For the fourth year in a row, the Goethe-Institut New York has selected two German librarians to be “Librarians in Residence”: Kathrin Besier, deputy director of the library of the philosophy department at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, and Britta Schmedemann, director of the branch library Bremen-Vegesack. Both bring their own, unique takes on issues they wish to explore with colleagues in the US. They look forward to finding inspiration for personal career development as well as more generally for the advancement of library science in Germany.
Britta Schmedemann sent in an application under the title, “To be or not to be, that is the question for more and more branch libraries!” She’d like to find a way to repackage her ideas in more ‘forward-thinking concepts’ and believes that ‘peaking behind the scenes’ at other libraries will be a valuable experience. She’d like a residence with a library in New York, where she’ll examine the challenges faced by the many branch libraries of the city’s three library systems and compare their solutions with her own.
The library of the philosophy department where Kathrin Besier works is also faced with some challenges: “From both organizational and physical standpoints, the departmental library will be folded into new central library. The Grimm-Center in Berlin is the model for a large, social sciences library center that is to be built starting in 2016.” Issues relating to the construction of new libraries are the main focus for her stay in the US. But she’d also like to discuss “the impact of electronic media on libraries and the profession” and the resulting realignment of a number of US libraries. In a country in which 70% of libraries already offer e-books, she is sure to gather a wealth of experiences.
We are very pleased to make residences available to these two young and engaged colleagues. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who applied. It was extremely difficult to narrow down our choices – the colleagues from ‘Bibliothek & Information International’ (who co-finance the program) and the Goethe-Institut were impressed with the dedication of the colleagues and the quality of the applications.
Monday, 18. April 2011
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