July 12, 2009

Innovation at DOK

Filed under: precat — Tags: , , , — tsladmin @ 4:14 pm

Shanachies Erik, Jaap, and Geert talk about the DOK Library
Jaap is the “head of innovation” at DOK – love that title
DOK = Library Concept Center
video of library manager Eppo touring DOK
– showed Bluetooth download station
– music pods
– video games (“The library can’t be without games.”)
it’s all about people – share the stories to tell and make the stories
DOK sits on one side of “culture square” – they named it that because they’re across from a movie and theater
there’s a lot of color in DOK because they believe this is important to lift people up, help motivate them to share their stories
the staff offices on the top floor are totally open – not just open source, but open access to staff 🙂
have a “reading cafe” with the magazines
they put the timely reading materials right near the food and coffee/cafe
the building is a converted supermarket – it’s concrete but made attractive
the bookshelves don’t have a top shelf, so they seem more open
not collecting dust
shelf along the bottom to display the books but can also use it to step up and reach the top shelf
Geert does the signage – it’s attractive and uses everyday language
the library has a very luxurious look but the bookcases are made of NDF (?)
spend the money on services, rather than bookcases
the children’s collection is on bookshelves that are on wheels, so movable; allows them to move the collection for programming
all of the children’s bookshelves are green so easy to identify
the kids can stand on the bookshelves and it’s okay
one sign in the adult collection uses an image from Psycho :-p
their electronic signage runs on Nintendo Wiis because it’s cheap! 🙂
cost about a quarter of the price, plus can use the Wiis for game tournaments
the floor has a rubber texture so playful
an area where people can learn languages
it’s a quiet area and an open study room
snoic chairs (music pods)
an enriching experience that goes beyond just lending out CDs
can sit in the chairs and listen to music that only you hear
the touchscreens are hooked up to the library’s network, so can watch movies
the “romance room” is completely red
kids like to come study in this room and use the library’s wifi
they dim the lights to make people look better (rather than harsh, bright lights)
people can take food and drink from the cafe anywhere in the building
offer an art collection for checkout, with paintings out for display
have a catalog online where residents can reserve paintings
projects they’re working on now:
started a new “science and innovation” department to look at different ways to bring people together around data
1. hacked a Microsoft Surface table
worked with Technical University in Delft
developed two applications for it, one of which is finished
second one, still working on, will be a news quiz – users will work together using the table
brings people together around topics of interest
first application uses special barcodes on the library card
put your card on the table and it reads your address, shows you historical images for your address
totally freaking cool video of how this works, narrated by the student who developed the software
can also use a map application to find images from any street
also includes video
can sort images
because the table can detect objects, it can detect shapes, so there’s a ring you can place on top that acts as a magnifier
2. DOK Agora “Storyboard of your life”
works with material from the Delft Archive
idea is to get people to share their stories
a collection of storytelling tools for people visiting the library
let you see, hear, and watch other peoples’ stories, as well as tell your own
includes maps, paintings, etc.
the library is a collection of stories and culture – how can we get the community’s stories into the library?
huge screen with small stories on it that you can make larger
national archive, local archive
they pick a story, scan their library pass, the story is linked to it, go down one level to the storytelling area
this is where anyone in the community can add a picture, audio, video, etc. to the archive
when the archive has grown, they have a launch party for it (for specific topics)


  1. The acronym was MDF, a cheap wood fibre product, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-Density_Fibreboard

    Comment by Etienne Posthumus — July 13, 2009 @ 12:31 am

  2. NDF (?) is probably MDF (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-density_fibreboard)

    Comment by Marc Loman — July 13, 2009 @ 3:59 am

  3. I want to marry that hacked microsoft table. For serious it was the most beautiful thing I’ve seen all weekend.

    Comment by leah — July 13, 2009 @ 8:32 am

  4. The most amazing thing I’ve seen! Very similar to my thesis research work with RFID and bluetooth, but probably easier and using less technology to access the database! Have to add some more to the research now! As we know, technology, when it works is a blessing, but when it glitches it is cursed! Great to meet you at ALA Jenny, I hope to see you again with a working model of my ideas!

    Comment by Kent Barnard — July 19, 2009 @ 7:10 am

  5. Nice overview of one of the most inspiring libraries out there. Would love to see pics.

    Comment by Erica Jesonis — July 20, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  6. I didn’t know libraries like this existed!! As a law student, all I’ve ever experience are the plain boring endless and lifeless rows of books that line my school’s library and study rooms.

    Comment by Troy — July 20, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  7. Thanks, everyone. I think my favorite things about the Shanachies, besides the guys themselves, is their attitude, which is all too rare in our profession. They come up with the ideas first, completely free of the limitations that might be imposed on them. They truly believe anything is possible, a quality I’d love to have.
    Erica, I was lucky enough to visit DOK in 2008, and you can see my pictures of it at http://www.flickr.com/photos/shifted/sets/72157604142377648/. DOK has its own Flickrstream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/39841872@N00/, which shows a lot more of the human interaction they have with their community.
    That last point is an important one, because one of the things that didn’t come through in their presentation at ala2009 was that the Library was about to go under a few years ago. It was on the brink of disappearing altogether, neglected and unused. But the changes and innovations the staff have made completely turned things around, and now usage and support is skyrocketing. It’s truly a wonderful model.

    Comment by Jenny Levine — July 22, 2009 @ 5:47 am

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