TWIL #49: Erna Winters (Managing Director at Public Library Kennemerwaard) from Jaap van de Geer on Vimeo.
This Week In Libraries is back from summer holiday and is filming again. On August 11, TWIL featured Erna Winters, a public library director in the Netherlands. I started casually watching the recorded episode today over lunch and it ended up being so interesting that I grabbed a piece of mail that was on the kitchen table and started taking notes on the envelope.
Winters called herself "a typical librarian" and she turned out to be outspoken about advocacy and the need to spread messages & to convince politicians of libraries' value. I loved her passionate response to the whole "What do you say when someone tells you that we don't need libraries anymore?" question. One favorite quote:
"If you want democracy to work, then you need people to get all the information you need to make your own judgments." In context, her point was that info pros are necessary in society to help gather all the trustworthy info on a topic so individuals can make well-informed decisions.
Winters is also involved in a new partnership with a school that serves older teenage students. Every student will automatically receive a library card at the start of the year, and the school is paying for it. (In the Netherlands, everyone has to pay for library memberships.) This is a concerted effort to make sure all students have cards and then to promote benefits that will entice them to stay in town at the library instead of going right home after school. She also mentioned some other innovative projects that I'm going to keep an eye on.
So if you want to hear from "a typical librarian" in Holland, listen to talk about innovation and advocacy, and get your creative juices flowing, watch the latest episode of This Week In Libraries! (And there's a new one every Thursday!)