Library Journal Directors' Summit

Registration is Open for Library Journal’s

Supporting a Resilient Workforce

In-Person, December 1 & 2 at the Enoch Pratt Free Library


The past few years have brought unprecedented challenges to libraries and librarians, and the end seems nowhere in sight. From COVID to book bans and politically fueled personal attacks on librarians, creating and fostering a resilient workplace in the library is a daunting objective. 


This high-level, two-day Summit will seek to address successful and actionable approaches to addressing many of the largest challenges facing libraries today and in the foreseeable future. 

  • Gena Cox will kick off day one with a fireside chat on how to build inclusion into everyday leadership so employees can see and feel the change.  

  • Advocates at the national, state, and local level will share how to tackle the book ban epidemic and get your board on your side. 

  • Facilitated conversations will activate the expertise of the full community of library leaders

  • ‘Learn Local’ breakout sessions provide focused, actionable takeaways on how to replicate and adapt innovative programs and services piloted in the surrounding region. 

  • Peer leaders will discuss how recent events are impacting staff perspective and satisfaction and will describe ways to make workplaces more flexible and supportive in order to recruit, retain, and grow your people power - a library’s greatest asset. 

  • Hear how libraries large and small are taking the lead on digital equity to better serve their most underserved community members, 

  • And much more….


The Directors' Summit invites public library directors, executive or deputy directors to join us for a day of engaging and interactive thought leadership and networking. If you work in a different type of library and/or are in a leadership position with a different title and would like to request an invitation, please email us at, with “Directors’ Summit” in the subject line, and describe your library setting and role.  LJ will consider and respond to your request. 


Register Today! 



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Dr. Gena Cox is an organizational psychologist and executive coach. At IBM and Perceptyx, Gena advised leaders in the Fortune 500 and large global companies on optimizing their leadership impact to build engaging organizational cultures that drive business outcomes. Gena is the co-chair of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's Awards Committee and is on the Society's 2022 Leading Edge Consortium planning committee. Gena is on the boards of the University of South Florida Stavros Center for Free Enterprise & Economic Education and the University of Tampa TECO Center for Leadership in the Sykes College of Business. Gena holds a PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Professional Certified Coach designation from the International Coach Federation.



Crosby Kemper is the sixth director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He was commissioned by the White House on January 24, 2020, following his confirmation by the United States Senate. IMLS, an independent government agency, is the primary source of federal support for the nation's museums and libraries.

Kemper is a dedicated advocate for education and learning for people of all ages and backgrounds. He comes to IMLS from the Kansas City Public Library, where as director, he established the library as one of the city’s leading cultural destinations and a hub of community engagement. Kemper also recently served as chair of the board of directors of the Schools, Health, & Libraries Broadband Coalition, which supports open, affordable broadband connections for local community organizations. His full biography is available on the IMLS website.




Sonia Alcántara-Antoine is the CEO of Baltimore County Public Library (MD), overseeing 19 branches, 600 dedicated staff, and a budget of $45 million. Prior to joining Baltimore County Public Library, she was director of Newport News Public Library (VA) and held leadership positions at Virginia Beach Public Library (VA) and Enoch Pratt Free Library (MD). She is the president-elect of the Public Library Association and is on the board of the Maryland Association of Public Library Administrators. Sonia is proud to be an American Library Association Spectrum Scholar and holds a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Old Dominion University. Sonia is a renowned speaker and thought leader on the art and science of library leadership, actively shaping the profession for today and tomorrow.



M'Balu "Lu" Bangura is an experienced Civil Rights investigator, risk analyst, and diversity, equity, and inclusion professional. She considers herself an inequity eliminator and has spent her academic and professional career as a social justice advocate and promoter of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all. Lu is currently the Director of Equity and Fair Practice for Enoch Pratt Free Library and Maryland State Library Resource Center, where she is responsible for leading and overseeing the library's DEI efforts. In her previous role with the City of Baltimore, Lu served as a Civil Rights Investigator for the Community Relations Commission, where she facilitated the highest settlement agreement in the history of the commission and led in closing difficult and complex cases. Lu played a vital role in expanding the Office of Civil Rights to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights. Her work led to her becoming Baltimore City's first Equity Specialist, tasked with creating, implementing, and managing agency compliance with the city's equity initiative.



Julie Brophy is the Adult & Community Engagement Manager at Baltimore County Public Library in Maryland, where she provides leadership on services and events for adults, cultivates strategic partnerships and collaborations to better meet the community’s needs, and looks for opportunities to connect in the community through mobile engagement and outreach. Julie believes in the power of partnerships, the library as a non-partisan space for civil discourse, and the importance of responding to your community’s changing needs. Julie has worked in public, academic and government libraries during her career in New York, North Carolina, Washington DC and Maryland. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University at Buffalo and her Masters of Library Science from the University of Maryland. 



Michael Blackwell is Director of the St. Mary’s County Library (MD). He serves as co-chair of the ALA CORE Architecture for Public Libraries Committee, is a Director-at-Large for the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table, and is past Chair of the ALA Ebooks Interest Group and a long-time member of the ALA Joint Digital Content Working Group.  He has a special interest in library digital content and has been advocating for improving the library digital reading experience for over a decade, often presenting at conferences and writing articles.  He is the Project Manager for the ReadersFirst Working Group and regularly blogs at



Nicholas Alexander Brown is a Honduran-American library executive and musician based in Maryland, where he currently serves as Acting Co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach at the Prince George's County Memorial Library System (Largo, MD). He is the recipient of the 2021 Library Journal Marketer of the Year Award and was a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2019. Nicholas is also adjunct faculty for the Department of Library and Information Science at Catholic University and music director/founder of The Irving Fine Society. He previously worked as director of special productions and initiatives at Washington Performing Arts, program specialist for the Office of the Librarian/Office of Special Events & Public Programs at Library of Congress, music specialist/concert producer at Library of Congress, and army bandsman with the 215th Army Band. His writing has appeared in Library Journal, The Horn Book, and HuffPost Blog.



Donna Bruce is a social activist and 25-year survivor of trauma, including drug addiction, human trafficking, rape and physical abuse. Overcoming her struggles in life, she gained the courage and steadfastness to obtain her certification as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with a specialization in working with families, and a Registered Peer Supervisor from the Maryland Addiction and Behavioral-Health Professionals Certification Board. She has volunteered at local treatment centers and Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she helped provide care and resources through her own lived experiences and various training for those seeking recovery. Through that opportunity, she has become a full-time employee of the library.





Lauren Comito is a cape-wearing, ukulele-playing, sword-swinging, activist librarian in NYC. She is currently a Neighborhood Library Supervisor at Brooklyn Public Library (NY) and Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, a national c3 not for profit focusing on providing training, advocacy, and support for front-line library staff working in large urban systems. She is passionate about connecting library patrons to the services they need and a true believer in the ability of the library to change people’s lives and communities for the better.



Angela Craig has been Executive Director of the Charleston County Public Library (SC) since April 2019. Angela started with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library (NC) in 2005. While adept at working with all populations, Angela has specialized in increasing library access to vulnerable populations and underserved communities. In 2013, she published Serving At-Risk Teens: Proven Strategies and Programs for Bridging the Gap (Neal-Schuman), culminating in a visit to South Korea as their keynote speaker for the International Youth Symposium in 2015. She is an ALA Councilor-at-Large and holds a Master’s Degree of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor’s Degree from Texas State University.



Anita Crawford started her work in libraries as a shelver when she was sixteen and since has grown into the kind and empathic leader she is today. Her eighteen years in public libraries in both the circulation and Technical Services Department has given her a unique perspective and a solid foundation to lead her Technical Services Processing Department team. She is an active participant in the Maryland Library Association, where she connects with library leaders and support staff throughout Maryland. She is passionate about the topic of leadership development, emotions/feelings at work, and improving communication. She is currently a proud non-degreed library support staff worker who has recently decided to enroll in University of Maryland Global Campus to complete her degree in Human Resources Management.



Heidi Daniel joined the Enoch Pratt Free Library as President and CEO in July of 2017. Heidi is focused on leading the Pratt into the future by breaking down barriers of access for the people of Baltimore and the state of Maryland. In 2018, she led the Pratt to become one of the first fine-free public library systems on the East Coast. She managed the $115 million renovation and reopening of the historic Central Library. Under her leadership, the Pratt was named one of the “Nicest Places in America” by Good Morning America and Reader’s Digest. Heidi served as Executive Director of the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County in Ohio prior to moving to Maryland. In 2015, she was named Ohio Librarian of the Year. Heidi worked in both the Houston Public Library (TX) and the Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma City (OK) earlier in her career.



Matt Enis is the Senior Technology Editor, Library Journal



Mike Fried is the Chief Information Officer, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD



Darcell Graham is Deputy Director of Public Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD



Michelle Hamiel is the Director of Racial Equity and Community Impact at Urban Libraries Council (ULC).  She is a known and respected leader with more than 37 years of public library experience. Michelle currently leads all ULC race equity initiatives and Edge, a platform that helps library leaders analyze data, set benchmarks and tell their stories. She comes to ULC from her previous role as the Chief Operating Officer for Public Services for Prince George's County Memorial Library System, where she led the mission, vision, innovation and operations of the library's 19 branches and the county detention center and created the library's race and social equity plan. Michelle guided Maryland State Libraries Antiracism work and the Maryland Library Association's Equity Diversity and Inclusion task force.



Alan S. Inouye is senior director of public policy and government relations and interim associate executive director for the American Library Association. Previously, he was a coordinator of the President’s Council of Advisors of Science and Technology in the Executive Office of the President and a study director at the National Academy of Sciences. Alan completed his Ph.D. in Library and Information Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Early in his career, he was an engineer and manager in Silicon Valley.



Stephen Jackson is a mental health counselor and restorative justice practitioner with over 10 years of experience. Stephen entered the library world in 2016 at Oak Park Public Library (IL) where he aided the integration of social services into public libraries. In August of 2019, he transitioned into the newly formed Teen Services department as the Teen Services Coordinator, where he was responsible for bolstering programming and service offerings to the teen population. He currently serves as Director of Equity and Anti-Racism, where his focus is on strategizing and implementing infrastructure changes to make the organization a place that is equitable and restorative in its policies and practices. Stephen is also the founder and principal consultant of Global Community Associates, a consulting agency that provides professional development, training, coaching, and consulting to agencies, organizations, and communities looking to implement restorative practices.



Tia Jennings is a Youth and Family Engagement Specialist at Baltimore County Public Library with a focus on system wide teen programming. She is a Registered Drama Therapist with a master's in counseling psychology and bachelors in theater arts. Tia advocates for diverse and inclusive programming that incorporates elements of the creative arts, mental health, and community engagement with a whole person approach. In her out-of-the-library life, Tia enjoys spending time outside in nature and exploring new areas.



Michelle Jeske is Denver’s City Librarian and Executive Director of the Denver Public Library. She has held positions at TLC CARL Corporation, San Antonio Public Library and New York Public Library and has served as both President and Director-at-Large for PLA. She has been named Colorado Librarian of the Year (2019)  and a Library Journal Mover and Shaker (2005). Under Michelle’s leadership, Denver Public Library has successfully raised funds to build three new libraries and renovate twelve more, including its Central Library. She has also grown its digital equity, older adults, and new Americans programs; executed a community engagement-centered and staff-driven strategic roadmap; and recently, made it to the November 2022 ballot for a dedicated funding stream.



Will Johnson Jr. is Manager of Outreach and Mobile Services for the Enoch Pratt Free Library (MD). He is a 2001 American Library Association Spectrum Scholar recipient and 2008 Emerging Leader.



Nay Keppler is the Branch Manager of the Charles E. Miller branch of the Howard County Library System in Maryland. She graduated from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with her Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies with a Concentration in Library Science in 2015, and an MSLS from Clarion in 2017. Her first salaried library gig was a janitor in 2010, and after many positions in circulation, outreach, children's services, and adult services, she found her home as a branch manager in 2022. She has been involved in the Maryland Library Association half her career, earning its 2021 Outstanding Member Award, and is the Association's '22 - '23 President.



Before becoming the Director of Darien Library (CT) in 2020, Kiera Parrott served as the Reviews and Production Director for Library Journal and School Library Journal. Kiera’s been a proud library worker since her teen years, working as a page for the Queensborough Public Library, as a reference assistant at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, and as a senior librarian for the New York Public Library. She previously worked at Darien Library from 2008–2013 as a children’s/collection development librarian and as Head of Children’s Services. She lives in Norwalk, CT, with her husband (also a librarian) and their two cats.  



Lisa Peet is the Senior News Editor, Library Journal



Veronda J. Pitchford is the Assistant Director for the Califa Group, a nonprofit library membership consortium representing 230 libraries in California.  The Califa Group is committed to unleashing the impact of libraries.  As part of her role, she serves as a strategic partner for several national grant projects, leads new business development and manages Infopeople, Califa’s national training arm that delivers online learning for library people.  



Paige Pokorney is a Program Manager at Share Our Strength and leads the No Kid Hungry campaign's summer and afterschool meals work. She develops resources, provides technical assistance, and supports No Kid Hungry campaigns and campaign partners in efforts to improve and increase utilization of summer and afterschool meal programs. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Paige was a Program & Policy Analyst at D.C. Hunger Solutions where she worked to improve access to child nutrition programs in the District of Columbia. Paige has a Master’s of Public Health from George Washington University.



Jennie Pu is the Director of Hoboken Public Library, NJ, where she is shepherding the $6 million renovation of its historic main building and a new strategic plan. A leader with more than 16 years of experience innovating services in urban academic, school and public libraries, Jennie holds a bachelor’s degree in American Ethnic Studies from University of Washington, a Master’s in Library Science degree from Queens College, and is a certified New Jersey School Media Library Specialist.



Theri Ray is the Director of the Public Library of Enid and Garfield County in Enid, Oklahoma, and came to librarianship from a background in mental health and education. Theri earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois in 2002. She spent more than 10 years as a behavioral interventionist and educator in a youth residential treatment facility before moving to Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, she continued to work with middle school students at a Title 1 school as a rehabilitative disciplinarian, interim library media specialist, and STEAM teacher. Theri completed her Master of Library and Information Services from the University of Oklahoma in 2021, while serving as the teen librarian at the public library in Enid.



Richard Reyes-Gavilan was appointed Executive Director of the DC Public Library in March 2014, having previously worked for almost twenty years in leadership positions at the New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library (NY). Richard has overseen an ambitious capital construction program in Washington D.C. centering around the successful $211 million modernization of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, which first opened in 1972. The renovated library, which in 2021 was awarded the prestigious Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award, cautiously reopened in September 2020 and serves as an inspirational destination for reading, culture, civic empowerment, and local history. Mr. Reyes-Gavilan continues to aggressively build, renovate, and plan for new neighborhood libraries all over the District of Columbia. Plans for future library construction are guided by Next Libris, a 2020 facilities plan spearheaded by Richard that focuses on equitable distribution of library spaces across the city.


Ramiro S. Salazar is currently the Director of the San Antonio Public Library. Ramiro has served as the Director of the San Antonio Public Library for fifteen years. As director, he is responsible for the delivery of library services to almost 2 million residents in San Antonio and Bexar County, Texas. He provides management oversight for a library system consisting of the downtown Central Library, 29 branch libraries and leads a team of over 550 employees.

Before joining the San Antonio Public Library, Ramiro served as Interim Assistant City Manager for the City of Dallas, Texas. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Libraries for the Dallas Public Library from 1993 to 2004. He also served as Director of Libraries for the El Paso Public Library, City of El Paso, Texas for three years. He has dedicated his public service to increasing accessibility of library resources and services to all segments of the community.

Ramiro has served in numerous leadership roles including as Past President of Public Library Association, representing public libraries in North America and serving close to 10,000 public library professionals. He is currently serving on the Local Government Hispanic Network, a subsidiary of International City/County Management Association (ICMA). He also recently served on the American Library Association Future of Libraries Committee and the US Census 2020 Task Force.




Mariel Sass, LCSW-C, leads the Social Worker in the Library program at the Enoch Pratt Free Library  (MD). She believes in the power of the library as a non-traditional service setting to meet community members where they are and to provide services that uphold the needs, humanity and dignity of all people. Mariel is a graduate of Oberlin College with a BA in Gender Studies and Latin American Studies. She holds an MSW from the University of Washington School of Social Work.



Dara Schmidt is the Director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library (IA), winner of the 2022 Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize and 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Services.  She previously worked for Anythink Libraries in Colorado, Los Angeles County Library and Downey City Library in California, and began her career as a shelver at the Manchester Public Library in her Iowa hometown.  She has a BA from Baldwin-Wallace College, a Master of Professional Writing degree from the University of Southern California, and an MLIS from San Jose State University.  Schmidt was chosen as a Public Library Association Leadership Fellow in 2017 and currently serves as a member of the PLA Board.



Meredith Schwartz is the Editor-In-Chief, Library Journal



Sara Slymon was recently appointed Library Director of the Thomas Crane Public Library (Quincy, MA) and has spent her entire 29-year career working in various capacities in both public and corporate libraries. She was most recently Director of the Public Library of Brookline (MA) and previously served in the same role at Turner Free Library (Randolph, MA), one of the first public libraries in Massachusetts. She has also worked as an Assistant Director at the Thayer Public Library in Braintree. Sara has overseen extensive renovations, such as a $17 million new facility construction of Mattapan Branch of Boston Public Library, as well as major renovations at Brookline's Coolidge Corner Branch Library (MA) and sourced $2.5 million in funding for the renovation of the Turner Free Library (MA). Having attended and completed many leadership seminars, trainings, and symposia, Sara aspires to lead with empathy and generosity of spirit.



Lo Smith joined the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) team in January 2022 following work in libraries in the greater Baltimore area. They entered the field of digital equity after experiencing the impacts of the digital divide in their own community. Prior to joining NDIA, they served as the coordinator of digital equity at the Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore, MD), where they also served as a technology exchange fellow in 2018. During their time with the Pratt library, Lo piloted a variety of outreach and community-based digital inclusion programming, as well as examining the ways unexpected barriers impacted digital access and literacy. Lo graduated from Simmons University with a Master’s of library science in 2019. Offline, they can be found strengthening their fearlessness, teamwork, and communication skills in the partner acrobatics and circus community.



As executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District, Kelvin Watson oversees 25 branches run by 600+ employees, spanning 8,000 square miles, with a budget of $77 million and a collection of 3.2 million items. Kelvin has brought innovative, award-winning leadership to Nevada’s largest library system through deep experience in fundraising, technology, and program development. His demonstrated success in addressing the digital divide has brought a new era to this library system. Regarded as one of the most highly respected thought leaders in the library industry, Kelvin has been credited, in multiple library management roles, with expanding his customer base through outreach efforts to underserved and diverse populations.



Christian Zabriskie is the Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Libraries (NY) and the Co- Founder of Urban Librarians Unite. He has worked in urban public libraries for over twenty years and has been a circ supervisor, children’s librarian, YA librarian, reference librarian, cataloger, and administrator. He’s a proud adoptive & foster parent and a believer that libraries can be the titanium crowbar needed to move our communities forward.




LOCATION: Outside of Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor)


9:45 – 10:00 AM  WELCOME

Meredith Schwartz, Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal 

Amandeep Kochar, President and Group CEO, Baker & Taylor

LOCATION: Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor) 



Dr. Gena Cox |organizational psychologist, executive coach, speaker, and author of Leading Inclusion: Drive Change Your Employees Can See and Feel (Page Two Books) in conversation with Heidi Daniel, President and CEO, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD.



Library leaders will share how they are intentionally transforming internal culture through reenvisioning policy, accountability, collaboration, and more. Fostering an inclusive environment in which staff feel safe and empowered to bring their whole selves to the table helps libraries recruit, retain, and promote staff who represent the community.

Michelle H. Hamiel |Director, Strategic Initiatives, Urban Libraries Council 

Stephen Jackson |Director of Equity and Anti-Racism, Oak Park Public Library, IL 

Melanie Huggins |Executive Director, Richland Library, SC  

Moderator: M'Balu "Lu" Bangura | Director of Equity and Fair Practice, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD



Following the panel, Lu Bangura will lead a facilitated conversation among the Summit attendees to share their successes, challenges, and questions with one another. 

Facilitator | M'Balu "Lu" Bangura, Director of Equity and Fair Practice, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD



Mark Eaton, District Sales Manager, Gale                            

Sabine McAlpine, Sales Director, Thorndike Press 


12:30 – 1:30 PM LUNCH

LOCATION: Creative Arts Room (2nd Floor)



Learn how public libraries are moving the needle on digital equity in their communities, and supporting employment, job seeking, education, and healthcare in the process. The panelists will share their experience with initiatives, including at-home broadband pilots funded by federal grants, device loaning to patrons (cell phones to laptops), back-to-basics digital instruction, and community partnerships.

Sonia Alcantara-Antoine |Director, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

Richard Reyes-Gavilan |Executive Director, DC Public Library, DC

Michelle Jeske |City Librarian and Executive Director, Denver Public Library, CO

Moderator: Matt Enis |Senior Technology Editor, Library Journal

LOCATION: Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor)



Susan Pastore |Head of Sales North America 



Librarians from nearby states and cities each share hands-on, innovative initiatives that are replicable and adaptable, or share need-to-know info on major issues in today’s libraries. 



The Mobile Library Law Center combines the expertise of the public library with its legal partners to help individuals at their point of need. Learn how the Baltimore County Public Library team engaged with legal partners in the customization and creation of service of the vehicle, how they work internally to ensure they are in the right place, and how they incorporate other services and partners into the Mobile Library Law Center.

Julie Brophy | Manager, Adult & Community Engagement at Baltimore County Public Library, MD

LOCATION: Night Room (Floor 2S)



Learn about the Prince George's County Memorial Library System's ongoing collaboration with the Prince George's County Office of Human Rights to present antiracism programming for adults and teens. Brown will discuss the partners' collaborative programming model, how the public-facing engagement complements internal antiracism initiatives, and how the partnership has contributed to the Maryland Libraries Together statewide speaker series. 

Nicholas Alexander Brown |Prince George’s County Memorial Library System (PGCMLS) Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach

LOCATION: Mikulski Room (3rd Floor)



Many directors were at one time middle managers themselves, but as the landscape of librarianship constantly changes, middle managers’ needs change too. In this session, Processing Supervisor Anita Crawford and Branch Manager Nay Keppler will pull from their experiences and the experiences of colleagues across the country to share how you can make the most of your middle managers. Topics include communication, development, recruitment, and more.

Naomi (Nay) Keppler | Assistant Library Manager, Howard County Library System, MD, Miller Branch; Maryland Library Association President 

Anita Crawford |Processing Supervisor - Technical Services, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

LOCATION: Poe Room (2nd Floor)



The last year has been contentious for libraries and some publishers and publisher representatives. Among other developments, Maryland’s law asking for fair digital content terms was blocked in federal court. At press time, the publishers’ lawsuit against the Internet Archive over Controlled Digital Lending had entered the summary judgment phase, with some library supporters filing amicus briefs in support of the Archive. Meanwhile, legislative efforts for fair licensing continue in other states, including Maryland. Join Michael Blackwell, organizer of the ReadersFirst Working Group, for a wide-ranging and up-to-the-minute review of current ebook licensing, use of library ebooks to fight censorship efforts, purchase rather than licensing of digital content, the streaming content challenge, and state and federal library ebook legislative efforts.

Michael Blackwell | Director,  St. Mary’s County Public Library, MD

LOCATION: Creative Arts Room (2nd Floor)



Learn how to leverage community networks and relationships for digital skills and communication, using the phone as a phone for digital navigation by voice only, and  community outreach without social media though canvassing, community pop ups, and more. 

Lo Smith |Senior Program Manager, National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)  

Mike Fried |Chief Information Officer, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

LOCATION: Teen Center (2nd Floor)



Preserving an “access for all” service philosophy in an unprecedented environment of security threats has become one of the greatest challenges library directors have ever faced.  How can public libraries provide physically and emotionally safer and more secure environments for patrons and staff while protecting their privacy and maintaining open, equitable, and welcoming spaces? Come share in a frank discussion with your peers about the challenges and solutions.                     

Facilitated by Kelvin Watson | Executive Director, Las Vegas- Clark County Library District, NV

LOCATION: Children’s Day Room (Floor 2S)


3:15 – 3:40 PM  BREAK 



Scott McCausland | Executive Director



Library staff, especially public-facing staff members, report burnout, low morale, and an urgent need for more and better support from their institutions, along with lack of faith in some of the traditional methods of providing that support. Panelists will share data on trauma among library workers, and speak to how the field can work to more effectively bolster morale, recruitment, and retention through new approaches to meeting staff needs.

Jennie Pu |Director Hoboken Public Library, NJ

Christian Zabriskie |Executive Director, Onondaga County Public Libraries, NY; Founder, Urban Librarians Unite 

Lauren Comito | Neighborhood Library Supervisor, Leonard Branch, Brooklyn Public Library; Executive Director, Urban Librarians Unite, NY

Sara Slymon | Library Director, Thomas Crane Public Library, MA

Moderator: Lisa Peet |Senior News Editor, Library Journal 



Following the panel, Comito will lead a facilitated conversation among the Summit attendees to share their successes, challenges, and questions about supporting staff with one another. 

Facilitator: Lauren Comito|Neighborhood Library Supervisor, Leonard Branch, Brooklyn Public Library and Executive Director of Urban Librarians Unite, NY





LOCATION: Creative Arts Room (2nd Floor)





LOCATION: Outside of Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor)


8:45 – 8:50 AM WELCOME 

Darcell Graham, Deputy Director of Public Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

LOCATION: Wheeler Auditorium (2nd Floor) 



The current climate of culture wars is causing an unprecedented number of challenges not only to library materials but to displays and programming. Moreover, challengers increasingly appeal to boards, legislators, or even courts and police rather than librarians as arbiters—as well as invading library spaces and threatening librarians and even their families. What are libraries doing to fight back locally, legislatively, and nationally? What support is available? How can we work together? And how can we educate and activate our boards, including those members who ran on these platforms, to reduce the threat coming from inside the house?

Angela Craig |Executive Director, Charleston County Public Library, SC

Theri Ray | Interim Library Director, Enid Public Library, OK

Ramiro S. Salazar |Director, San Antonio Public Library, TX

Moderator: Keira Parrott |Director, Darien Library, CT 



Following the panel, Parrott will lead a facilitated conversation among the Summit attendees to share their successes, challenges, and questions about fighting for the library with one another. 

Facilitator: Keira Parrott, Director, Darien Library, CT 




10:20 – 10:35 AM BREAK


10:35 – 11:20 AM BREAKOUTS



Alan Inouye will present an assessment of the 2022 elections and their implications for libraries; share ALA’s resources and policy agenda; do a deep dive on selected policy issues, and share ALA’s legislative directions and priorities for 2023

Alan S. Inouye | ALA Senior Director of Public Policy and Government Relations

LOCATION: Poe Room (2nd Floor)



Enoch Pratt’s Social Worker in the Library program was created in partnership with the University of Maryland and Morgan State University and originally funded by an IMLS grant. Then the library took it to the next level by pairing it with the Peer Recovery Specialist aka Peer Navigator Program, in which patrons benefit from the expertise of individuals with lived experience of substance misuse, mental health, or behavioral health challenges, providing a safe, supportive, and confidential environment and connections to community resources. Speakers will address how both programs got started, how they are doing, and their outlook for the future. 

Willie Johnson |Manager, Outreach & Mobile Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD 

Donna Bruce |Peer Recovery Supervisor, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

Mariel Sass |Social Worker in the Library, Outreach and Mobile Services, Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore, MD

LOCATION: Children’s Night Room (Floor 2S)



Dara Schmidt and Mary Beth McGuire share their advice on building a positive partnership between employee unions and library management, and on rebuilding a relationship of trust after controversy. This session is especially valuable for new leaders at long-unionized libraries and established leaders working with recently formed unions.

Dara Schmidt | Director, Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL), IA

Mary Beth McGuire | Programming Specialist and Chief Union Steward, Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL), IA

LOCATION: Teen Center (2nd Floor)



Kids and teens need healthy meals to learn. However, when school is out—whether over the summer or after the school day ends—too many students go without the nutrition they need. Libraries have a unique opportunity to nourish both mind and body through summer and afterschool meals programs. This session will provide information about summer and afterschool meals programs and how libraries can partner to start such programs in their communities. The audience will also hear directly from Baltimore County Public Library staff on how they started and expanded their summer and afterschool meals programs.

Paige Pokorney |MPH, Program Manager, Center for Best Practices at Share Our Strength 

Tia Jennings |Youth Services Coordinator, Baltimore County Public Library, MD

LOCATION: Mikulski Room (3rd Floor)



The conversation around trauma, burnout, and low morale in library workers often—and for good reason—focuses on frontline workers who deal with the public. But library leadership and management also face increased stressors in today's environment, and coping can be complicated by a lack of peers in the organization. Join us to talk about what you and your peers need most to support your work for the long haul.

Veronda Pitchford, Assistant Director, Califa Group

LOCATION: Creative Arts (2nd Floor)



Learn how the Enoch Pratt Free Library is addressing food insecurity through the Pratt Free Market, a community grocery store offering free perishable and non-perishable items inspired by the many community fridge and library pantry programs across the nation. Pratt will pilot the initiative at the Southeast Anchor branch, two blocks from communities that have low income and inadequate access to healthy food. The space will be designed with a goal of removing the stigma of hunger and poverty with large, storefront windows, colorful graphics and signage to help visitors with low literacy, creating an atmosphere that provides dignity to those in need. Lu Bangara will share how community pantries help advance equity, why libraries should enter the fight against food insecurity, how to create a space the community can be proud of, and how you can get started.

M'Balu "Lu" Bangura,  Director of Equity and Fair Practice at Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore MD

LOCATION: Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor)



Paul Quelch | Founder & Chief Executive Officer

LOCATION: Wheeler Auditorium (3rd Floor)


11:40 AM – 12:10 PM | CLOSING KEYNOTE

Crosby Kemper| Director of the U.S. National Institute of Museum and Library Services, Washington, DC 



Join us for a tour of the Enoch Pratt Free Library! Staff will be leading a tour of this amazing library directly following the closing. The tour will take approximately 40 mins. Please meet outside the Wheeler Auditorium.

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