Bringing ideas, imagination, information and knowledge to people’s lives and communities

Our Board

Our trustees are collectively responsible for setting and reviewing the strategic direction of Libraries Unlimited, in line with its charitable objectives.

They all have a passion for the future of libraries, along with the vision, expertise and creativity to help the new organisation develop and grow sustainably.

Working with library staff, they make a vital contribution by helping deliver modern, vibrant and sustainable library services.

Joanne Launder profile picture

Joanne Launder

Interim Chief Executive

Jo is Head of Service Delivery for Libraries Unlimited and is currently acting Chief Executive and ex officio trustee on an interim basis. She has almost twenty years’ experience of working in libraries, most recently as an Area Manager for Devon Libraries and previously in library posts for the University of Plymouth, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of Leeds and Enfield Libraries.

As a member of the senior management team Jo is responsible for the delivery and development of library services for the organisation, working with the Service Delivery Team on innovative models of approach to ensure that libraries are at the heart of their local communities, meeting the needs and aspirations of local people.

A Chartered Librarian with an MA from University College London, Jo is passionate about the delivery of excellent customer service.

William Harvey

William Harvey

Chair

Will is Associate Dean of Research & Impact and Professor of Management at the University of Exeter Business School. He conducts research, teaches and consults in the areas of reputation, leadership, talent management and migration and has worked with pharmaceutical, healthcare, energy, local and national government, aviation and food organisations.

During his career he has studied, taught and worked with multiple organisations in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. He won the University of Exeter Business School Award for Collaboration, received a Commonwealth and Canadian Government Fellowship at the University of British Columbia and a Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford.

He has established an international reputation as an innovative and collaborative thinker and leader. He is committed to working with the Libraries Unlimited team to identify exciting and innovative ways to provide world-class library services.

Janet Fisher profile picture

Janet Fisher

Independent Trustee

Janet Fisher’s professional life has been spent working with children and young people, both in public and school libraries and charities concerned with literacy and the promotion of reading.

Since moving to Devon in 2007 she has been a Trustee of the Appledore Book Festival and with a colleague ran the Festival’s very successful schools programme.

Janet has worked in school libraries in Saudi Arabia and Montreal, and has an MSc in the Management of Libraries and Information Services. Janet has also established a project which makes quilts for wounded military personnel.

All through her working life she has been writing about children’s and young people’s literature, having published a book about historical fiction, contributed to several books in the field, and still regularly reviews children’s books.

Janet and her husband have a smallholding and vineyard in North Devon, where she also sings, quilts, is continuing to learn to play the piano, and is actively involved in her local church. She has a son and daughter and three grand –daughters.

Emily Macaulay MBE

Staff Trustee

Emily has worked within Devon Libraries since 2013 arriving as the refurbished Exeter Library prepared to open. Originally a Senior Supervisor for Operations Emily is now the Centre Manager for Exeter Library.

Previously to working in libraries Emily completed an undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Criminology and then worked in the criminal justice system within Devon and Cornwall, for the Police, Local Criminal Justice Board and most recently the Police Authority / Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner. In addition to her community engagement work in these organisations she was also elected Chair of the Gay Police Association, a staff support group for members of the policing family that identified as LGB/T. It was this work that saw Emily awarded an MBE for services to equality and diversity.

Outside of work Emily is a keen runner and uses this to fundraise for the Jane Tomlinson Appeal, a charity based in Leeds.

Sue Simmons

Community Trustee

Sue is a founder member and the secretary of BLAST (Bovey Library Action Support Team) – the friends group for Bovey Tracey library. She has lived in Devon for over 20 years. Sue’s background is in mental health nursing – in clinical practice, education and management in the NHS. More recently she has been working part-time for the Care Quality Commission and doing some independent consultancy work. She has two adult sons now living in Bristol.

Sue and her husband are volunteer hosts with Nightstop which provides emergency accommodation for homeless young people, and she is a trustee of a charity for education and welfare in Bangladesh. In her spare time she loves to walk, cycle, enjoy Devon’s beautiful countryside and, of course, read. She and friends established their local book group around fourteen years ago and it is still going from strength to strength. She is very positive about the future for Libraries Unlimited.

Richard Watts

Richard Watts

Independent Trustee

Born in Devon and committed to supporting the people and culture of his home county, Richard runs people make it work, a company that enables cultural organisations across the country to develop and grow with clients including Royal Opera House, LSE, UK Parliament, Turner Contemporary, RADA, Historic Royal Palaces and Clore Leadership programme.

Richard is now based in London but grew up near Ivybridge and is passionately committed to culture, literature and the role and value of libraries. He has extensive experience as a trustee for a range of charities and arts organisations, including the literature agency Spread the Word.

Morgen Witzel

Morgen Witzel

Independent Trustee

Morgen is a Devon-based writer, editor and consultant and is a Fellow of the Exeter Centre for Leadership at the University of Exeter Business School. He has written a number of management and leadership books and also writes detective fiction with his wife under a pseudonym.

He has extensive experience as a trustee and has been a trustee of EDP Drug and Alcohol for over 8 years.

Andrew Prince community trustee

Andrew Prince

Community Trustee

A Devon resident since childhood, Andrew had a long career in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and a second career teaching in higher education at the Britannia Royal Naval College, the University of Plymouth and INTO University of Exeter.

He lives in Ashburton where he has been treasurer of the Friends Of Ashburton Library (FOAL) almost since its conception and is a trustee of two other charities in the town. He served for 15 years on the Town Council and was Mayor in 2009.

A strong advocate for lifelong learning and the wider use of libraries for all ages, he gained his Master's degree in his 40s and a Doctorate of Education in his 50s. Andrew brings a breadth of experience to the role of Community Trustee and is committed to developing Libraries Unlimited's customer offering in new, exciting and diverse ways.

Tabitha Witherick Libraries Unlimited staff trustee

Tabitha Witherick

Staff Trustee

Tabitha joined Libraries Unlimited in 2017 as Service Delivery Manager, working with library teams across Mid and North Devon to enable front-line staff to deliver the best possible library service to local communities.

She has a degree in history with cultural studies, a masters degree in information and library management and is a chartered member of CILIP. Having worked in libraries across the South West for 18 years, Tabitha has an energy and passion for making a difference to individuals and communities.

She has volunteered with NCT (the UK’s largest parenting charity) as branch chair, fundraising to sustain a postnatal group for new mums and other services; and on the regional team as communications officer and area link, supporting branch volunteers with guidance, support and training.

Tabitha has a young family and loves quality time exploring the countryside, museums and family festivals across the south west.

Tom Glanville Trustee

Tom Glanville

Independent Trustee

Tom Glanville is a Chartered Certified Accountant based at Bush & Co in Exeter where he is the Audit Manager. Tom works with a variety of clients ranging from large companies to small charities.

Tom grew up in Devon and attended Torquay Boys’ Grammar School before undertaking a degree in English Literature at the University of Leicester.

He has always had a passion for literature and hopes that the support he can give as a trustee will pay back some of the great benefit gained from using libraries throughout his childhood. He believes that libraries and reading have had a huge influence on his life and hopes to use his professional experience to help and support Libraries Unlimited to flourish.

Tom plays rugby for Wessex RFC and Totnes RFC and is currently the treasurer for Totnes RFC. He also enjoys watching (and sometimes playing) football and cricket.

Sarah OBrien National Trust

Sarah O'Brien

Independent Trustee

Sarah has 12 years’ experience in leading external programmes, partnerships and campaigns across South West England. She works as a policy and advocacy professional for the National Trust, one of the UK’s largest charities. She is passionate about access to history, nature and ideas.

During her career she has worked with local and national governments, public sector agencies and charities, across a range of issues including economic growth, environment, access, and rural development. She is motivated by organisations that innovate to deliver public benefit, and inspire their staff, volunteers and supporters around a common cause.

20 years of UK and international experience has given her a strong overview of organisational strategy and decision-making in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She brings this experience in helping shape the next phase for Libraries Unlimited as a public sector mutual.

George Lossius

George Lossius

Independent Trustee

For most of George’s career, he has been involved in the publishing industry, both physical publications and digital platforms, most of it in the provision of IT solutions to publishers, and publishing societies and associations, and George has lead businesses in this sector in the UK, USA, France and China. During this time, he had an active participation on advocacy committees in the USA, UK and China, providing thought leadership as well as practical solutions.

Recently, George has been a director of a Public Relations firm, Midas PR, with strong links to the Books industry, been a partner in the start-up of an artwork asset management system, arTag, and become active in the use of hemp as a building product.

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.