70 Librarians & 100 MEPs at the European Parliament for #GenerationCode

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 15:45

On 17-18 October librarians from all over Europe gathered in the European Parliament in Brussels for the second edition of Generation Code: Born at the Library – the interactive exhibition showcasing top innovative digital exhibits from public libraries across the EU.


In the framework of EU Code Week, the exhibition is a way to celebrate the amazing work that public libraries do every day in filling the digital gap of our communities. This year’s theme was “Smart Cities, Smart Citizens, Smart Libraries”, the idea being to look at how future technologies are interacting with libraries across Europe.

We asked 11 of the most innovative and technologically advanced libraries in the EU to bring to the European Parliament the best examples of their technological and digital offer, and the result was impressive! Visitors could dive into the exciting world of coding, robotics, 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality, interactive floors and much more with fun activities that simulate the daily work of public libraries in introducing people to new technologies. 70 librarians from 27 Member States were there to guide visitors and to explain what is happening in their country in terms of innovation and technology in libraries.

The exhibition, which marked one year of the MEP Library Lovers group, was hosted by MEP Library Lovers: Agnes JongeriusMichal BoniAntanas GuogaSean KellyEva MaydellCatherine Stihler and Julia Reda. This year, Generation Code: Born at the Library was visited by more than 100 MEPs from 27 different EU countries. Of those, we were delighted to welcome 21 new MEPs to the MEP Library Lovers group – bringing the total to 89 members.

We also partnered with CISCO Systems for this year’s edition. They presented their Networking Academy, an online learning platform giving in depth ICT training which is already active in some EU libraries. Piotr Pluta, Director Corporate Affairs of CISCOSystems launched the exhibition on Tuesday 17 October together with Manuel Mateo from the cabinet of the Commissioner for Digital Economy & Society (Mariya Gabriel), our main host Agnes Jongerius MEP, and Gerald Leitner, Secretary-General of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations).

On Wednesday 18 in the afternoon we had the pleasure to welcome a group of 25 girls (aged 8-15) to join us for a specially organised coding event in partnership with Greenlight for Girls – an international, non-profit organisation dedicated to inspire girls of all ages and backgrounds to pursue STEM subjects.

To our great joy, this year #GenerationCode was again trending on Twitter in Belgium. Have a look at what it was like through our Storify, or through our great pictures.

Generation Code: Born at the Library was also an occasion to present our new factsheets on library data for 2017, have a look here and discover what is happening in your country!