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Digital Roundtable Conference: June 6, 7.

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This is a guest post written by Kate Zwaard, Director of Digital Strategy.

A professor from California, an entrepreneur from Boston, an author from New York, and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire all walk into a library…

Sounds like the start of a joke, right?  Instead, it’s some exciting news I have to share: all four are thought leaders in technology and digital innovation, and they are joining a dozen of their peers for the inaugural meeting of the Library of Congress Digital Strategy Roundtable on June 6 and 7, 2019.

The DSR, launched at the direction of the Librarian of Congress, will solicit expert perspectives on the digital transformation of the Library and help ensure that the Library’s plans are meeting industry standards. To do that, we have invited a group of thought leaders from libraries, academia, industry, media, and non-profits to help the Library.

We’re bringing in people like Wendy HallMaria ThomasJoichi Ito, and Paul Ford. They’ll work with the staff members who are leading our digital transformation.

The Library’s Digital Strategy, released in the fall of 2018, includes investing in new technologies to expand online access (for our users) and supporting an innovative culture (for our staff). We want our people to respond quickly to emerging technology and opportunities.

Of course, our plans will change over time to reflect contemporary best practices, so we’ll meet in person at least once per year and more often online. It’s one of the many ways the Library is engaging with the work of other institutions across industries and subject areas.

During the meeting, my team, including LC Labs, will discuss our ideas for the next three years. The Digital Strategy Working Group — a cross-Library team that helped draft the Digital Strategy — and other Library leaders will share digital initiatives. The DSR will also meet Library patrons to discuss their experiences.

In keeping with our goal to make experimentation a core practice in the Library, the Roundtable itself is an experiment. We have chartered the group for a two-year term, during which we’ll evaluate its effectiveness and determine the process for nomination and selection of members.

I am tremendously grateful for the generosity of the people mentioned below for sharing their time and talent with us to make the Library more digitally enabled. And a special thanks to Professor Dame Wendy Hall for co-chairing the meeting with me.


The 2019-2020 Library of Congress Digital Strategy Roundtable Members are:

  • Tony Ageh, Chief Digital Officer, New York Public Library
  • Christine Borgman, Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA and the author of more than 250 publications in communication, information studies, and computer science
  • Meredith Evans, President, Society of American Archivists
  • Paul Ford, CEO and Co-founder, Postlight
  • Joshua Greenberg, Director, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Digital IT Program
  • Dame Wendy Hall, Professor of Computer Science, University of Southampton
  • Hrishikesh Hirway, Creator/Host, Song Exploder
  • Joichi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab
  • Melody Kramer, Director of Communications, Carolina Demography, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Miriam Posner, Assistant Professor of Information Studies and Digital Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Mia Ridge, Digital Curator for Western Heritage Collections, British Library
  • Maria Thomas, Former Etsy CEO & NPR Digital SVP; Board of Directors at Pew Research Center
  • Jer Thorp, Artist/Writer
  • Victor Udoewa, Director of Strategy, 18F
  • George Westerman, Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management and Faculty Director, Workforce Learning, MIT Jameel World Education Lab
  • Stacie Williams, Director, Center for Digital Scholarship, Regenstein Library, University of Chicago
  • Tim Young, Principal, Deloitte Consulting

Comments (2)

  1. Would love to be a fly on THAT wall. Any chance that this meeting of minds will be recorded or broadcast?

    • The roundtable won’t be public, but their findings/recommendations will be.

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