Keynote Speakers

Dr. Carla HaydenCarla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016. Hayden, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library, was nominated to the position by President Barack Obama on February 24, 2016, and her nomination was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 13.
Prior to her latest post she served, since 1993, as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Maryland. Hayden was nominated by President Obama to be a member of the National Museum and Library Services Board in January 2010 and was confirmed to that post by the Senate in June 2010. Prior to joining the Pratt Library, Hayden was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library from 1991 to 1993. She was an assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1991. Hayden was library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago from 1982 to 1987. She began her career with the Chicago Public Library as the young adult services coordinator from 1979 to 1982 and as a library associate and children’s librarian from 1973 to 1979.
Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004. In 1995, she was the first African American to receive Library Journal‘s Librarian of the Year Award in recognition of her outreach services at the Pratt Library, which included an after-school center for Baltimore teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. Hayden received a B.A. from Roosevelt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Graduate Library School of the University of Chicago.
Follow Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden on Twitter @libnofcongress.
Neeraj MehtaNeeraj Mehta is the director of community programs at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota, and adjunct faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Mehta received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota in civil engineering, a master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and was a Bush Foundation Leadership Fellow from 2011–2013. His work is focused at the intersections of race, place and poverty, working on issues of urban planning and community development.


Brian BannonWith twenty years of experience developing and implementing innovative educational programs and leading large-scale operations that provide digital skills training, community-based learning, and educational advancement for children, families, and adults, Brian Bannon is a recognized leader in the government and nonprofit sectors. Prior to working in Chicago, Brian held leadership roles at the San Francisco Public Library, Seattle Public Library, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Andrea BlackmanAndrea Blackman joined Nashville Public Library in 2003 to coordinate the library’s nationally recognized Civil Rights Room and Collection; she has held the post of professor at both Lipscomb University and Peabody College. In the wake of increased media attention on interactions between law enforcement and African-American citizens, she developed a cultural sensitivity curriculum rooted in the Nashville Civil Rights Movement. The program encourages new police recruits, seasoned officers, and organization leaders to examine the ways that their city’s past influences the current social climate. She recently won a 2016 AASLH History In Progress (HIP) Award, as well as a 2016 Leadership in History and Innovation Award for the program’s unique strategies for community engagement.
Gretchen CaserottiGretchen Caserotti is the Library Director at Meridian Library District in the fast-growing suburb of Boise, ID. Formerly Assistant Director for Public Services at Darien Library, she developed a reputation for innovative and technology-driven projects and was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2010. She began her career as a children’s librarian at New York Public Library where she applied her talents for singing and storytelling to her passion for community and literacy.
Matt ChabanMatt A.V. Chaban is the Center for an Urban Future’s policy director and Fisher Fellow. He spent his first decade in New York toiling at newsrooms across the city, starting with the Canarsie Courier before working his way up through the New York Observer, Crain’s, Daily News, and the Times. There he covered such important issues as zoning, historic preservation, Robert de Niro’s property taxes, and the gefilte fish shortage of 2014. A native of Pittsburgh, he lives in Jersey City with his wife, three cats, and newborn twins.
Michael DiBerardinisAs Philadelphia’s Managing Director, Michael DiBerardinis oversees and coordinates activity across most major operating departments of city government. A career public servant dedicated to providing quality service every day to every neighborhood, Mike brings decades of experience as an innovative community activist and government official who is deeply committed to connecting with the citizens he serves.
Elizabeth FitzgeraldElizabeth Fitzgerald is the Administrator of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Culinary Literacy Center. She joined the Free Library in 2008, working in both Materials Management and in the Neighborhood Libraries before launching the Culinary Literacy Center, the first of its kind in a library in the country. In 2016, Library Journal named Fitzgerald as a Mover & Shaker for her leadership of CLC. She is presenting with her colleagues, Suzanna Urminska, Library Coordinator and Jamie Bowers, Librarian.
Jamie GauthierJamie Gauthier joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy in January 2017 as Senior Director of Public Partnerships and was named Executive Director in September 2017. She brings a depth of experience related to community development, and nonprofit administration. Previously, Jamie served as Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia (SBN) and before that, served as Program Officer with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). Jamie holds a master’s degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania, a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Temple University. She lives in West Philadelphia, and is mother to Xavier 13, and Nathaniel, 9.
R. Crosby KemperR. Crosby Kemper III is the Director of the Kansas City Public Library and a former CEO of UMB Financial Corporation. He has served on numerous boards, including: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Kansas City Symphony, Union Station, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the National Churchill Museum. The KCPL series Meet the Past with Crosby Kemper III is a two time Emmy winner. He co-founded and chairs the Show-Me Institute, a public policy think tank. In 2017 he became chair of the SHLB Coalition, a national organization dedicated to improving broadband access.
Richard KongRichard Kong is Director of Skokie Public Library, an award-winning institution that serves a diverse population just north of Chicago. Kong currently serves on the boards of both the Public Library Association and Illinois Library Association. He is the chair of the 2018 PLA National Conference Committee and the co-chair of the PLA EDI Task Force. Kong completed the ALA Emerging Leaders Program in 2007 and PLA Leadership Academy in 2015. He was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2012.
Rebecca T. MillerRebecca T. Miller is Editorial Director of Library Journal and School Library Journal. Her background in libraries dates to 1998 when she joined the book review staff of the Library Journal. In the intervening years, serving as Executive Editor for LJ and subsequently Editor-in-Chief of School Library Journal, she helped launch several new products and drove the evolution of the content strategy of these key brands. She also served for six years on the board of the National Book Critics Circle, two as President.
Karen RadulovichKaren Radulovich is the Director of Strategic Accounts at Gale, a Cengage Company. She began her career at Gale in 1999, and has held various roles in both Operations/Customer Care and Public Library Sales. She believes public libraries are the educational hubs of their communities, and is committed to delivering libraries resources that empower learning, outcomes, and success. Karen was born and raised in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and currently resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. When she is not visiting public libraries across the country, she enjoys travelling with her family.
Siobhan ReardonSiobhan Reardon is President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia. Since joining the Free Library in 2008, she has spearheaded the library’s initiative to move beyond its walls by creating computer and internet outposts called Hot Spots that offer free access and training in partnership with local organizations in underserved neighborhoods, in the city’s first roving “techmobile,” and at the Philadelphia International Airport, where travelers can access the internet for free and download library materials on the go. In addition, she has steered the creation of an ambitious five-year strategic plan for the library, underscored by a mission to advance literacy, guide learning, and inspire curiosity. For these efforts and her visionary leadership of the Free Library, she was named Library Journal‘s Librarian of the Year in 2015.
Richard Reyes-GavilanRichard Reyes-Gavilan is the DC Public Library’s Executive Director. He oversees 26 libraries and 600 staff. He leads a $300M capital improvement plan that includes modernizing the landmarked Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, the city’s only building designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the only realized Mies library in the world. Reyes-Gavilan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany and a master’s in library and information science from the University of Texas at Austin. The son of Cuban immigrants, he lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and daughters.
Ramiro SalazarRamiro S. Salazar is the Director of the San Antonio Public Library, an award-winning public library system comprised of 30 locations throughout San Antonio, Texas. He joined the San Antonio Public Library in 2005 and is responsible for the delivery of library services to approximately 1.9 million residents. Mr. Salazar served as co-chair of the 2011 Reforma National Conference and serves as a member of the Advisory Council for American Library Association’s Center for the Future of Libraries initiative. During this tenure, the San Antonio Public Library has been recognized for a number of innovation services initiatives. Before joining the San Antonio Public Library, Mr. Salazar served as Library Director in Dallas and, El Paso.
Shin-pei TsayShin-pei Tsay is the Executive Director of Gehl institute, whose mission is to transform the way cities are shaped by making public life an intentional driver for design and policy. Shin-pei also serves on the Board of In Our Backyards and Transportation Alternatives, and is a Commissioner for the New York City Public Design Commission. Shin-pei holds a MSc in Cities, Space and Society from London School of Economics and a BA with distinction from Cornell University.


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