Closing Keynote: Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer

Closing Keynote Presentation

Presenters: Erik Boekesteijn & Jaap van de Geer

Innovation in Libraries, Reinventing Spaces and Places

Submitted by Jocelyne Andrews

What would you do if a man dressed as the Statue of Liberty standing on the street in the Center of the Universe (AKA New York City) told you libraries were irrelevant because we now have the internet? Well, if you're Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer, you take another step in your always-interesting journey of proving the library naysayers wrong by launching a weekly web video series called This Week in Libraries (“TWIL” for the initiated, at, now in its fifth year, exploring all things innovative through interviews with people from the library world and the wider world of information, media and, naturally, technology, in order to educate and inspire.

As closing keynote speakers at this year’s ABQLA conference, Erik and Jaap shared their inspiring vision of libraries’ through stories told and also made visible in videos, music, and photos. As shown by the community-driven spirit of their earlier incarnation as the Librarian Bureau of Investigation on their Shanachie Tours, these guys don’t simply lecture about innovation—they walk the talk. In fact, in the most recent chapter in their travels, they have moved out from under the aegis of the DOK library in Delft into their own enterprise named DOKLAB through which they are not only consulting on specific projects, but also offering “Extreme Library Makeovers” to help libraries around the world audit and navigate their immediate and more distant futures.

All-in-all, I think they very successfully heed the advice of one of their TWIL guests, Ernst-Jan Pfauth (TWIL #61) who said of librarians:  “They should be pretty intrusive in… getting people interested.” Indeed we all should, since we have important and amazing services and resources to share with our patrons, and perhaps most importantly, people who haven’t discovered the many cool things we do… yet!



L to R: Erik Boekesteijn, Julie-Ann Cardella, Erik Boekesteijn