2008 Michael Knoche

Director of the Duchess Anna Amalia Library / Foundation Weimar Classic / Werdohl, Germany

Librarian Michael Knoche, born in 1951, is considered to be one of the most outstanding in his field, advocating the preservation of books and the public image of the role and importance of libraries, both practically and scientifically. Another outstanding achievement is the mastering of the tragic fire of the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library in 2004. With special dedication, Knoche led the rescue work so that the inauguration of the reconstructed library building could take place on October 24, 2007. In addition, he developed new library concepts, with which he successfully motivated his employees. In his impressive documentary "The Library Burns", he has succeeded in explaining the catastrophe to a broad and interested audience, thus gaining new followers for the library as well as for the books. In 2008, he received the Gutenberg Prize from the city of Mainz and the International Gutenberg Society for his work as an outstanding librarian, who was "practically and scientifically committed to the preservation of the books."