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International library leaders explore the purpose and future of libraries

Facet Publishing announces the publication of Bold Minds: Library leadership in a time of disruption edited by Margaret Weaver and Leo Appleton.

London  ()

Are librarians and libraries relevant in the 21st century? This is a fundamental question and one that presents differing opinions across the many diverse information sectors. If there is a continuing need for libraries and for librarians, then how do library leaders obtain strategic support? There appears to be a lack of clarity or understanding about the very purpose of libraries at a time when economically, libraries are under pressure to develop new business models and be more commercially focused.

Bold Minds: Library leadership in a time of disruption brings together international leaders who frame many aspects of the current library provision and who carry responsibility for the library models of the future to consider how librarians and libraries can be a driving force in a time of disruptive economic, technological and cultural change.

With international contributions from Canada, Sweden, South Africa and the UK, each chapter critically presents a short leadership provocation regarding libraries and their purpose, and the book encompasses impact, service delivery, collections, and staff skills. Professional training is also explored, and assessment of not only what it means for leaders, their sectors and organisations but how they have developed their personal leadership signature.

Professor Alison Brettle, of the University of Salford, said of the book: ‘The future of libraries and librarians has long been questioned with many commentators demising their role and misperceiving what libraries and librarians have to offer society. Bold Minds is a thought-provoking collection of pieces from a wide range of inspirational library leaders. As well as providing many positive examples of potential ways forward, it challenges librarians to think differently.’

Sue Roberts, University Librarian and Director of Libraries and Learning Services at The University of Auckland, said: ‘Bold Minds was written before Covid-19 disrupted our world, yet it is an amazingly prescient book, challenging us to consider ways of leading, ways of thinking and being as professionals and leaders, in order to shape the role of libraries now and into the future. It has broad sweep both in terms of ideas and coverage – of sectors and countries – and there is something here for everyone.’


- End


Press and review copies contact:

Fleurie Crozier, Publishing Assistant, Facet Publishing

Tel: +44 (0) 2045132842




Bold Minds: Library leadership in a time of disruption | Nov 2020 | 280pp | paperback: 9781783304530 | £60 | hardback: 9781783304547 | £120


Margaret Weaver is former Director of Library and Learning Resources at Birmingham City University and prior to this was Head of Library Services at Brunel University London, and Director of Library and Student Services at the University of Cumbria. A founding member of the Northern Collaboration group of academic libraries, she has also chaired the North West Academic Libraries (NoWAL) collaboration. Margaret is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and a chartered member of CILIP. She is also a member of the editorial board of the New Review of Academic Librarianship and a regular contributor to professional literature.

Leo Appleton is a Senior University Teacher in the Information School at the University of Sheffield, where he teaches on library and information services management programmes. He was previously Director of Library Services at Goldsmiths, University of London and has held numerous other leadership and management roles in universities and further education colleges throughout his career. Leo gained his PhD in social informatics from Edinburgh Napier University in 2020, where he carried out research into the role of public libraries within the information society. He is a chartered fellow of CILIP, the Library and Information Association, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is the editor-in-chief of the New Review of Academic Librarianship.


Sheila Corrall, former chair of the Library and Information Science programme at the University of Pittsburgh

Rebecca Davies, Head of Cultural Skills EU region at the British Council

Janine Downes, Interim Manager of The Hive, Europe's first fully integrated University and Public Library

Lotta Haglund, Head of Library and Archive at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences

Richard Heseltine, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the James Reckitt Library Trust

Rosie Jones, Director of Student and Library Services at Teeside University

Judith Keene, University Librarian at the University of Worcester

Liz McGettigan, Director of Digital Library Experiences at SOLUS UK

Shaunna Mireau, Client Relationship Manager (West) at Alexsei

Robert Moropa, Director and Head of the University of Pretoria Library

Marguerite Nel, Head of Library Technical Services at the University of Pretoria

John Pateman, Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer at Thunder Bay Public Library

Annikki Roos, Library Director at the Karolinksa Institutet University Library

Lindiwe Soyizwapi, Deputy Director for Academic Support at the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria

Isak van der Walt, Digital Scholarship and MakerSpace manager at the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria

Petra Wallgren Björk, Head of Department, Customer Services and Pedagogy at the Karolinska Institutet University Library


The book is published by Facet Publishing and is available to order from NBN International | Tel: +44 (0)1572 202301| Fax: +44 (0)1752 202333 | Email: | Web: | Mailing Address: NBN International, Airport Business Centre, Thornbury Road, Plymouth, PL6 7PP |  It will be available in North America from the American Library Association.



Facet Publishing
Editorial Contact:
Fleurie Crozier
+44 (0)20 4513 2842