Our guests were experts working at the Reference and Research Section of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library of the University of Oslo Library, many of whom also had a background in research.
In their presentation, the experts from the Helsinki University Library talked about their work with a range of disciplines as well as services offered to researchers, such as open-access publication and data management services. In addition, our guests were provided with a glimpse of the teaching offered by the Library and its principles as well as the Library’s collection policy.
The wish expressed in advance by our guests to learn about the artificial intelligence-based tool Iris.ai and HELDIG was also fulfilled. The Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities research network and its operations were presented to us by Jouni Tuominen (see programme and presentations).
Shut up and write!
Astrid Anderson, section manager of the reference and research section of the University of Oslo Library, presented the University of Oslo, its key indicators as well as the organisation of the library as part of the university. After this, the theme was delved into further by presentations on, for example, various events, exhibitions and courses organised by the university.
Signe Brandsæter and Marianne Lien told us about the consultation in academic writing offered by the Academic Writing Centre , whose events include regular writing sessions called Shut up and write! Hege Ringnes presented the specific library service of the preparation of method-based and demanding systematic literature reviews (systematic review). The library also participates in and produces content for the national doctoral education network.
Dragon’s den or Scrooge McDuck’s treasure trove?
Librarian Cathinka Neverdal told us about the means developed by the library to participate in the everyday life of the community. Basement floors with their rows of archive shelves may seem daunting, like a “dragon’s den”, to the customers, while library professionals see the extensive collection as a continuous source of riches or Scrooge McDuck’s treasure trove. How could the library convey the same experience to its customers? The University of Oslo Library has carnivalised stereotypes related to the library by means of various events and exhibitions as well as social media.
It is clear that work at the University of Oslo Library is relaxed and innovative and utilises the competence of its partners in flexible ways. The events aimed at students and staff, for example, the regular Breakfast Club morning event organised together with the student union, are an example of the many fruits of cooperation.
The dead languages society (Døde språks selskap) should also be mentioned. The activities of the society are aimed at linguists and other interested individuals, which the library organises in cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities and the Norwegian Institute of Philology.
During the day we had a chance to share experiences and perspectives on the everyday life of research libraries in the Nordic countries. But more than anything we gained extra inspiration for our own work – thank you for the visit, our Norwegian guests!