Today, the Minister of Culture Mette Bock announced a decision to merge KVINFO’s library and the Royal Library. According to the Ministry of Culture this is happening as part of the consolidation of the ministry’s libraries. The merger will go in to effect January 1st 2018.
Chair of the board, Tonny Skovgaard, says:
”This is a political decision that all of us at KVINFO deeply regret, as a vital part of KVINFO’s strength is the synergy between the different activities. I have a very hard time seeing how this will provide any added value to anyone. Right now, the board will discuss the case thoroughly and afterwards we will have to look into our options. The board will be 100% focused on ensuring the best possible terms for KVINFO to continue be able to contribute to the progress towards a more equal society.”
In recent years, the debate around equality has grown in Denmark, both politically and more broadly in the populace. KVINFO’s job is to contribute a solidly knowledge-based foundation to the debate, whether it is for a newspaper article or a school paper. KVINFO has also gotten a good hold on the younger demographics through the school service, collaboration with the Roskilde Festival, a strong presence on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and other types of active knowledge-based communication.
All this work draws on and works with the library, just as the library is involved in active communication of the knowledge and research held within the collection in a completely different way than the Royal Library, and directed at a very different target audience.  Specifically, as an example, KVINFO’s library has a large user group among primary and high school students, who use the library to write papers for school.
“KVINFO is much more than a library and for us the different tasks are interconnected with the common work towards our “purpose”. The most important thing will always be to maintain a forum for discussion, communication and work with and for equality – nationally as well as internationally. And we experience daily a growing interest from both primary and high school students and many others.” says KVINFO’s director Suzanne Moll
KVINFO acknowledges the Ministry of Culture’s intention and the fact that maintaining a small library is not free. It would of course be interesting to think along alternative lines when it comes to the maintenance of the library, such as cooperation with other specialised libraries that at the same time ensures that KVINFO’s work with the communication of information and knowledge is not removed from the material collection of knowledge that the library holds.
“Today, we have informed the staff, and we hope to get some clarification on all the questions that follow from such a decision,” says Suzanne Moll.
KVINFO is a self-governing institution and receives a yearly funding of 6.8 milllion. The institution maintins a library, and communicates information and knowledge through the website, web magazine, social media, public events and also through more general communication about equality and diversity. The Ministry’s decision only covers the library. Additionally the institution receives 2 million every year from the Ministry of Integration for our mentor network, as well as a larger contribution for the international work from the Foreign Ministry.
Read the Ministry of Culture’s press release (in Danish)