Which role can libraries play to facilitate lifelong learning?

Employability and e-inclusion play a vital role in information society. Libraries are one of the most important knowledge storage rooms and are predestinated to play big role for lifelong learning in general. German libraries are thinking about repositioning themselves and how to do that in the fast changing field of lifelong learning in the information society.

To find a solution, the Stiftung Digitale Chancen cooperated with the National Library Association and E-Plus, a german telecommunication company, and arranged an online discussion to find out, how the online community could contribute.

133 persons were commenting the 5 statements and provided the basis for the round-table discussion “Lifelong Learning in the information society”, where we invited 30 experts to discuss, if library can even handle that task or if libraries are the wrong institutions to facilitate digital literacy. The results of the online discussion can be found at www.alle.de/diskussionen

The main conclusion of the roundtable discussion was, that libraries in Germany are often not visited by marginalised people or by groups at risk and that they have certain difficulties in reaching the target groups.

The experts recommended, that the libraries need to raise the society's awareness of all courses and possibilites that the libraries are offering, since only a few people really know what the libraries are doing.

The Volkshochschulen (adult education centres) are responsible for the adult education, so cooperation between the informal and the non-formal education system like in Potsdam - where the state library and the Volkshochschule are cooperating in founding a new Bildungsforum (education forum)- was seen as the most promising way to deal with limited funds and diverse responsibilities.

The discussion and the results of the round-table can be found at http://www.alle.de/diskussionen/udl/index.cfm/secid.8/key.3115

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