John Bracken has served as executive director at Digital Public Library of America since December 2017. Previously John worked for nearly two decades as a philanthropic investor in digital media, media policy, and innovation. He most recently served as vice president for technology innovation at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he oversaw the Knight News Challenge, Knight’s Prototype Fund, and other efforts to improve the creation, curation, and accessibility of information. He previously managed technology and civic innovation programs at the MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. He has a master’s degree from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from Pitzer College. He also serves on the board of the Illinois Humanities Council.
Esther Safran Foer was the CEO of Sixth & I, a center for arts, ideas, and religion. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Bert. They are the parents of Franklin, Jonathan, and Joshua, and the grandparents of six.
Shauntee Burns-Simpson is currently the Manager, School Support and Outreach at the New York Public Library (NYPL) where she has held several positions. She was formerly an Outreach Librarian for MyLibraryNYC and Outreach Specialist for HomeworkNYC. She has been a NYPL employee since 1996.
As a Young Adult Librarian Mrs. Burns- Simpson had a great interest in children and their education. She implemented programs that NYPL adopted as programming for young adults. Outreaching to schools and other community agencies is very important to her. In her career path she visits schools and community based organizations to talk about library resources, the importance of having a library card, and provides professional development opportunities to educators on using the library.
She is currently the President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and is proud to hold the position during the organization’s 50th anniversary. She is the former Chair of ALA’s Committee on Diversity, member of the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) & the Young Adult Library Services Association’s (YALSA) Train the Trainer project. Past President of the Reference Adult Services Section of the New York Library Association (NYLA) 2012-2013 and New York Black Librarians Caucus 2013-2015.
Mrs. Burns-Simpson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Long Island University and a Masters of Information & Library Science from Queens College.
Karen Keninger has served as the Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled at the Library of Congress since 2012. Prior to her appointment with the Library of Congress, Keninger served as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind and as Regional Librarian at the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled. Her priorities for NLS focus on leveraging technology for a better reading experience and expanding content options for NLS patrons. Accomplishments to date include launching a braille eReader program; tripling the number of titles added to the collection annually; and implementing BARD Express and BARD Mobile apps. Current initiatives include exploration of options for the next generation of talking books, including digital delivery and voice control; increasing access to visual content; expansion of the NLS patron base; relocation of NLS headquarters, and participation in the Marrakesh Treaty.
Matt Finch is a strategy & foresight consultant at mechanicaldolphin.com and an Adjunct Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland. He’s currently advising on the IMAJINE project for the future of regional inequality in Europe, and regularly serves as a facilitator on the scenarios programme at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School. From 2016-2017 he was the first ever Creative in Residence at the State Library of Queensland and a Creative/Researcher at British Library Labs.
David Jarmul is the author of Not Exactly Retired: A Life-Changing Journey on the Road and in the Peace Corps. A writer and world traveler whose blog has been read in more than 100 countries, he was previously the head of news and communications at Duke University for many years. He also held senior communications positions at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the National Academy of Sciences. An honors graduate of Brown University and past president of the D.C. Science Writers Association, he has worked as an editor for an international development organization, a writer for the Voice of America and a reporter for a business newspaper. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nepal, where he met his wife, Champa, and with her in Moldova, Eastern Europe, where he worked at a public library, helping it to modernize its operations with limited resources. He and Champa live in Durham, N.C.
Can you “Help a Library Worker Out“? The EveryLibrary Institute is fundraising to support library workers, librarians, and staff who are facing unexpected financial difficulties because of the Coronavirus economic slowdown. As a national library 501c3 non-profit organization, the EveryLibrary Institute is in a unique position to quickly bring together donors from across the country and make grants to library workers who are part of our library family.
Timothy Cherubini is the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) first Executive Director and leads that unique, highly motivated, collaborative organization in its goal to strengthen libraries and their contributions to a technology-driven society by leveraging state library agencies’ collective national reach, peer network, cross-state lens, recognized field leadership, and ability to partner. Prior to joining COSLA Tim held key positions with the SOLINET and LYRASIS library consortia where he served as a senior manager and frequent collaborator with members and partner organizations on initiatives aimed at extending the reach and effectiveness of libraries to serve their communities. He holds a Master of Library Science and has held positions as librarian, instructor and administrator at Duke University, Emory University, and the Ohio State University.
Gail Carriger has multiple NYT bestsellers and over a million books in print in dozens of different languages. She writes comedies of manners mixed with urban fantasy (and sexy queer joy as G. L. Carriger). Her best known books include the Parasol Protectorate and Finishing School series. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.
Heather Moorefield-Lang is an assistant professor for the Department of Library and Information Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has long been interested in how technologies can enhance instruction in libraries and classrooms. Her current research focuses on makerspaces in libraries and she had the honor of being nominated for the White House Champion of Change for Making in 2016.
Greg Peverill-Conti and Adam Zand are the founders and patrons of the Library Land Project. They are also the founders of SharpOrange, a strategic PR and communications agency. Library Land is an unexpected offshoot of SharpOrange. When the duo needed a place to meet and work, they went to the library – and the rest, as they say, is history with over 300 libraries visited and always more to come. Adam and Greg visit, document, rate, review, photograph, and – most of all – love libraries.
Greg has spent his career helping all kinds of organizations imagine and tell their stories. From his days as a park ranger on Alcatraz, to more than 25 years in public relations, to the Library Land Project, Greg has brought curiosity, creativity, and enthusiasm to his work. Since starting Library Land with Adam, Greg has become increasingly inspired by libraries and is planning to begin studying for his Master’s in Library Science in the fall of 2020.
Adam is a connector and strategic communicator. His career path has spanned from service industries and non-profit management to public relations and marketing for agencies, companies and individuals. The common thread is energy and excitement for reaching positive outcomes. He tends to think about business opportunities as a collaborative process that can benefit from his analysis, insight, planning, and action.