Radical Reformers ep.9: Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive, Suffolk Libraries
In many parts of the country, libraries have played a critical role in the response to Covid-19. Far from the traditional limited role of public book repository, many council library services are now vibrant community hubs combining physical meeting places with easily accessible digital resources.
On this episode, I speak to Bruce Leeke who is the Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries. It was the first council library service in the country to move from in-house to an independent charity model. The service remains commissioned by the council - but Bruce and his team are also able to raise funding to provide a much wider range of support to people in Suffolk, including employment and business start up support.
As you would imagine, we talk specifically about how the service has supported local people in Suffolk through the Covid-19 pandemic, including some great examples of how library staff have really gone above and beyond to make life just that little bit better for someone.
And in something a little less expected, we discuss the leadership lessons front-line public services can take from the experience of a nuclear submarine Commander!
I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did.