April 19, 2018

Erik Boekesteijn, Jaap Van De Geer, Geert Van Den Boogaard | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Marketers

Erik Boekesteijn, Dok, Delft,  the NetherlandsDutch Treats

Meet the Shanachies…three Dutch storytellers with an Irish name. “From early childhood,” explains Erik Boekesteijn, “I have had a special interest in Ireland. I always loved the idea of a traveling storyteller, who keeps, shares, and makes stories.” Today, libraries “need to think beyond their walls and find new ways to do just that.”

The trio’s work at DOK, the award-winning library concept center in Delft, further explores the connection between libraries and stories. Almost 80 percent of Delft citizens have DOK memberships; it is the most frequently visited public institution in the city. Going beyond “brand books,” DOK lends artwork and objects, hosts a summer camp for kids, and contains technological innovations such as special multimedia chairs where individuals can enjoy music or films and Bluetooth stations where members can download magazines and audiobooks. DOK also has its own mobile video studio, which the Shanachies use not only to make their own videos but to teach others how.

Their projects at DOK range from “Agora, the storyboard of your life,” in which library members celebrate their family and friends by creating huge storyboards about their lives and works, to the organization of large events like Ugame Ulearn, a proprietary ILS that gives DOK the flexibility to make adjustments quickly, write new apps, and connect to other databases.

As modern-day Shanachies (an old Celtic word meaning “roving storyteller”), they are most famous for their three-week ShanachieTour in 2007, driving an RV across the United States to visit libraries large and small. They have continued their travels with a trip to Jamaica and a second ShanachieTour through Australia, “ShanachieTour Down Under.” Throughout, they tell their stories through photos, videos, blog posts, and presentations of the libraries and librarians they meet.

The U.S. tour led to their collaboration on a book/DVD combo about their interviews and experiences. A companion blog highlights their ongoing adventures, as have keynote addresses at conferences.

Geert Van den Boogaard, Dok, Delft,  the Netherlands“They create and foster excitement at DOK,” explains Amy Kearns, program coordinator, Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative, “and now are bringing this excitement, innovation, hope, and possibility to the world to reinvigorate and inspire other librarians.”



DOK, Delft, The Netherlands


POSITION Concept Developer and Project Manager, Communication and Innovation Department

DEGREE BA, English, University of Rotterdam


POSITION Head of ICT/ Head of Science and Innovation Department

DEGREE BA, Library Science, Hogeschool Amsterdam


POSITION Innovation Advisor and Acquisition/Funding Manager

DEGREE MS, Industrial Design Engineering, Technical University Delft 

Book/DVD ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America (ITI, 2008)

WEB SITE www.shanachietour.com

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