive posters or on the tablet application, thus making it possible to link events and associated resources.