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Muntpunt - Envisioning Library Future(s) and Beyond

In short

Characterised as anything from temples of learning to instruments of democracy, libraries and their potential futures appeal to the imagination. What kind of places could memory institutions like libraries be in the future? Which roles could they fulfil in people’s everyday lives? To which new meanings could they give rise? These and other questions we have been exploring together with a select, yet diverse, group of people at the Brussels-based Muntpunt. 

  • Year: 2019
  • Client: Muntpunt
  • project lead: Catherine Van Holder & Nicole Rijkens
How can Muntpunt remain relevant, now and in the future, given a strongly changing environment? | What kind of places could memory institutions like libraries be in the future? | Which roles could they fulfil in people's everyday lives? To which new meanings could they give rise?

the project

Muntpunt came into being 5 years ago, as a result of the fusion of HOB (Hoofdstedelijke Bibliotheek Brussel) en OPB  (Onthaal en Promotie Brussel).
With a new policy plan due in 2020, Pantopicon was approached to support the creation of a future vision for the organisation. 

Within this framework, a few subgoals were clearly stated:
– visioning process aimed at developing building block for the 2020-2025 policy plan
– attention for finalising the integration of Muntpunt as a merger organisation
– creating a synergistic framework for innovation

To this end we devised a series of workshops, with a select group of people from within and outside of the organisation,
aimed at exploring the following question “How can Muntpunt remain relevant, now and in the future, given a strongly changing environment?”.
Relevant (future) developments gave rise to a set of challenges; upon those a future vision was then crafted;
which in turn was used as a framework for formulating strategic goals and action paths.

Outcomes

Future Card Set
A detailled card set of future developments which might influence the context in which Muntpunt operates, now and in the future. The set has been used in this visioning trajectory, and been made available to Muntpunt for further use in other contexts they deem relevant.
Future Vision
Within a co-creative context, a future vision for Muntpunt has been crafted by the participants of this trajectory.
Policy Plan Building Blocks
The knowledge created throughout the series of workshops will find use as building blocks for Muntpunt’s policy plan 2020-2025.
Learning Trajectory
Besides substantive results, the architecture of the future process here used, has simultaneously been aimed to enhance future thinking and knowledge within the organisation and to infuse as many Muntpunt employees with future thinking capacities, as well as to build ownership of the new vision throughout the organisation.
Keynote
As one of Belgium’s largest libraries, Muntpunt holds knowledge disclosure in high regard. To this end we were invited to share some future insights about this visioning trajectory at the “Informatie aan Zee” 2019 conference.