Keynote Speaker

John Pateman standing with books

John Pateman

John Pateman has worked in public libraries for 40 years in a number of different roles ranging from Library Assistant to Chief Librarian.

John was Chief Librarian of three library systems in the UK: Hackney, a diverse inner London borough; Merton, a multicultural London suburb; and Lincolnshire, a large rural county.

John is currently Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer at Thunder Bay Public Library.

John was part of the research team which produced Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion (2000), which informed the Working Together Project (2004-2008) in Canada.

John is the author of Developing a Needs Based Library Service (2003), Public Libraries and Social Justice (2010, with John Vincent) and Developing Community-Led Public Libraries (2013, with Ken Williment). His latest publication is Managing Cultural Change in Public Libraries (2018, with Joe Pateman).

John writes a column – ‘Open to All?’ –  for Open Shelf, the OLA online journal, which explores barriers to library use and how to reduce or remove them.

John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and he received the National Culture Award from the Cuban government for his work in support of Cuban libraries.

John was a founding member of Information For Social Change and the Cuban Libraries Solidarity Campaign.

He is a member of the CFLA-FCAB Indigenous Matters Committee and the Progressive Librarians Guild Co-ordinating Committee.