March 3, 2015

Jan Holmquist | Movers & Shakers 2014 — Tech Leaders



Head of Development
Guldborgsund Librarires, Nykøbing Falster, Denmark


Master of Public Governance (in progress), Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Bibliotekar, DB (Danish MLIS), Royal School of Library and Information Science, Denmark, 2001


FOLLOW; @janholmquist;


Photo by Jan Valeur-Pedersen


Going Global

Jan Holmquist’s nominators describe him as a “global librarian,” and it’s easy to see why. In addition to his current work as head of development for Denmark’s Guldborgsund libraries, Holmquist’s side projects tend to involve collaboration with librarians all over the world. He is engaged with ongoing international projects in Germany and the Read Watch Play Twitter reading group based in Australia. And in 2011 and 2012, he worked with librarians in the United States and the UK on the “Buy India a Library Project” and then built awareness of the program’s efforts with a presentation on crowdfunding for libraries at the Bibliothekartag conference in Hamburg, Germany.

More recently, riffing off of the “23 Things” program originally developed at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC, Holmquist created “23 Mobile Things,” a self-paced course designed to help librarians explore the potential of delivering library services via mobile devices, apps, and social networking tools. Although he developed the project in Danish, when librarians at Australia’s State Library of New South Wales expressed interest, he worked with them to build an English version of his course, which went on to become an international hit in library circles last year.

“We face the same challenges in libraries worldwide, but we come up with different ideas and different answers,” Holmquist says, regarding the benefits of international collaboration. “Some of them can be translated from a library in the [United States] to a library in Denmark and vice versa. It is a very powerful way to get new ideas and use them to improve your community.”

Currently, Holmquist is working on a project about libraries and gamification that will “highlight literature and history from the area and brand the [Guldborgsund] library in a playful way,” as well as a project about using nudge theory/positive reinforcement in self-service libraries to help patrons “feel more secure and also more inspired.”

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