A Scandinavian approach to Libraries

My fascination of libraries started in my very early childhood and has been a lifelong love affair.

For more than forty years I have been working with public libraries in an international context. My first book in English, ‘New Trends in Scandinavian Public Libraries’ appeared in 1988. Since then I have been giving lectures worldwide and worked with consultancy tasks in many countries, and also held a position as an EU-project evaluator.

After 37 years of service in different positions as lecturer, researcher, consultant and for the last 15 years as CEO in the Danish Agency for Libraries and Media, I started Thorhauge Consulting. For 10 years I’ve worked as an independent consulting and advisory service within public service culture- and knowledge institutions. I give lectures, run seminars, facilitate strategy-development processes, write reports and evaluate Projects. My focus is on the transformation of cultural habits and institutions in a globalised digital world.


Jens Thorhauge
Jens Thorhauge

In 1967 I became a student worker at Aarhus Public Library and I’ve worked with libraries ever since.

New Library Concepts

The digital development revolutionized the media and library landscape. Not just platforms but focus areas. Most of our social institutions – including libraries and media – are rooted in the industrial society and often struggle with a heavy organizational legacy. There are many challenges in the knowledge and innovation society that are impossible to address without changing the organizational levers and strategy. Looking at citizens’ changing needs rather than products is one factor that should be incorporated in the development of new services and distribution strategies. I’ve specialized in this area.

I use my experience in continuous efforts to develop library and media services in an optimum way in relation to social and public needs. I offer:

  • Strategic review of your library. This can either be a single visit with a review of activities and organization, with a subsequent dialog – or a more thorough work on policy and strategy alignment.
  • Strategic review in collaboration with other consultants who are part of my network. For example, a strategic overhaul coupled with a review of the library’s layout and design, or a ‘public service offer’-check.
  • Strategic competency development in relation to new tasks. I can facilitate staff conferences and help organise them.
  • I happily give presentations – see a selection of my shelf products here.




4 tidligere nordiske rigschefer

Three Scandinavian CEO-colleagues and I formed Scandinavian Alliance Group, offering advisory services based on lifelong experience with ‘the Scandinavian Model’ in libraries, archives and other cultural- and knowledge institutions. We operated from 2014-2021.

Thorhauge Consulting 2012-2022

After retiring as a CEO in The Danish Agency for Library and Media I worked as a consultant for 10 years.

I have had tasks in China, Georgia, Lithuania, England, Scotland, Singapore, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Ukraine. Examples of work below.


Concept development


  • Advisor in the strategy-development process for Berlins Bezirkbibliotheke.

  • Development of concepts, plans and spaces for a new library in Lillestrøm in Norway.

  • Engaged in development of ‘Kulturhuset’ in Randers, Denmark

  • Building three scenarios for the future core service at Copenhagen Libraries. I also did a business intelligence analysis for Copenhagen Libraries.

Seminars, workshops end lectures

  • Ukranian Library Association, Kiev

  • Berlin Zentral- und Landesbibliothek (including city councilors, management and staff)

  • Bücherpiraten, Lübech

  • Quebec’s Library Association, Montreal

  • Visegrad Conference, Warsaw

  • Czezch Library Association, Olomuc

  • Seminar for Swedish Central Libraries, Øland

  • Strategy seminar for Slovakian Library directors

  • Lectures for the Danish State Agency for Culture

  • 650 years anniversary seminar for the Austrian National Library, Vienna

  • University College, Oslo

  • Moderator for Danish Association of Library Directors’ Annual Conference (BCF)

  • Danish Association of Research Libraries (DFFU)

  • Nordic Association of Authors (NFOR)

  • Strategy seminars  for a number of Danish Libraries




Coaching and Board Work

Vice Chairman of Museum Amager.

Previous Board member of the Swedish Library Association, till 2018 member of Advisory Board, Workers Museum, Copenhagen.

For articles, please see Inspiration and links in the Danish texts.

Feel free to contact me by phone +45 2142 6797 or email jt@jensthorhauge.dk

My son Thomas Thorhauge made this caricature of me, for The Danish Library Association in 2012