Johanna Hansson new Library Director

Portrati of Johanna Hansson i the library.

Johanna Hansson has held the position of deputy library director at Uppsala University Library since 2019. Foto: Jens Gustavsson

On 1 August, Johanna Hansson will take over as new library director at Uppsala University Library. Succeeding Lars Burman, who is returning to research after 12 years as library director, she will be the first woman in the role.

“Uppsala University Library is a fantastic organisation with dedicated and well-qualified staff. This is the home of our communal memory, in the form of unique collections, and here AI methods are being developed for the future. Leading an organisation like this is a real privilege,” says Hansson.

Uppsala University Library was founded in 1620 by King Gustav II Adolf. He also donated a collection of books that served as a starting point for the vast collections built up over the library’s more than 400-year history. The holdings currently comprise over six million printed publications. Many of them are now also available in electronic formats.

“The University Library is such a vital and central resource for both education and research at Uppsala University. It is essential for researchers today to have access to the latest scholarly publications and databases. It is equally important for students to have access to the study environment at the library, with both digital and personal service,” says Coco Norén, Chair of the Library Board and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University, who was responsible for the recruitment process.

Modern technology

Continuing to make the collections accessible online is a task that new library director Johanna Hansson considers very important, along with developing AI methods.

“Modern technology makes it possible to address new research questions to older material. Digital and physical formats, new and old, past and future interact with and reinforce one another. The present is also very much alive here. The University Library is a continuously open, reliable and accessible resource, primarily for students, academic staff and researchers, but also for the general public,” says Hansson.

Thoroughly familiar with her place of work

She is a qualified librarian who has held senior positions at various libraries over the past 20 years, including the role of city librarian in Uppsala and area manager at Stockholm city library. Hansson chaired the Swedish Library Association between 2018 and 2022. She has held the position of deputy library director at Uppsala University Library since 2019, so even if she is new in the role of library director, she is thoroughly familiar with her place of work.

“The library is there for its users. I look forward to working broadly with people throughout the University and contributing to essential national coordination in areas such as digitalisation and long-term collection building, together with colleagues at other libraries,” Hansson says.

Coco Norén feels assured about the recruitment of the new library director.

“We have conducted a thorough process and Johanna Hansson was chosen in stiff competition by a unanimous committee. We are really pleased to be able to appoint her as new library director at Uppsala University. Johanna Hansson has a comprehensive library background and a great commitment to developing the role of the library at Uppsala University,” says Norén.

Åsa Malmberg

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