Director, Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries
Amy Garmer is Director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries. As Director of the Dialogue on Public Libraries, Amy is leading a multi-year initiative to explore, develop and champion new ways of thinking about U.S. public libraries. She is the author of the Dialogue’s 2014 vision report, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries. As Director of Journalism Projects for the Communications & Society Program, Amy has led the development and execution of many domestic and international journalism-related initiatives over the past ten years, including the Arab-U.S. Media Forum, the Aspen Institute Symposium on Critical Issues in Journalism at the U.S. State Department, the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Journalism and National Security and the white paper series inspired by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities. This work has focused on policy and innovations to foster universal broadband access and adoption, digital and media literacy, local journalism and information hubs, public service media, civic engagement and government transparency.
Fellow, Communications & Society, The Aspen Institute
Executive Director, Penninsula Library System, Pacific Library Partnership and Califa
Susan Hildrethrecently stepped down as the Executive Director of the Califa Group to serve as the Professor of Practice at the University of Washington Information School. She is a fellow at the Aspen Institute. She served as the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services appointed by President Obama from January 2011 through January 2015. Susan served as Seattle Public Library city librarian and state librarian of California, appointed by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. She also served as the city librarian of the San Francisco Public Library and in other leadership positions in California public libraries.
Dr. Norman Jacknis
President, Metropolitan New York Library Council
Senior Fellow, the Intelligent Community Forum
Dr. Norman Jacknis is currently Senior Fellow at the Intelligent Community Forum as well as the National Association of Counties. He also is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Gotham Innovation Greenhouse, a collaborative cross-disciplinary group that blends technology and design for exciting new urban experiences. In addition to his public service, Dr. Jacknis has diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing. He was Director of Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s open innovation and pro-bono strategic advisory group). At Cisco, he worked extensively and in depth with states and local government, the National Association of Counties, the US Conference of Mayors and the staff responsible for the Federal government’s website and citizen engagement. He is past President and now Chairman Emeritus of the Fairfield-Westchester Chapter of the Society for Information Management (a national association of CIOs and senior IT executives), Chairman of Westchester’s Internet society (WATPA, founded in the early 1990s), Trustee of the Westchester County Community College, past Chair and current member of the New York State Regents Advisory Council on Libraries, and President of the New York Metropolitan Library Council, among several leadership positions in the library community.
Chief Executive Officer, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
Gina Millsap is the Chief Executive Officer of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. She leads an organization of 200 employees serving a library-loving community of 179,000. She served as the Director of the Ames (Iowa) Public Library and at the Daniel Boone Public Library prior to making Kansas her home. She’s worked in libraries for 40 years and has been recognized as a Library Journal Mover and Shaker and is Past President of the Library Leadership and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association. She currently serves as Chair of the ALA Committee on Library Advocacy and on the boards of Lyrasis, an organization that serves libraries through purchasing consulting and continuing education, the Public Library Association and 712 Innovations, a hybrid makerspace/cowork space in Topeka for entrepreneurs and anyone who wants to pursue creative ideas. She is immediate past chair of Heartland Visioning, the strategic planning process for the Topeka and Shawnee County community, and has served as a member of its Steering Committee since 2008. She is currently serving as the Co-chair of the Topeka and Shawnee County Community Broadband Planning Project.
Maureen Sullivan Associates
American Library Association (ALA) President 2012-2013
Maureen Sullivan is a widely recognized leader and educator in the library profession. Her career has included positions as the human resources administrator at two major research libraries; a consultant and trainer with the Association of Research Libraries; a member of the faculty in the Managerial Leadership in the Information Professions PhD program at Simmons College and in two of the annual institutes sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has designed and facilitated a number of leadership development programs including: the Mountain Plains Library Association Leadership Institute, the TALL Texans program sponsored by the Texas Library Association, the New England Library Leadership Symposium and several designed for particular groups such as archivists, law librarians and medical librarians. During her term as ALA president in 2012-2013 she launched The Promise of Libraries Transforming Communities, a partnership with The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, to prepare librarians to be conveners of community engagement and public innovators in their communities. She also worked with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to establish the first Library Leadership in a Digital Age institute and created ALA’s first national leadership institute, Leading to the Future.
Dawn La Valle
Director, Division of Library Development, Connecticut State Library
Dawn is currently the Director of the Division of Library Development for the Connecticut State Library. Under Dawn’s leadership the Division provides consulting, funding, professional development training and statewide services that enhance Connecticut libraries abilities to deliver high-quality library service to their communities. During her short tenure Dawn and her staff have fostered partnerships with key federal, state and local agencies as well as other organizations throughout the state that share the vision of the importance of libraries in CT. The Division has launched several initiatives for CT libraries including the EDGE Initiative, Excite Innovation Leadership Training, Health and Legal Literacy initiatives and the CT Statewide Aspen Connecticut’s Path Forward Initiative to name a few. Dawn currently serves on CT’s Access to Justice Commission (ATJ), Co-Chair on ATJ’s Working Group on Public Libraries and CT’s Commission on Educational Technology’s Digital Learning Council.
Previously, Dawn was the Assistant Director for Administrative Services at the Fairfield Public Library and prior to that was an adult reference librarian, adult literacy liaison and periodicals department supervisor at the White Plains Public Library for 7 years. While at White Plains, Dawn developed and administered a successful literacy program at the White Plains Public Library.