At its annual assembly meeting on May 29th, 2020 the 23 member countries of the National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe (NAPLE) Forum approved new statutes and elected a new six-member Board for the period 2020-2023. The NAPLE Forum is an international non-governmental association pursuing the interests of the national authorities for public libraries in Europe. Its main aim is to promote principles and strategies for public library policies.
NAPLE’s new statutes set out the following objectives for the organisation:
- to provide the platform for national authorities for public libraries to cooperate in the facilitation of public library policy making in Europe, thus supporting coherent European library policy development;
- to contribute together with other actors to a knowledge base on European public library policy making;
- to provide best practices on the work of public libraries;
- to inspire the furthering of national development of library services, for example by focusing on certain specific topics and scrutinising them in detail;
- to identify suitable areas for co-operation among national authorities for public libraries in Europe.
The new NAPLE Board consists of the following members:
- Dr. Stuart Hamilton, Head of Libraries Development, Local Government Management Agency, Ireland (President)
- Franziska Baetcke, Director of Bibliomedia Switzerland
- Bruno Duarte Eiras, Public Libraries Services Head of Department, General Directorate of Books, Archives and Libraries, Portugal
- Arne Gundersen, Senior Adviser within the Department for Library Development in the National Library of Norway
- Aleš Klemen, Coordinator of Special Tasks of Central Regional Library, Slovenia
- Barbara Schleihagen, Executive Director of the German Library Association, Germany
Dr. Stuart Hamilton will serve as NAPLE President for the period 2020-2023. Following the election of the Board and the approval of the new statutes, he said: “I’m extremely happy to lead NAPLE forward during this challenging but exciting time for public libraries in Europe. NAPLE members have unanimously adopted new statutes and objectives to give our organisation new impetus and direction. Now we are looking forward to working together, and with other library partners in Europe, to develop and share the best practices and policies that will help public libraries respond to the impact of COVID-19.”
NAPLE will now move swiftly to reach out to the broader library community in Europe, and to tackle pressing issues such as the continuing response to COVID-19 and the commercial and legal frameworks around library provision of eBooks. NAPLE will continue to expand its Sister Libraries Programme and to develop a new communications approach for the coming three years.
NAPLE membership is open to all national public library authorities, or the nearest equivalent to such policy making institutions with national responsibilities for public library services, or, within a federate system, institutions that can assume the appropriate level of such responsibilities. Interested members should be nominated by contacting the NAPLE secretariat: firstname.lastname@example.org