University LibraryJochen Apel is New Director of Heidelberg University Library

Press Release No. 107/2023
17 October 2023

Digital transformation of available services to be expanded further

Dr Jochen Apel is the new director of Heidelberg University Library. Having already worked there for over ten years, he was most recently head of the branch for Medicine and Natural Sciences on the Im Neuenheimer Feld campus. As coordinator he was a key figure in building up and expanding research data management at Heidelberg University. “I am looking forward to the new responsibility and am aware of the challenges awaiting me,” Dr Apel underlines. “Together with my colleagues, it is my aim to drive forward the digital transformation of our services.” Dr Apel took up office at the start of this winter semester and succeeds Dr Veit Probst, who retired at the end of September. 

Dr. Jochen Apel

As the new library director emphasises, the University Library wants to sharpen its profile as the central information and publication service provider of Heidelberg University and other institutions. “At the same time, we are aware of our tradition as the oldest university library in Germany. The diversity in the range of subjects at Ruperto Carola is excellently mirrored in the diversity of our range of information, which we will continue to expand in the coming years,” says Dr Apel.

A further priority of his work will be to conclude the renovation of the main library in the Old Town and push on with further planning for the new building of the Medicine and Natural Sciences branch in the audiMAX lecture hall and learning centre in Neuenheimer Feld. Two more areas of activity of special significance for Dr Apel are implementing the open access transformation agreements with the major academic publishing houses and expanding on the university’s research data management in cooperation with the University Computing Centre.

Jochen Apel studied philosophy and physics at the universities of Kassel and Münster, and obtained his doctorate in 2010 at the Philosophy Department of Heidelberg University with a thesis on the distinction between data and phenomena from the angle of philosophy of science. After doing a library traineeship in Heidelberg and Munich he transferred to Heidelberg University Library in 2012, initially as the specialist on scientific subjects. In 2015, he became director of the Medicine and Natural Sciences branch and, at the same time, headed the Physics and Astronomy library.