#LyonMeeting2019: Day 1

Aarhus University, Chalmers Institute of Technology, Enssib and the University Lyon 1 researchers and Dokk1, Lungby and BML librarians were part of the #LyonMeeting2019 (April 4th and 5th) This meeting gave all partners some insights about the deployment of the project, its potential and its current obstacles. In this two-day chronicle, we describe what had happened in these meetings, some backstage and most importantly, how such an important international project works.

After months of preparation, Swedish and Danish partners arrived to the Enssib. Hosts Aurélien and Raphaëlle, stood on the door to say hello and take them into the warm and coffee-smelling classroom 104.  Coffee was an essential part of the meeting because, without it, productivity rates would have been lower than usual. French soft power was present too, with a table full of classic viennoiseries: pain au chocolats, pain aux raisins, chaussons aux pommes and the biggest star of all, croissants.

Giving hands and saying hello in a sunny day in Lyon is the ripping start of the #LyonMeeting.  Aurélian cleared his throat as if he was about to start another class in the University Lyon 1. After this personal sound, he introduced today’s agenda, highlighting the duration of each activity.

The State of the Project was the first event of the day. Peter Daalsgaard (Human-Interaction Machine Professor at Aarhus University), as Placed project manager, explained the global progress of the project Despite differences of librarian practises and patrons consumer habits, Peter encouraged designers from the project to create tools to reduce the barrier of entry for new usagers.

The youngest members of #PlacedProject started the second activity, explaining the ongoing working process of #Participate and #Explore. Daisy Yoo, Designer from the #AarhusTeam, presented the possibilities of #Participate.  #Participate will support the discovery of ongoing and upcoming activities to increase involvement. It will support active visitor participation in activities such as an author’s book reading event. A digital representation of the activity will be easily accessible from visitors’ personal devices through the library collection when in proximity of the place of the activity. As the book reading unfolds, visitors in the library can comment, post questions or share media from their personal devices or public kiosks in the library, and navigate in the shared activity stream. When an activity ends, it will be stored in the library collection. Her presentation was about the presentation demos and the design process included in it.  

On the other part, Alix Ducros, the youngest member of the #LyonTeam and PHD student from the University Lyon 1, has carried the presentation of Explore. According to Alix, “#Explore is an activity exploration tool integrated with the collections”. In fact, #Explore would support interactive visual exploration of the activities and library collections and dynamically adapt to the device and place in which it is used, leveraging modern Web technologies.

Both of them highlighted the importance of the project and the challenges it may face. Explore and Participate are based on a participatory design approach which includes a large part of stakeholders, including distinct librarian cultures. Both Alix and Daisy focused their presentation on the upcoming steps by regarding the different questions related to the leverage of data collected from #Participate, the patron connection to #Explore and the availability of resources for librarians.  

After Daisy and Alix presentation, it was time for a break. A break with our stars: more viennoiseries. This is the time when conversations about #Explore and #Participate were stopped and everyone feels at ease speaking about random subjects.

Ending up with the last trace of pain of chocolat from the break, it was the turn of librarian partners. They had to explain how they deployed this prototype in their libraries. The first to take the microphone was Marie Ravn, from the Danish Library Dokk1. Dook1 conducted the implementation of #Participate in plastic workshops. This recurrent event was organised twice a week and their target audience were the kids and adults. On the other side, BML Librarians and #LyonTeam Guillaume Morand and Michel Wong presented the workshops and public lectures on journalism, gender, politics, sciences organised where they applied #Explore. Marie, Guillaume and Michel stressed common points in their presentations:  the limits of the prototypes appropriation, their technical limitations, and their potential usefulness and usability. Their presentation also included the possibilities these platforms open to librarians and their daily work.

Before lunch, a participatory activity was deployed. In order to integrate both platforms, #Explore and #Participate, Aurélien propose a participatory workshop. The game started splitting the participant into three groups. They had to choose a real case and revisit the organisation of this event using #Explore and #Participate.  Then they must identify connections between both platforms to understand information flow from different sources: libraries database or collections.  When they pick an event where Participate or Explore would use, they use a post it to mark an ideal scenario. At the end, participants had to make a cartography of uses, the setting-ups, discoveries, among other things. Interesting results came from this activities, all under the eye of Aurelien.

After lunch was served, with vegetarian menus included, the agenda continued with private meetings to end up debating all the group together an established agenda with strategic deadlines. Afternoon was also the time for Clemens Nylandsted Klokmose (Associate Professor at Digital Design and Information Studies of the Aarhus University) to explain upcoming research trends related to the subjects studied in the project.  

At 17:00, everyone was tired and ready to come back to their hotels. But instead of doing that, they went sightseeing the city. But the day was not finished. Dinner at Lyon 6ème was arranged beforehand.