John Pateman

John Pateman

Working Group on Intellectual Freedom

Chief Librarian/CEO
Thunder Bay Public Library

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) andDeveloping Community-Led Public Libraries (2013, with Ken Williment). His latest publication is Managing Cultural Change in Public Libraries (2019, 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 the Director of the Cuban Libraries Solidarity Campaign and received the National Culture Award from the Cuban government for his work in support of Cuban libraries. 

John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a founding member and editorial collective member of Information For Social Change.

He is a member of the CFLA-FCAB Indigenous Matters Committee, the CFLA-FCAB National Forum Planning Committee, Progressive Librarians Guild Co-ordinating Committee, and the Centre for Free Expression Working Group..