Cycling for Libraries – The Challenge of Demographic Change

In the afternoon, the peloton of one hundred cycling librarians will reach the youth hostel in Fürstenberg an der Havel and then, at around 6 p.m., cycle two kilometers around the Schwedtsee lake to the Fürstenberg city park for a get-together enriched with content and culinary delights.

The relaxing atmosphere of the idyllically situated place belies the dramatic demographic change and the problem of migration of educationally disadvantaged groups. Six years ago, after giving up a full-time library, the people in charge of the water town decided to revive it as a library run on a part-time and voluntary basis. Together with two other nearby libraries, they founded a modern and inter-communal association with a joint online catalog and internal lending services to expand the range of services.
For this reason, the speeches by the mayor, the project manager of the Oberhavel-Nord library network, representatives of the German Library Association and political decision-makers will focus on these two aspects, supporting voluntary work – as a consequence of demographic change – and the library network. Especially the junction of libraries and civic engagement, which is often found in the rural area of Brandenburg with more than 80 examples and more than 200 forces involved in it, or the more than four hundred part-time managed school libraries in Brandenburger Ländle should be debated at this meeting and lead to a critical assessment of the current situation.

A guided tour not only of the media-centered gem, but also past the castle, the city church and the marketplace will conclude the fixed schedule and then allow all Brandenburgers and guests interested in the library business to get together in a convivial and discursive atmosphere with food, drink and music in the city park near the center.

With a view to the last and, at 120 km, longest stage of the Copenhagen-Berlin bike tour, on which all willing bike enthusiasts are invited to accompany the one hundred cycling librarians through our Brandenburg state, one should definitely emerge from the meeting mentally and culinarily strengthened.

Click here for more about Cycling for Libraries