Generation Code: born at the library - a success!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 09:15

On Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19, Public Libraries 2020’s interactive exhibition Generation Code: born at the library took place at the European Parliament in Brussels. With digital exhibits from public libraries from 11 European countries, as well as various workshops run by libraries from 6 different European Countries, library stakeholders from 27 EU member states, almost 100 MEPs and visits from HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Commissioner Navracsics, we dare to say that the event was a big success.

Launch exhibition and MEP Library Group

On Tuesday, the exhibition was officially opened by HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, who welcomed high level speakers European Commissioner Tibor Navracsics, IFLA Secretary General Gerald Leitner, DG Connect Deputy Director General Claire Bury, and not forgetting the Generation Code: born at the library co-host MEPs: Antanas Guoga, Eva Paunova, Sean Kelly, Michal Boni and Catherine Stihler.  Ms Stihler also launched the new MEP Library Lovers group where MEPs from across the EU and from both sides of the political spectrum who are passionate about libraries are brought together. After the event, over 50 MEPs are signed up!

Meet and Greet your MEP

On Wednesday morning, library representatives from 27 Member States spoke with MEPs from their country at the Generation Code: born at the library “Meet and Greet” session. There were conversations about the importance of libraries, the current situation in their country and what can be done to improve it. Hands were shaken, pictures were taken and factsheets were handed out. Almost 100 MEPs came by for this, and also took their time to have a short look at the exhibition and play with robots or try virtual reality.

Copyright debate

Following the Meet and Greet session, Public Libraries 2020 held a debate on copyright – particularly timely given the Commission’s recent publication of its proposal for copyright reform.  The debate, ‘Copyright reform: the exceptions that prove the rule?’ was co-hosted by MEPs Catherine Stihler, Therese Comodini Cachia (Copyright Directive rapporteur) and Kaja Kallas, and welcomed interventions from an excellent panel: Inge Van Nieuwerburgh from Ghent University Library, CENL’s Ben White, IFLA’s Stuart Hamilton and Erna Winters, Director of Kennermerward Public Library – all moderated by PL2020 Director Ilona Kish.  The debate drew a big crowd and clearly set out the issues still faced by libraries dealing with European copyright legislation in a digital age – an important step as the European Parliament starts its long amendment process.