Demmy Verbeke is Head of Artes, a division of KU Leuven Libraries, and plays a central role in organizing library services for the Arts and Humanities at KU Leuven. He is a strong believer in (fair) Open Access and acts as section editor for the Open Library of Humanities.
He was trained as a (Neo-)Latinist, focusing on renaissance humanism in the Low Countries and England, the classical tradition and book history. Ever since he became a librarian, however, his research and teaching have mostly centered around (the role of research libraries in) scholarly communication and digital scholarship in the humanities.
A highlight of his career so far has been the creation of Artes – i.e. the merger of the Arts Faculty Library with units of KU Leuven Libraries (including parts of the former Central Library) and the centralisation of back-office services whilst at the same time strengthening localized front-office services. Part of this process was also to create space for new forms of librarianship in order to (re)establish the library as a central player in all parts of the research cycle and scholarly communication.
Participating in a working group is important to me because it means building a network of colleagues in research libraries all over Europe; exchanging tips, tricks, best practices and advice on (how to avoid) pitfalls; developing a common strategy, and analyzing my own vision in light of theory and practice at other research libraries.