Our board

Our governing board and founding members are made up of leaders of some of the most exciting library services across Europe.

Chair: Marie Østergaard

Marie is Library Director of Aarhus Public Libraries. Since the beginning of her career in 2001 she has been part of Aarhus Public Libraries’ development of the library as a democratic space. Focusing on the knowledge city, user-involvement, partnerships, design thinking and rethinking of library space, she has investigated new technologies, involvement processes and organisational learning in library development. She was the project leader of the building of Dokk1,the main library, implementing and developing these ideas as well as introducing new formats of user- and citizen involvement in the planning and construction.

Board member: Neil MacInnes

Neil is the Strategic Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture at Manchester City Council. He has over 30 years experience in public libraries having worked in a range of roles with Glasgow City Council during a 20-year period and is now Strategic Lead for Libraries, Galleries and Culture with Manchester City Council. During his time as President of Society of Chief Librarians, he helped secure the £2m funding award from Arts Council England and oversaw their transformation into Libraries Connected.

I’m delighted to be part of Public Libraries 2030 which builds on the success of Public Libraries 2020. I have found it really valuable working with library leaders from across Europe, sharing learning and good practice which I’ve been been able to implement in Manchester. The power of the library network and the willingness to collaborate on projects is second to none. Public Libraries 2030 will allow us to have pan European conversations which could open new doors and bring new opportunities for public libraries and our citizens.

Board member: Erna Winters

Erna is the Managing Director, Public Library Kennemerwaard. She began her library career as a volunteer at the age of eight or nine, helping the local librarian to put the books on the shelves. Her current responsibilities include networking with local and provincial governments and making connections with other institutions for joint projects. In the last 10 years Erna has worked with her library team to innovate and upgrade the level of services provided to the users of their public library.

This group of visionary librarians have a strong passion for libraries, but especially for the communities served libraries all over the Europe, we are taking advocacy to the next level. PL2030 advocates to get the message across that libraries matter, change lives and that politicians should be much more aware of all the things libraries do to serve the citizens in their country/community. PL2030 brings together a group of passionate librarians that can deliver the message on why libraries matter, in word, data and action to politicians and other decision makers.

Founding member: Arjan Beune

Arjan is the former deputy director of the Reading and Writing Foundation in the Netherlands, and the previous host of Public Libraries 2020. He is currently on sabbatical in Australia – discovering new ways of serving the community, working with local refugee NGOs. Previously Arjan, was a senior advisor to the ministry of culture of the Netherlands.

I believe in connecting people and organisations to learn from each other and help both individuals and society grow stronger. PL2030 has a proven record of connecting innovative and inspiring people successfully within the field of libraries throughout the world and in Europe in particular. It connects the policy field of libraries to other crucial policy areas such as digital skills, social inclusion and freedom of information. It can be a bridge in linking emerging societal needs and the essential roles that libraries can play going forward.

Founding member: Erik Boekesteijn

Erik is Senior Advisor at the National Library at the Netherlands and a Library Avenger. He is a facilitator and consultant for IFLA. He is the owner of Shanachie Media and producer of This Week in Libraries and ShanachieTours, a worldwide tour of searching for best practice in libraries. Erik is also a presenter, motivator, musician and author. Library Journal’s Mover and Shaker of the library world 2009 and Best Librarian in the Netherlands 2015.

Being among a group of inspiring library change agents and experts with a great sense of urgency and need for action and a focus on real issues makes me feel very proud. PL2030 is our Brussels connection: close to the people in power who can help us make change happen for libraries. PL2030 is advocacy for libraries in a place where this was not available before. We will keep putting libraries on the EU agenda and run innovative projects over Europe and share experiences and knowledge to help libraries across Europe to be better at serving their users.

Founding member: R. David Lankes

R. David is a professor and the director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and the recipient of the American Library Association’s 2016 Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship. His book, The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature. R. David is a passionate advocate for librarians and their essential role in today’s society.

I am proud to be part of PL2030 and the team of innovators and passionate advocates for librarians and libraries. To me it is an example of the new type of organization that is needed right now in Europe, and abroad. It combines passion and pragmatics, and builds on a proven record of advocacy.  You have library directors, academics, and consultants that have a proven record of building a vision of libraries centered on communities, and transforming libraries across Europe.

As the world moves to a more data-driven applications, PL2030, building on the great success of PL2020, it really can put the Smart Citizen in Smart Cities. It does this in a modern distributed fashion. Rather than trying to build a single monolithic organization, it is building a massive network of innovators and leaders in Europe, the US, and abroad. It is modelling the community-focused learning and advocacy organization that libraries must become to well serve citizens.

Founding member: Ton van Vlimmeren

Ton is the Director at Public Library Utrecht. He trained and worked as a psychologist, teacher, educational consultant and Director of Public Education in Utrecht. He was vice-president of the Dutch Library Association and member of the governmental steering committee for library innovation in the Netherlands. He contributed to the International Libraries Network of the Bertelsmann Foundation and was an advisor for the Global Libraries Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I think it is important that policies, legislation and funding opportunities at the European level include libraries and support their work; stimulate the role libraries can play in society and support innovation to become even more relevant. Informing and lobbying for libraries in Europe and bridging to the national and local level is part of the work of EBLIDA. I am happy support Public Libraries 2030 because with their presence in Brussels, their experience and innovative approach is something we cannot afford to miss.