Over 100 participants at the RL:EU conference on Digital Upskilling in Libraries

April 10, 2024

Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo

On April 10, 2024, the RL:EU Conference: Digital Upskilling in Libraries took place in the Torre do Tombo National Archives in Lisbon. The aim of the event was to present resources, frameworks, and projects on digital up-skilling for libraries in Europe. By gathering library professionals from across Europe, the conference placed a focus on not only learning more about the RL:EU project, networking with practitioners, exploring opportunities with EU funding programmes — but also on discovering various EU-funded projects on digital literacies which have taken place in libraries.

The conference was in hybrid format, allowing for people to also join online, with some sessions live-streamed on Zoom and interactive moderated online break-out rooms. The conference was attended by over 100 participants!

We started with live-streamed presentations of the Resourcing Libraries project, EU frameworks on digital competences, and EU funding programmes for libraries. The participants were introduced to the EU digital decade programme, including the digital education action plan and the DigComp framework and learned about current opportunities under the Erasmus+ and CERV programmes. This was accompanied by table discussions on EU frameworks and EU funding programmes in smaller groups. 

Living Libraries session

The ‘Living Library’ session took place both in person and online, and was an opportunity for the conference participants to discover 10 inspiring  EU-funded projects on digital literacies in libraries, 6 speakers were present in Lisbon and 4 projects were presented in the online session. “Living Library” refers to the concept that the speakers share their experiences as “open books” that can be consulted by the participants. The speakers were installed at tables and in online break-out rooms and the participants could move between the different projects to learn more and ask their questions. 

During the in-person session, Spaska Tarandova (Executive Director of the Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation) presented the BIBLIO (Boosting digital skills and competencies for librarians in Europe) project, Jef De Backker (Senior Project Lead for Digital Inclusion at Blenders, Belgium) presented the Connect://able project, Giorgia Plachesi, (Librarian at the Manfrediana Municipal Library in Faenza, Italy) presented TECH.LIBRARY, Ed Klute (retired director of Mira Media in Utrecht, Netherlands) presented COLIBLITE, Helena Patrício (Director Of Special Collections Services, National Library Of Portugal) presented EODOPEN, and Simona Šinko (Head Of The Learning Centre, Ljubljana City Library, Slovenia) shared her experience with the application and implementation of Erasmus+ accreditation in adult education, specifically Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals in Adult Education. 

Participants who joined the Virtual Living Libraries session heard from: Chloé Pété (Project Officer & Communications, Media & Learning Association) who presented SMILES, Agnieszka Koszowska (Project Coordinator And Editor, Information Society Development Foundation Poland), who presented Digital Travellers in Europe, Altheo Valentini (Senior EU Projects Manager and General Manager at European Grants International Academy Srls), who presented the Social Hackademy Methodology, and Vanya Grozdanova (Projects Expert, Global Libraries – Bulgaria Foundation), who presented the Advancing Digital Empowerment of Libraries in Europe (ADELE) project. This was followed by break-out room discussions where participants were able to exchange and discuss the project further with our four speakers. 

The online conference was recorded and a video will be made available soon on YouTube – stay tuned! 

Further materials & resources 

We have compiled the various speaker presentations from the conference, as well as additional materials.

Pictures by João Barata

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