Thu, September 12, 2019

9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EDT

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International Monetary Fund HQ2

1900 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20431

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Librarians must grapple with the real world costs of technological changes: computers are getting faster and more connected, new applications are introduced daily, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making  leaps. It is critical for libraries to show their importance to their institutions and benefits to their customers.

At this inaugural Breakthrough Conference, hosted at the International Monetary Fund in collaboration with The World Bank and the Special Libraries Association Washington DC Chapter, library and information professionals will explore themes about the future of library and information work in an era of rapid technological change and the role of librarianship in our data driven economy.

This one day conference will address questions such as:

  • How will librarians break through the challenges posed by rapid technological change and meet new demands?
  • What can librarians do to advance the creation, dissemination, and preservation of knowledge in the AI age?
  • How should librarians prepare for coming technological and economic changes?
  • What strategies for understanding and implementing technological change should be discussed?
  • How can librarians use new technologies to show greater return on investment within their institutions?

Come explore these questions with us. We may not have the answers, but with your help, we will break through to the future! Join us at the International Monetary Fund on September 12  to learn with your fellow library and information professionals.



 Lee Kennedy

Executive director of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

As executive director, Mary Lee Kennedy leads the development of and implements ARL’s strategic direction. She builds on ARL’s strengths as a leader and partner in the research and learning ecosystem, as a catalyzer of global opportunity and value through its suite of programs and initiatives, and as a culture that embraces innovation, diversity, and inclusion.

Prior to coming to ARL, Mary Lee was principal of the Kennedy Group, where she partnered with organizations to empower local and global communities to create and use knowledge that enhances lives. She has a wealth of experience in academic research libraries and knowledge corporations, most recently at New York Public Library (NYPL), where she held the position of chief library officer (2013–2016). Before going to NYPL, she served at Harvard University as senior associate provost for the Harvard Library (2011–2013) and executive director of Knowledge and Library Services, Harvard Business School (2004–2011). Prior to her roles at Harvard, she was director of the Knowledge Network Group at Microsoft (1998–2004).


Start Time Session Topic(s) (Note: Subject to change)
8:45 AM Registration & Breakfast
9:30 AM Welcoming Remark Sai Chinnaswamy, Chief Librarian, International Monetary Fund Library
9:40 AM Panel on Leveraging Algorithms, APIs and Machine Learning

Peter Grimm, CEO, Cipher Systems
"How technology is defining the next generation of competitive intelligence"

Vivek Sharma, Senior IT Officer, Data and Information Management, World Bank Group
"Silence Please! The Machines are Reading and Learning!"

10:25 AM Linked Data Jackie Shieh, Descriptive Data Management Librarian, Smithsonian Libraries
"Library linked open data: Why, what, and where"
10:50 AM Break
11:00 AM Keynote Address Mary Lee Kennedy, Executive Director, Association of Research Libraries
"Leadership Roles for [Research] Libraries in the Fourth Industrial Revolution"
11:30 AM Future of Libraries James King, Branch Chief & Information Architect, National Institutes of Health Library
"The future is now: How technology and innovation are changing special library roles and services"
12:00 PM Lunch   Brittany Ham, DC SLA President
1:00 PM Panel on Supporting Discovery through Library Systems & APIs Joseph Koivisto, Systems Librarian, University of Maryland, College Park
"Today & tomorrow: A brief history (& future) of library systems in the 2020's"

Christian James, Web Application Librarian, The Catholic University of America
"Data on the Web: Developing around API as LIS Curriculum and Practice"
1:45 PM Lightning Talks

Jason Yasner, Deputy Director, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
"How is the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) Planning for the Future?"

Linda Venable, Systems Librarian, International Monetary Fund Library
"Alternative Data Sources for Bibliometric Analysis"

April Wright, All of Us Community Engagment Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine
"Libraries, Health Literacy and NIH’s All of Us Research Program"

*SPONSOR* Jonathan Thill & Greg Weyman, Regional Sales Mangers, EBSCO
"Stacks Discovery: The Next Generation of Content Management"

Laura Wrubel, Software Development Librairan, George Washington University
"Building a Coding Community at GW Libraries and Academic Innovation"

2:40 PM Digital Archives Jeanne Kramer-Smyth, Archivist, World Bank Group
"Overview of the Digital Vault"
3:05 PM Knowledge Management Tammie Alzona, Deputy Unit Chief of Knowledge Management, International Monetary Fund
"Knowledge Management and Library Services: Two Peas in a Pod"
3:30 PM Closing Remarks   Eliza McLeod, Chief Librarian, World Bank Group Library
3:45 PM Network reception in the IMF

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