Erna Winters, The Netherlands
Erna Winters (Noordoostpolder 1965) started her library career as a 8 year old volunteer in the public library in the village she lived nearby. The love for libraries that started in her childhood has driven her ever since. After following the Library- and Documentation Academy (1986) she has had several jobs in public libraries in The Netherlands. Starting as an assistant-librarian, from head of a small branche library to director of the public library of Alkmaar she knows library work from base to top. She has a Master of Business Administration, Public Governance, and her thesis “Innovate or die” investigated innovation in public libraries in the Netherlands.
Since 2004 Erna Winters has been involved in several committees concerning Public Libraries on a national and European level, among them Chair of the National Librarian Association, Public Libraries. Currently she is Treasurer of EBLIDA and Chair of the Innovation Board of the Sector Institute for Public Libraries in the Netherlands. She is now director of Public Library Kennemerwaard, a merged library for 211.000 inhabitants, that won several awards with branch libraries and projects. To place the library in its rightful place, in the heart of society is her main concern and drive. She aims to innovate by using ideas of retail and involving patrons of all ages to develop ideas and thus inventing the library of the future by learning by doing.