As National Libraries, our work is fuelled by the power of the written word. The written word preserves culture, stories, essays and ideas, both printed and digital. When people come into contact with words, whether through reading, studying or conducting research, it has an impact on their lives. To create an open atmosphere for library users, European libraries need to rethink their position in the digital age, and experiment creatively with opportunities of new technologies. The purpose of the Open digital libraries project is to bring together three National Libraries in Europe to build capacity for using digital library collections creatively.
The National Libraries of Austria, Estonia and The Netherlands, are all part of multiple European networks and found each other in their shared interest to see the digital age as an opportunity to open up their institutions to creatives/artists. The status quo of libraries is that people no longer are obliged to visit the locations to consult a great part of the collections. This makes it even more important that the libraries also digitally celebrate and enhance the value of the written word, its importance for knowledge and its creative potential.