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The Library Without Walls: Tuesday's Keynote


Without her customary podium, Jane Dysart, Conference Chair, introduces the Tuesday keynote sesson

Without her customary podium, Jane Dysart, Conference Chair, introduces the Tuesday keynote sesson

Erik and Paul

Erik and Paul

The “Dutch guys” from the Delft Public Library in the Netherlands, a.k.a. the guys from the Shanachie Tour, returned to CIL with another great program.  The initial interview on their first tour in 2006 was with Paul Holdengraber, Director of Public Programs at the New York Public Library (NYPL), and at CIL 2009, Paul and Erik Boekesteijn met again for the Tuesday keynote session, which thanks to fellow Shanachie tourer Jaap van de Geer was streamed live on the Internet.



Paul’s mission is to make the famous lions in front of the NYPL roar.  He also wonders how much he library weighs because he wants to infuse it with so much energy that it levitates!  Listening  to him  in person, it wasn’t too hard to imagine that if anybody can do that, Paul will.   The Director of NYPL asked Paul to “oxygenate the library”, and he is well along on the job!  He left an indyllic life in Santa Monica, CA and has become fascinated with the “friction of New York”.

Paul and Erik at their interview

Paul and Erik at their interview

Paul covered so much ground in this interview; how do you blog it?  All I can do here is to give you a sampling of quotes.  See Jane Dysart’s following post for a link to a video of  the entire interview (thanks, Jaap!).

  • “An editor is a mouse training to become a rat.”
  • “We have two ears and one  mouth, so listening is more important than speaking.”
  • “The important thing in anything is to begin.”
  • “I never ask for permission, only for forgiveness.”
  • “We have to change things and make this library irresistable.”
  • “I feel like  I’m being Twittered, and it’s a new source of pleasure.”
  • “I’m very interested in the afterlife of a conversation.  What happens to all of this?  How does it continue to have a life.  Blogging is a marvelous use of continuing conversations.  I deeply believe that the experience of being in a room together.”
  • “We need humor more than ever in these days.  I wake up energized and ready to confront the day.  I am supposed to symbolically take those 52 million books off the shelf and deeply desire  them.  I believe that libraries are places of desire.”
  • “All of us deeply believe in what we do and in communicating our experiences.  I cannot imagine a world without books.  Will we someday see Kindles laying around everywhere?”
  • “I am fascinated by how libraries might be able to make us focus in an age of utter distraction, where we use the Web in a way that makes  us focus on new discoveries.”
  • “In these days, the library is a place of opportunity.  It is also a haven.  I am in the job of hospitality, making people feel at home.  We have Facebooks,  but I’m interested in the face to face encounter.”
  • “We have home pages, I am  interested in our home.”
  • “Libraries have the one gift I would love to have–the gift of ubiquity.”

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and CIL 2009 Blog Coordinator

ShanachieTour Returns to Monterey, 1 Year Later

If this scene looks familiar to you, then you were at last year’s IL Tuesday evening session where these Dutchmen did a presentation about their "ShanachieTour," which was a 3-week road trip they took across America in a "campervan" (RV). Exactly 1 year later, they’re back in Monterey (where last year’s tour ended) to talk about that tour and others they’ve done around the world since. Once again, they filmed part of the presentation while they were doing it, which is why you see both the live Erik and the on-screen Erik above.

After showing some opening scenes from the movie they produced about the 07 ShanachieTour, Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap van de Geer, and Geert van den Boogaard settled into their own "welcome to our living room" presentation style. Nevermind that boring podium, they told the hotel’s room set-up staff — their talk took place on a cozy stage with a couch and chair, coffee table, lamps, plants, snacks, and even a refrigerator (used to chill beverages for the guests they brought up on stage to talk with).


The guests they interviewed on stage included Greg Schwartz (Uncontrolled Vocabulary) and Michael Sauers. They also Skyped in far-away colleagues and asked them about the libraries of today and tomorrow. Overall, it was a really innovative and entertaining presentation that kept the huge crowd in their seats until after 9pm.

You can keep an eye on future Shanachie adventures on their Facebook page and their web page. In a few weeks they’ll be touring across Australia, speaking at conferences and stopping at libraries. So stay tuned!

~Kathy Dempsey



The Exhibit Hall Opens

The Exhibit Hall opened tonight with a reception and high interest in the exhibitors’ offerings.  Here are some scenes from the event.

ITI authors assemble for a book signing.

The Shanachies sign copies of their newly published book, ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America.

As always, the e-mail stations were popular.


Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and IL 2008 Blog Coordinator

Marketing Mania in Track B

I’ve been spending my time in the marketing track today, and good ideas and tips have been flying.

The morning began with Nancy Dowd, marketing director of the NJ State Library (and my blog partner over at The M Word). She discussed 10 trends that can give your marketing a "second life," such as relating to people with stories, listening to customers and letting them run the conversations, and promoting your green-ness. She’ll be posting her slides on The M Word soon.


Then the crowd heard Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan do a really useful tag-team presentation on making your web site more useful, findable, read, and used. They told the crowds about tons of websites where librarians should register their own websites so surfers and searchers can find them. And most are free & easy — you can’t beat that!

They’ll be posting their talk as well, and this dynamic duo has a related article coming out in the Nov/Dec issue of Marketing Library Services soon.

One of the afternoon speakers was Geert van den Boogaard, who discussed digital marketing at DOK, the Library Concept Center in Delft, the Netherlands. Geert wowed the crowd with things DOk does, such as greeting people via Bluetooth connections as they enter the building, and screencasting messages within the building on a Wii platform.

One thing that van den Boogaard emphasized was one of my own main marketing points: First, understand your patrons and what they want. That idea should be the foundation of all your marketing and promotion.

~Kathy Dempsey