On 16 April 2019 the KB (national library of the Netherlands) organizes the eight national library congress in Rotterdam, meant specifically for public libraries.

About 800-1.000 participants - managers, employees, specialists and other stakeholders - will meet and interact through workshops, talks, and on an information market with a creative zone. There will be many opportunities to have a chat, share knowledge and network.

The conference consists of a plenary morning session, followed by a great amount of parallel sessions in the afternoon. The afternoon is co-created with everyone working in the field of public libraries through crowdsourcing, to ensure that we make full use of the high level of knowledge, experience and expertise present.

Theme: Diversity
This year, the theme of the conference is ‘Diversity’. Our brand puts us right at the heart of society. A society that comprises countless different cultures and age groups, and which is becoming increasingly diverse. So the theme of this congress will be ‘diversity’. Can everyone identify with our range and our services? How can we accomplish precious co-creation in collaboration with our communities? How can we be more inclusive, without losing sight of individuality? This is something we need to do together, something we're keen to debate and discuss with you at this year’s congress. The discussions will take place during an inspiring plenary morning session, which is followed by numerous unmissable workshops, talks and in-depth sessions during an exciting afternoon programme.

Programme lines
The congress will revolve around the following programme lines:

  1. Creative collection and programming
  2. Staff matching
  3. Involving partners and the public
  4. Story-telling

1. Creative collection and programming
How can you ensure that your collection appeals to all levels and sections of society? Is your collection in keeping with your visitors, and how can you ensure greater compatibility? Which creative options are available to make your collection more appealing? How can you use innovative means of communications to reach new target groups? Share your successes and best practices relating to collection and programming.

2. Staff matching
Let's ask ourselves a question: is the library itself diverse enough? Are we an accurate reflection of society at every level, or do we need to create more internal diversity? And just how attractive are we as an employer to the latest generation? In short: it's time to take a long, hard look at ourselves.

3. Involving partners and public
The library is at the heart of society. We are in a perfect position to form smart alliances with other sectors, such as culture, health & welfare, education and science. There is already a lot going on in this respect, but which surprising partnerships with businesses or the public in your direct surroundings would you like to share? We want to learn more about co-creation!

4. Story-telling
If there's one thing that unites us, it's a good story. There are countless ways of sharing stories: through books obviously, but also through theatre, hip-hop music, podcasts and by word of mouth - in the shape of the Human Library. But how about more creative formats, such as a literary playground or a story house? We'd like to hear about any good examples that generate unity.

This year the conference will take place at the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam.

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