The Future Sound of Libraries, Revisited: Interview with Martin Kristoffer Bråthen

martinkbrathenToday I’m joined by Norway’s Martin Kristoffer Bråthen. Martin is head of innovation and product development at Biblioteksentralen, the cooperative business which supplies libraries across Norway with collection materials, equipment and services.


Prior to that, Martin worked at Deichman Bibliotek, the Oslo Public Library, in a range of project roles. During that time, he wrote a robust defence of public libraries in the age of the e-book in response to a comment by a senior Norwegian arts editor that “digitisation leaves public libraries on the scrapheap of history.”

Read more

The Norwegian Library Innovation Exchange @innovasjonnorge

How do you get a whole nation thinking about the challenges which lie ahead of it?

How can you help a community to solve seemingly intractable problems?

Which institutions need to be part of the discussion about society’s future directions?

I visited Norway this week to speak and run a workshop at the national library conference, #biblkonf2018. I asked these questions, and more, with a focus on how libraries might serve the innovation agenda articulated by Norway’s innovation agency, Innovasjon Norge. (You can see slides from the keynote here).

Today I want to focus on one idea, which comes from the work of the British innovation agency Innovate UK. Read more

>Everything I know about skiing I learned from James Bond

>I’ve just got back from Norway after a week working on a project about Edvard Munch, the guy who painted The Scream.

I’ve been working with Dr. Steffen Krüger on an article which brings together Munch, cartoons and modern architecture. When I wasn’t wandering around museums or trying to find the right words at Steffen’s desk, I had a bit of free time and decided to try cross-country skiing.

Now, I used to be a mountain-boarder and I’ve tried snowboarding and sandboarding too. (Sandboarding down giant dunes might be the best thing ever). But I’ve never, ever, in my life, been on skis before.

Everything I ever learned about skiing came from the James Bond films – especially the one where he skis off the edge of a cliff.

I didn’t quite make it into James Bond’s league. I think I fell over eight hundred times in eight kilometres. (He only fell once, plus it was deliberate and he had a parachute).

(This was a particularly good fall).

 The whole thing was great fun, but seriously embarrassing.

I was being taught to ski by a woman who once got told that she skied like a penguin.
She was cool, though, and penguins are too, so really it’s all my fault. Also, she’s an illustrator who I’m planning a new children’s book with, so I’m not about to complain about her ski teaching!

When I wasn’t falling on my face or writing about art at midnight, I also put in a short entry for Hilobrow’s ‘Golden Age Superhumans’ micro-fiction competition. It’s about 200 words, and probably only funny for grown-ups old enough to remember Simon and Garfunkel…You can find it here.

There are photos of my ski shame – they will be on this site soon.
The sad truth is I can’t wait to get back on the skis when I get the chance.
Perhaps this will result in a comedy video. I will share it if it happens.
Until then, keep reading!

With love from Norway’s fourth most popular comedy skier,