New management University Library


New management University Library


Since last week, the University Library has a new director: Dr Jochen Johannsen.

To mark his start at the UB, he answered brief questions from the Social Media Team:

1. Why Aachen and the RWTH?

I have liked Aachen since my youth. I grew up in Düren and often went to Aachen with friends, and I also met my wife for the first time in Aachen (well, actually it was Vaals).
During the Corona period, I thought about whether I wanted to do something "new" again, and if so, what. It was precisely during this period of reflection that I received a call from Aachen asking me if I could imagine taking over as head of the UB. And of course RWTH is an extremely attractive institution, so I decided to accept this nice challenge, even though I really liked my previous work at the UB Siegen.

2. What do you wish for the future of the university library?

I look forward to many interesting, interested and open-minded colleagues who enjoy the UB and want to make it even better together with me. A university library is a complex organism in a complex environment, where I am convinced that it is necessary to be curious together as a team and to reinvent ourselves again and again. I have already experienced that this can bring a lot of joy and fulfilment, and I am sure that RWTH Aachen University offers the perfect environment for this.

4. What has had a particular impact on you?

I have been particularly influenced by the people with whom I have mastered complex situations. It is exciting to put one's own needs in relation to others and to put on the other person's glasses in the process. I look forward to continuing to communicate with each other on an equal footing and in a spirit of trust.

5. Are you active in social media?

I like to use social media (Twitter) in part to inform myself about current topics, such as Open Access, new library buildings, what's on the minds of colleagues, etc. But I'm concerned about the social impact of the media.

However, I am concerned about the polarisation of society through social media and the tendency to no longer talk to each other, but rather to spread slogans suitable for social media. Those who shout the loudest seem to be successful in communication. I see this fatal development as harmful to our democracy and the people. By the way, libraries play an important social role as a corrective and as institutions of an open democratic society based on knowledge and education.

Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you a good start in Aachen and look forward to working with you!