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ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America: Dutch Librarians Take a 3-Week Expedition in the United States to Capture the Spirit of Librarians and Libraries

October 20, 2008, Monterey, CA—At the 12th annual Internet Librarian conference and exhibition, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) announced the release of ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America, a unique book/DVD set by Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer, with photographs by Geert van den Boogaard.

Releasing ShanachieTour at Internet Librarian is significant because it was here in Monterey last October where the three Dutch librarians wrapped up their road trip and previewed the first pieces of video from it. The crowd’s enthusiastic reaction to the ground-breaking project encouraged the trio to publish a book and movie about their cross-country journey.

The illustrated book, along with its 1-hour companion DVD, tells the story of how coworkers Erik, Jaap, and Geert drove an RV coast-to-coast to discover how American librarians are engaging their communities and envisioning their future. In the spirit of traveling Scots-Irish storytellers from the past (known as “Shanachies”), Erik, Jaap, and Geert traveled to libraries both large and small during their 3-week trek, meeting with librarians to encourage, record, and share their stories.

“Sometimes it takes different eyes to see the potential and promise of what we do,” says Michael Stephens, popular blogger, columnist, and library school professor. “The Shanachies traveled to America to share and make stories─and they made magic. This book gathers the [stories] for all of us to enjoy, to find inspiration, and to be challenged to keep on doing what we do the best ways we can. ... These fellows are true mages of libraryland.”

“The importance of the ShanachieTour lies in the indomitable spirit and delight with which [they] went after and captured stories both grand and small,” says Kathryn J. Deiss in the book’s foreword. “A good idea, a human idea, a seeking of understanding and connection are all at the heart of this unique experience…relive the tour through this wonderful volume and DVD.”

The ShanachieTour book includes original blog entries from the trip, insights from library professionals they interviewed, post-trip reflections, and vivid color photographs of libraries and their staff members, as well as scenery from around the country. Along the way, the three Shanachies videotaped their adventure, and they edited their film to create a 1-hour “road movie” that brings the trip to life. The documentary features conversations with forward-thinking librarians and educators from across the U.S., including the likes of John Blyberg, Michael Stephens, and Barbara Ford.

To learn more about the Shanachies and to see some video clips and photos, join their Facebook group at www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=11911660114 or check out their website at www.shanachietour.com. The book/DVD set can be purchased securely online at books.infotoday.com/books/ShanachieTour.shtml.

Book Launch and Signing at Internet Librarian
To celebrate the publication of ShanachieTour, Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer will sign copies of their book at the Information Today, Inc. booth at the Internet Librarian Conference on Monday, October 20, from 5:00–6:00PM.

About the Authors
Erik Boekesteijn works in the Communication and Innovation Department at DOK, the library concept center in Delft, the Netherlands. His work includes marketing, promotion, and innovation, and he works on many DOK Studio productions. Erik is one of the founders of the UGame ULearn project, which promotes gaming in libraries on a national and international level. Jaap van de Geer is head of the IT department at DOK. He is responsible for the self-invented, unique ILS called ClienTrix, which recently integrated Google Book Search. He also works on DOK’s website and is cameraman and editor on many productions of the DOK Studio department. Geert van den Boogaard is responsible for acquisition and external funding at DOK. In addition to fundraising, he works on signage and many other initiatives for DOK including Agora, the Story Board of Your Life project. He is an avid amateur photographer.

ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America (160 pp/softbound/$39.50/ISBN 978-1-57387-360-4) is published by Information Today, Inc. It is available in bookstores and direct from the publisher by calling (800) 300-9868 [outside the U.S., call (609) 654-6266]; faxing (609) 654-4309; emailing [email protected]; or visiting the ITI website at www.infotoday.com.

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