Create culture:
Library Innovative Services

In 2020, the Ukrainian Library Association implements an international project called “Create Culture: Library Innovative Services”, supported by the European Union as a part of the House of Europe program. On a competitive basis, 32 librarians from Ukraine and Belarus were selected and trained by Danish and Ukrainian coaches. As a result of the workshops, each participating librarian developed and implemented a new innovative service for the development of creative industries in their library. These services are presented on the website.

Library Photo Studio

A photo studio was opened at the Dobropillya Central City Library to help young photographers improve their skills and tell the world about themselves.

“The thought about the photo studio sprang to my mind when our regular visitor (high school student) came to the library very upset. During the conversation it turned out the girl had a bad mood because of a bad photo, which has received a lot of negative feedback on Instagram”, said librarian Maryna Kirrilova.

According to Maryna, the idea of ​​the service arose from the desire to help library users deepen their knowledge on the art of photography, as well as master their digital literacy skills.

“I didn’t even think that in two months of studying the “Design-thinking for libraries methodology” our idea would be narrowed down and transformed into a library photo studio. The staff of the Central Library worked together to create prototype of the service, because we had a lot of work to do”, says the librarian.

The team notes that due to quarantine and lack of visitors, they had to look for alternative ways to reach the target audience, so the librarians decided to interview their colleagues’ children to communicate with young people in parks and on the street.

“We received rather unexpected feedback. In informal situations, the interviewees were more open-minded and openly expressed their views and expectations of the future service. This test helped identify weaknesses (for example, the absence of a professional photographer in this training) and understand that service users are able to generate cool ideas about the educational process of photography”, says Maryna Kirrilova.

The service is available from September 3, 2020 and is designed for young people aged 15-25. Teachers include professional photographers, bloggers and entrepreneurs. The library believes that the project will allow library users to master the skills for their future profession, help create their own brand, blog and more.

Project results

Maryna Kirrilova says, “During the introduction of the service in the library, its audience remains stable and almost unchanged. We have 3-7 requests to use the photo studio per week, although due to quarantine restrictions we do have changes in the work schedule.

Experience in implementing such a service has helped us establish teamwork and the prioritize the users’ interests. This will allow us to constantly work on updating and improving the photo studio in the future.

Using the design thinking methodology, other services have already been introduced in the network of libraries in Dobropillya. For example, the “Pension Fund Online” helps elderly users master online services from the Pension Fund of Ukraine. More than 400 people have already taken advantage of this offer.

Another service introduces in the library system is “Media and Digital Education”. It provides regular classes for users of different age on the requested topics. The most popular topic was “Instagram and TikTok features”. And the demand for mastering these social networks is not only among young people, but also among the older generation”.

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