All posts by janholmquist

Entrepreneur: Jan has broad experience as a library director for public libraries in Denmark and New Zealand. He is the man behind the digital learning project 23 Mobile Things and other international projects like Buy India a Library. Jan is a member of the Library Advocacy Lab advising on library advocacy on a European level. Currently, Jan founded Holmquist Consult and is working as an international library, learning and leadership advisor wanting to use his experience to benefit libraries and other cultural- and learning institutions on a global level.

Keynote: Public librarians: A driving force for the sustainable development goals.

I am proud that the new “International Conference on Design and Development of Public Library Services” chose me to do a keynote about librarians as a driving force for the SDGs.

The librarians skillset and knowledge of the community combined makes the librarian the perfect driving force for supporting people to have real impact on meeting the SDGs

“A librarian is a connector of people, knowledge, learning and communities. She is the friendly neighbourhood hero actively working to make communities smarter – one person at a time. ​ She knows her community and can translate complicated information into new learning opportunities”

The audience in the conference hall – and online – had very good questions. What an honour to meet colleagues from Iran in the conference hall – even though I was only there via the virtual platform.

Here is my presentation:

Here are the slides:

Please connect with me – and let us continue the conversation.

Sustainable libraries: Thank you CIL Connect – Slides are up

In session E201. Sustainable Libraries I contributed with European examples about how libraries are working with sustainability and UNs Sustainable Development Goals. Marydee Ojala did the same from a U.S. perspective.

Thank you for your participation and good questions. My part of the slides is here. Remember that the video will be up on the conference website.

A lot of the links I mention in my talk are in Danish. Here are some of the English language ones:

My article about sustainability in Danish Public Libraries (Published in English and German from the journal “Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis”:
Sustainability in Danish Public Libraries How do the Sustainable Development Goals Inspire their Work?

Scotlands Public Library Strategy :
Scotland’s Public Library Strategy 2021-2025

The UN document that all UN member states adopted in 2015 presents the vision, ambition and the SDGs:
Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Also available in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, French and Spanish)

Feel free to contact me anytime with questions, your example or for an online coffee and chat about libraries and sustainability.

Article: Sustainability in Danish Public Libraries

If you combine UNs sustainable development goals with libraries you get a powerful force working for a better world for all of us.

If you are curious about how Danish libraries approach this work read my article published in English and German from the journal “Bibliothek Forschung und Praxis”.

Sustainability in Danish Public Libraries: How do the Sustainable Development Goals Inspire their Work?

Things move fast in this field. Feel free to connect with any questions you might have.

Keynote for Estonian library directors summer school: Public libraries: SDGs, Trends, goals, innovation and connecting with the community​.

The UNs Sustainable Development Goals played the leading role in my keynote about trends, goals and innovations that influence our world and, therefore, our communities and libraries. 
The global goals are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. While the 17 global goals are made simple, they are not always easy to understand. Libraries are essential in making the goals understandable for the public and facilitating partnerships in and with the community to actively support projects that have a tangible impact on the SDGs.
To give the global goals the focus they deserve, they should be part of your existing library strategy. 
As an example of a national public library strategy that includes the SDGs, go to the all-new Scottish library strategy: Forward.

Part of my keynote was an example of a strategy process I did about the library as a strategically important learning institution in the community and how that informed decisions like building a FabLab with a sharp library focus on the services it delivered to the public.

By doing all of the above, libraries enable communities to make smarter decisions.

To be relevant for our communities, we need to listen to all parts of the community – also the people who are not like us. We must listen actively to the people who do not visit us often or never visit us at all. That means we must get out and have honest conversations with people in the community.

When we still struggle with COVID (though times are getting better in many countries now), we must not forget that it has been a rough time for all of us – the people who visit our libraries. Compassion and sincere interest in how people are doing is a highly valued skill these days.

In the group, we discussed what we wanted to bring into the new post-COVID normal and what we wanted to leave behind in the old world.

You can see all of the trends mentioned in my slides, and here is the “worknotes” from our workshop

I promised the group to share a few links about the theme “Biased tech”. So here are the once I mentioned from New York Times:
The Week in Tech: Algorithmic Bias Is Bad. Uncovering It Is Good. [New York Times 15. November 2019]
Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech. [New York Times 17. June 2019] 

I want to thank the National Library of Estonia for inviting me and all the participants for their contributions and kindness: Thank you for learning with me. – Please stay in touch.

Presentation “Public libraries as the learning hub in the community. Strategy and practical examples” for Conferência Internacional: [Re]Pensar a Biblioteca Pública

Thank you participants in Aveiro and online for your feedback and positivity. I was honored to be part of your wonderful conference.

Public libraries are about providing access to information for all citizens. They are also about giving the community members the best possibilities to transform that information into knowledge.

When we look at libraries not only as a place for cultural inspiration or a house full of information -but also as the learning hub in the community, we focus on different ways of connecting with the community and new ways of delivering library services. We also have a new approach to what skillset librarians need to make this happen.

In this talk, I focus on practical examples from my work as a library director in Denmark and New Zealand. Examples of working with learning as a strategy and how that impacted the library services delivered and how libraries reached out to the community.

Here are the slides:

Libraries and the Sustainable Development Goals

Libraries worldwide share the common goal to empower people and communities through knowledge, learning and cultural inspiration.

Global problems require global solutions. During the ongoing pandemic, scientists have been working together towards a vaccine on a worldwide level. As with the pandemic, the climate and biodiversity crisis is not a problem that respects national borders.
For us to be able to reach the UN’s global goals in 2030, we all need to work together. All people, all communities, all librarians, all companies, all regions, all nations.

In this Ignite talk made for #nextlibrary I make a case for global cooperation between libraries. I also suggest what skills and infrastructure librarians need to work together globally to actively support our communities in meeting the 2030 goals.

Ignite: Libraries and the SDGs (5 minutes).

The aquarium

In the interactive session “SDGs are global – Libraries deal with them globally”, I hosted a dialogue process calling on the wisdom of the room to further discuss:
“How can libraries work together globally to actively support our communities in meeting the 2030 goals?”

You can access the Trello board we created here.
If you want to add to it – email me at janholmquist at gmail.com or DM me at Twitter: @janholmquist

UPDATE:
On 10th June 2021 The Danish Government published their new action plan for how to live up to the SDGs. Libraries have a huge part to play. This is a significant game changer in Denmark. I am beyond excited about this. I will keep you updated.

Here is in my translation what it says about libraries.


The Government will strengthen the libraries’ work with and dissemination of the World Goals to make the libraries a facilitator for the popular anchoring of the UN World Goals. The initiative involves i.a. events on the World Goals in libraries, a World Goals certification program for libraries and skills development for librarians regarding the dissemination of the World Goals

Forward

I made a song for the wonderful library conference Next Library.
People can share their digital postcards with the conference this week. You know what to do…

Lyrics / song / video by Jan Holmquist

Forward:

When everyone is in lockdown
In a life of isolation
What keeps you mentally sound
And away from desperation

Is the stories that we share
As humans across time
People everywhere
We share what is sublime

We build communities 
On humanity and facts
To create opportunities
For people who reacts

To knowledge and unity
And professionals who care
In your local library
You find them anywhere



We need to know how to proceed
To build what lays ahead

We remove the stuff we dread
And add the new stuff that we need

We learn how to learn anew
And unlearn what is outdated
We will never be dictated
We will find what is true



As we leave our lives
as solitudinarians
We need the skills of our
community librarians

Culture, stories, literature, knowledge, learning is what we need
Smarter communities  – For our future to proceed

Sustainability in Danish Libraries

I was happy to be part of the first Nordic Libraries Annual conference with the Theme “Towards Sustainable Futures”.
I did a keynote about sustainability in Danish libraries mainly centred around UNs Sustainable Development Goals.

Here is a recording of the session:

The slides are available here


Feel free to contact me anytime for a conversation about how libraries can help support the SDGs or other related themes about libraries or sustainability

New challenges for 2020

I have two pieces of exciting news to share:

1) I am starting my own business in early 2020. Lately, I have been doing consultancy in Denmark, and Europe centred around Strategic leadership, innovation, collaboration and project management.
I will have a desk in the heart of Copenhagen for the next 12 weeks in a shared space with 49 other startups. The scope is to win and fail and learn from both.
I will share the journey with you on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and here on the blog using the hashtag #HolmquistStartup

2) For the next 9 months, I will work part-time as a Project Lead for a national library learning project centred around digital learning for library staff and digital leadership for library managers.

I am very excited about both new opportunities and as always. I will keep you posted.

What´s he building in there?

… We have a right to know as Tom Waits sings/croons/says on his wonderful album Mule Variations.

A few sentences about what I have been doing/are up to these days:

Upcoming cross European project:
As a consultant, I am working with two well known European organisations on what could be a substantial new game-changing project for libraries and citizenship. I will update you more on this when there is news and when I can reveal more.

Libraries and health:
Culture can play an essential part in health and in recovery from illness. Research shows this, and several projects worldwide have been completed or are ongoing. To create a healthy, happy, meaningful life for everyone, we have to recognise the power of artists, arts organisations, museums and libraries in healthcare and beyond. Stories and the narratives people tell about their own lives also have a role to play. The new project will be research-based and evolves around this mindset.
Yet another still secret project. Yes, transparency is a core value for me, but I am however to negotiate with core partners, and it would be disrespectful to share info they need to know first.

Strategy and leadership:
I recently hade the opportunity to talk share my experience and view on strategic leadership with professionals doing leadership training. I am also working as a consultant on strategy, strategy implementation and mentoring of new leaders. 

London Calling:
I am once again Co-Charing Internet Librarian International. I hope to see you soon in London, UK!

Lyrics