Last Wednesday my colleague and I went to Sarpsborg to attend a conference on e-citizenship and e-libraries initiated by the NLA/Østfold. The State secretary Wenche Lyngholm(SV) from the Ministry of Government Administration and Reform was quite surprised of all the librarians at the conference had their own profile on Facebook! Little did she know that the librarians had attended the course 23Things!! She did not reveal anything we did not know before. When asked of the plans how to initiate the e-citizenship in all the municipalities, she pointed to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. This should of course not be a surprise to anyone attending, but it would certainly be refreshing once to experience a politician on a governmental level say: This is our task, we will deal with it! Lyngholm said that the libraries are almost the only noncommercial meeting point in our society and suitable for giving people training in using the PC and the internet. Lyngholm left in a hurry after giving her speech and never got the opportunity to hear the question Tord Høivik put to the panel discussion: Did we think the government understand what they are asking the libraries to do to take on the task of educating the people with no ICT competence? I think the government are not interested in understanding the consequences if the libraries should embark on this journey. They want the job done, they don´t ask how.
The host of the panel debate, Tord Høivik transformed the rather dull and traditional discussion to a slightly confusing but very engaging conversation making everyone attend in some way or other. Well done, Tord!