As soon as you enter CBS Library, you immediately feel inclined to speak in hushed tones. Libraries are places for concentration and absorption of literature. They’re definitely not places for talking. Or are they?
“Students, in particular, have the idea that you can’t talk at all in the library. But that’s not true. You can actually talk in different places, and this new initiative is a kind of formalized chatter, one could say,” says Joshua Kragh Bruhn, Information Specialist at CBS Library and in charge of the library’s newest initiative, CBS Library Forum.
Once or twice a month, CBS researchers will present their latest research or discuss topics on current affairs at the newly re-furbished space in the library. But the talks are not like regular lectures. The researchers are specifically asked to involve their audience, which means anyone who’s interested.
“We’ve never had space for these kinds of informal and intimate events where students and researchers can meet and discuss topics they find interesting. The events are not like normal lectures where the researcher wants to impart knowledge. No, this is an event where students and researchers can share opinions and ideas and answer each other’s questions,” says Joshua Kragh Bruhn.
At the first event, which was held on November 13, Associate Professor Magali Gravier from the Department of Management, Society and Communication held a talk about France. Her talk is the first in a series of talks that will revolve around the theme ‘Europe’. The upcoming talks, which take place next year, will focus on Britain and Brexit and the current political situation in Italy. But the talks can be pretty much about anything.
“At CBS, we have a lot of researchers who disseminate their research in different ways. But why not make a place at CBS where they can do exactly that? And then it’s a way of making the research come alive by having it presented by the researchers themselves,” he says.
Libraries must stay relevant
The idea for CBS Library Forum came from a student, and CBS Library thought the idea was so good that they decided to allocate resources to the project. This resulted in 20 study areas being replaced by a rectangular space, which seats 35 – 40 people who can sit down in nice couches and on yellow, pentagonal poufs when they attend the talks.
When the space is not in use for CBS Library Forum, students and other users of the library can use the area for studying or conversation.
But why is a library offering activities and events like these if students just want more study areas?
“In my opinion the libraries, especially the ones that focus on research, have to stay relevant. And they have to stay relevant especially at a time when everything can be found online. This is a way of attracting people to the library so they can use it for something other than studying,” says Joshua Kragh Bruhn.
Peak my curiosity in 1.5 hours
The first talk lasted for about an hour, but future talks will probably last for about 1.5 hours, as this allows for more interaction between the researcher and audience, explains Joshua Kragh Bruhn, who believes everyone can get something out of the talks.
“The events are rather short, but it’s enough time to peak people’s curiosity and get some good questions in. Also, I think it’s nice to spend 1 to 1.5 hours in the company of good people who are engaged in an interesting topic,” he says.
As for the researchers who are going to be in the spotlight, he says:“This is an opportunity to get your message out in a different way and to a different audience, and engage in interesting discussions.”
Check out CBS Library’s calendar for upcoming events.