My presentation is about the library as a Third Place. How can we transform the Mobile Library into a (more) pleasant stay for the citizens of the small villages in the province of Zeeland (NL)? We would like the bus to be a place for and created by the local citizens and communities. What do they need and how can we, as a library, invite them to have more ownership concerning the mobile library? How and with which organisation can we work together, in both social and cultural areas? For example, welfare and healthcare organisations, as well as music associations, the Music school, and a foundation that means a lot in the region when it comes to art-education.
From mobile loan and educational services to encourage digital inclusion!
ZB Library of Zeeland, Netherlands exploits 3 types of mobile services in the country of Zeeland: the Biblioservicebus offering products no longer available in the village, like a cash dispenser, the sale of post stamps, tickets for public transport; The Columbus with educational services for schools; The ZBBUZ which is an information point intended for people who have difficulty finding government information. For example healthcare benefits, driver’s license, (traffic) fines, questions about smartphone, tablet, e-reader or laptop, but also better reading, speaking and writing Dutch.
Part of the research we did by developing the ZBBUZZ was research with University of Gent, Belgium how to reach (elderly) people in the country who has language and digital problems.
As a follow-up to this research now we want to have an international project ERASMUS + Project How to encourage digital inclusion among senior citizens (65+) in rural areas.
With our Hungarian partner from Pecs Csorba Győző Könyvtar, Pécs, Hungary, our German partner Büchereizentrale Schleswig-Holstein we want focus on the social inclusion of the most vulnerable citizens. As we libraries are committed to the social and thus digital inclusion of all inhabitants but fail to reach this target group adequately with our regular educational methods, these adverse conditions call for new, outreaching approaches, specifically designed to reach 65+ people in remote rural areas, in order to eventually increase their digital skills and help them better participate in modern life. All three partners specialize in servicing their remote areas of operation with mobile library services. All the more reason to join forces, to learn from each other and to proceed together in the development of new educational approaches for this hard-to-reach target group.The objective of this project is to raise the level of digital skills of senior citizens (65 and older) in remote rural areas, in order to contribute to their social and digital inclusion in modern society. By sharing our experiences and learning from each other, we aim to reach our target audience and our impact goal by jointly developing customized activities that motivate the target group and stimulate a learning demand to further develop their digital skills.
My name is Anne Verheijen, 37 years old and I have two daughters who are 6 and 9 years. They love reading, just like me and visit the mobile library frequently (even when I am not working at the bus).
I live in Middelburg, the province of Zeeland (NL). There is plenty of beautiful nature, such as beaches, sea, and forest here.
I am already working as coordinator of the mobile library at ZB Library of Zeeland in Middelburg for four years.
I was unfamiliar with the library industry when I started in 2019. I studied Tourist Marketing and Communication. After that, I worked in the tourist industry. At that time, I wanted to change to an organisation that created impact and where you are socially involved. Furthermore, I wanted to work at an organisation that provides equal opportunities. The library is such an organisation!
In my job, I manage and coordinate the daily business of the mobile libraries. Currently, we have two main mobile libraries. The first bus is called ColumBus, which focuses on schoolchildren. The second bus is called the ServiceBus, which focuses on adults and the elderly. The busses have a total of 82 stops and drive 6 days a week.
In this job, no day is the same as the previous one. Additionally, I am working at the mobile library as well. Doing so, I get to know and experience what colleagues can be struggling with. I like to have a chat with visitors. This can be with toddlers, the elderly, and everything in between. I like to listen to them and get to know what concerns them and how I can help them. I stimulate reading and advice what books they might like. For example, a thriller, best-seller, or non-fiction.
Furthermore, I am engaged with making the library bus/mobile library future-proof and responding to the current and possible future situations the library bus/mobile library faces.
Antoinette van Zanten started out in the field of the library system and project management. For 18 years now she specialises in public services. For instance mobile services, innovation, design thinking, international networking and cultural education. Antoinette is experienced in marketing and exploring the commercial possibilities of the library. Antoinette is living near the coast of the North Sea. She loves to make long walks at the seaside and in the dunes. She likes to travel in Italy and learnt enough Italian to read simple novels. This year she will explore Eire with her son. Antoinette enjoys to go to classical concerts, she also plays piano.