Interview: Barbara Lison


Six questions to Barbara Lison

Have you ever wondered why Barbara Lison, a new IFLA President-Elect, decided to be a librarian or what is her favourite book? If yes, you need to read our interview!

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©Carey Champoux

Barbara Lison has been the Director of the Bremen Public Library in Bremen, Germany, and the CEO of the Public Enterprise Bremen Public Library. Barbara has served as the President of Bibliothek Information Deutschland. She currently is the Chair of the German Library Association, dbv. She is a member of IFLA’s Governing Board, th incoming President Elect of IFLA and has held many leadership positions in the European Bureau for Libraries, Archives and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA). Barbara has been very active in advocacy for libraries, library policy and in the development of various European Union projects. She is a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees.

NPSIG: How did you become a librarian?

Barbara Lison: I became a librarian because I read a book about job opportunities for people having a university degree in humanities. This was in the early eighties and the job market for people like me was very poor. As I had worked for several years in the library of Bochum University as a student and got some experience in library work I thought: “Well, this can be an interesting job perspective!”

NPSIG: What is the librarian’s best friend?

Barbara Lison: Curiosity for the world and for people.

NPSIG: If you could go back in time to your 20s, what would you tell yourself?

Barbara Lison: Be more self-confident und follow your intuition more confidentially.

NPSIG: What other things do you think libraries are good at today, besides books and silence?

Barbara Lison: Be a place for communication with people, for knowledge and for learning.

NPSIG:  Which book would you recommend to read?

Barbara Lison:  Recommendation to read: Matilda, Roald Dahl. It´s the story of a girl who finds her way into life with the help of an excellent teacher and a great librarian. This book shows clearly the benefit of libraries and education – they really make a change.

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First UK edition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matilda_(novel)

NPSIG:  What is the worst side of the librarian in your opinion?

Barbara Lison: Addiction to books and inappropriate modesty.

NPSIG: Thank you, Barbara, for your time. Good luck!

You can find Barbara Lison on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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