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NAPLE Forum 2021

Thursday 20th May, 1pm-3pm CET

Please join us for the NAPLE Forum 2021 where we will be discussing the impact of public libraries as we emerge from the pandemic period, and looking over the horizon to see what’s next for the public library sector in the next 12 months.

Participation is open to everyone with an interest in the future of public libraries in Europe.

Please register for the event and a link for participation will be sent to you via email.


  • Welcome
    • Stuart Hamilton, Head of Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency (Ireland) and NAPLE President
  • A Library Visit is Not Just a Number: The Value and Impact of Public Libraries
    • Christian Lauersen, Director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark
  • What’s Next for the Sector?
    • What’s next for Europe’s public libraries as we slowly emerge from the COVID pandemic? Representatives from Europe’s leading library organisations will discuss the impact of COVID on the library model, and what issues we all need to be paying attention to in the next year and beyond.
      • Giuseppe Vitiello (Director, the European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations)
      • Stephen Wyber (Manager, Policy and Advocacy, IFLA)
      • Ilona Kish (Director, Public Libraries 2030)
      • Barbara Schleihagen (Executive Director, German Library Association; NAPLE Board)
  • Taking the Temperature
    • We will gamble with technology by working through an online poll designed to share your thoughts on where Europe’s public libraries are heading next, and what your priorities are for 2021 and 2022.


Christian Lauersen is based in Copenhagen and is Director of Libraries and Citizen Services in Roskilde Municipality, Denmark. He believes that libraries are crucial institutions for all communities, helping to create an open, more diverse, inclusive and equal world. One of Christian’s main professional interests is how shared public places like libraries foster stronger communities. He is proud founder of Library Planet – a crowdsourced travel guide to libraries of the world – and the very first library bossa nova song.
Twitter: @clauersen
The Library Lab

The impact of public libraries in Denmark:

Giuseppe Vitiello has been Director, EBLIDA since 2019. From 1989 to 2018 he served as Head of Unit, Programme Adviser and Expert in various international organisations: European Commission, Council of Europe, ISSN International Centre, EU Institute of Security Studies and NATO Defense College. Earlier in his carrier, he acted as Head R&D, National Library in Florence and lectured at the Universities of Orléans and Toulouse. He also held visiting positions at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart and the University of Venice.

With a master in Political Science – international relations, he has post-graduated diplomas in History (Paris, E.H.E.S.S.) and in Library Science (School of administration, Rome). He is the author of six books and more than one hundred articles in library & information science and history of culture.

Stephen Wyber is Manager, Policy and Advocacy at IFLA. In this role, he works with members of the Policy and Advocacy Team both to represent the interests of libraries, their staff and users in international discussions, and to provide tools and materials to support advocacy at the national level. Key areas of advocacy for IFLA include alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, international copyright reforms, internet governance and universal connectivity, intellectual freedom and wider human rights, and the safeguarding of heritage.

He joined IFLA in 2016, previously working for the UK foreign ministry for seven years in Paris. He studied at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and the College of Europe, Warsaw.

Ilona Kish is a Library Avenger. As Director of Public Libraries 2030, she aims to create a stronger European library sector through EU advocacy and network building. A former Secretary General of Culture Action, Ilona has extensive experience in EU advocacy and campaigning, as well as a thorough working knowledge of both the operational and political functions of EU institutions.

Barbara Schleihagen is the Executive Director of the German Library Association representing about 9,000 libraries, based in Berlin, Germany. I am a trained librarian and hold a master’s degree (MSc Econ) in “Management of Libraries and Information Services” of the University of Wales. After completion of my studies I worked in various positions in foreign cultural policy (British Council, EBLIDA, IFLA) before I joined the library association in 2004.

Since 2001, I am a personal member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). From 2007-2011 and again 2015-2017 I served as a member of the IFLA Governing Board. Currently, I serve as a member of the NAPLE Forum Governing Board.

Copyright: Stiftung Lesen

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