Dr Paul Ayris, who served as LIBER President for four years and the Foundation for a decade, has now finished his term at the head of the Foundation.
At the LIBER 2014 Annual Conference, a new President, Kriistina Hormia-Poutanen, was appointed.
Ms Hormia-Poutanen gave the following speech in honour of Dr Ayris’s achievements during his time as President of LIBER.
Paul, during the ten years you have served the LIBER Foundation, the organisation has undergone a major change. As President of LIBER, you and LIBER as an organisation have become familiar to many stakeholders with whom LIBER did not used to collaborate very much. Because of your activities, many new doors have opened for LIBER and LIBER libraries.
The most significant new partners for LIBER are the European Commission and, in particular, the two Directorates, DG Connect (Digital Agenda) and DG Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020; European Research Area (ERA) & Innovation Union); LERU, RDA, SPARC Europe and COAR.
Your achievements have been remarkable, and I will mention some of them.
Paul´s different roles with LIBER:
- Paul was elected to the Executive Board in 2004 and chaired the then Access Division
- Vice-President of LIBER 2008-2010
- President of LIBER 2010-2014
- Adviser to the LIBER Executive Board 2014-2016
- Strategy work: The first LIBER Strategy for 2009-2012 was overseen by Hans Geleijnse at the start, but from 2010 the implementation and evaluation of the Strategy became Paul’s responsibility. The planning for the second Strategy for 2013-2015 was carried out with the LIBER Executive Board and LIBER libraries.
- EU projects: Under Paul´s Presidency, LIBER has grown into a ‘project organisation’. EU projects have meant visibility at European Commission level and among LIBER libraries. For LIBER libraries, projects have meant collaborating at European level, developing new services and expertise. EU projects have also brought a new income stream for the LIBER Foundation and new staff to manage the projects.
- Advocacy: Through EU projects and lobbying at the Commission, the work done in European research libraries and in the LIBER Foundation have become much better known. LIBER has been able to influence the content of the Horizon 2020 programme. The work undertaken in relation to legal issues, especially copyright, has also been important.
- LIBER Office: The LIBER Office has seen a major change during these past years. The number of staff and the level of expertise have grown significantly.
- Publishing: LIBER Quarterly has become a fully open access journal.
Paul, thank you for all your work! You have put your heart and soul into LIBER and into the development of our activities.
I am happy to tell you that Paul will continue with LIBER as an Adviser to the Executive Board. His role will focus on Advocacy and Lobbying at a European level, especially in relation to Horizon 2020, and fundraising related to EU projects. Our collaboration will continue.
Paul, we wish you all the best for the future.