New KIM director

Director Petra Hätscher retires – her vice director, Oliver Kohl-Frey, now leads the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM)

On 31 December 2021, an era came to an end at the University of Konstanz. Petra Hätscher, the long-time director of the Library and the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) at the University of Konstanz has retired. In 1996, she moved from Berlin to Lake Constance to take up her job as vice director of the Library. Her successor Oliver Kohl-Frey, who took over the position of KIM director on 1 January 2022, has worked with the Library/KIM since 2001, acting as deputy to Petra Hätscher since 2008.

Library of the year and reorganization
During Petra Hätscher's time as director the following major events took place: In 2010, the University of Konstanz Library was recognized as "Library of the Year" by the German Library Association (Deutscher Bibliotheksverband) and the foundation of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. However, ten days after this award, major parts of the Library had to be closed due to the unexpected discovery of asbestos. Led by Petra Hätscher, large-scale renovation work took place from 2011 to 2017, after which the Library re-emerged as a modern place of study and academic work.

KIM as provider for all IT and Library services
In 2014, the Library, IT Service Centre and IT of the university administration merged to form the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM). Since its foundation, Petra Hätscher was one of two KIM directors and became the sole director in 2016. This was followed by the renovation of the central computer rooms and the technical reorganization of the university's Data Centre.

Promoting Open Access
The University of Konstanz's pioneering role in the field of Open Access, the worldwide free and open access to scientific publications, is also due in no small part to Petra Hätscher's strong commitment, resulting in the university's Open Science Policy (in German), which was adopted by the Senate and Rectorate in autumn 2021. Petra Hätscher also advocated library and science policy issues both at the state and national levels as a board member of the German Library Association (dbv) and in committees of the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Previous vice director is now director
Her successor, Oliver Kohl-Frey, has worked with the University of Konstanz since 2001.  

After working as subject coordinator for the field of Politics and Public Administration, he became vice director of the Library in 2008, and of KIM in 2016. During his period of office as vice director, the award "Library of the Year" as well as the renovation and reorganization took place. As director of the KIM user services, Oliver Kohl-Frey has been responsible in recent years for the integration of IT support and library advisory services, among other things, as well as for numerous other projects with a strong IT component. Under his leadership, KIM will continue to expand its services for research, teaching, science administration and studies.

Key facts:

  • Director of the Communication, Information, Media Centre (KIM) retired on 31 December 2021
  • Starting 1 January 2022, the previous vice-director, Oliver Kohl-Frey took over
  • Petra Hätscher had been the director of the Library since 2007, the first KIM spokesperson since 2007, and its sole director since 2016.
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