Ms Abeer S. Al Kuwari

Abeer currently works as the Director of Research and Learning Services at the newly established Qatar National Library (QNL). While overseeing the operations of Public Services at QNL, Abeer supported the start-up of the Children and Young Adults Library and the Community and Outreach Units. Now the focus of Abeer’s work is on engaging the adults and researchers in the Qatari community.

Abeer is a founding member of the Library and Information Association in Qatar (LIA-Q), which was established in 2013. She is also a Corresponding Member in the IFLA Metropolitan Section since 2016. She holds an MA in Library and Information Studies from the University College of London – Qatar.


Mr Chris Adams

Chris Adams is Senior Director of Business Intelligence at EBSCO Information Systems, where he is applying his passion for software analytics to improving end user outcomes. Chris spent more than a decade working at Microsoft, where he held various engineering management roles focused on SharePoint and Office. While there, he pioneered the use of A/B testing, telemetry dashboards, and activity-based user behavior instrumentation in Office 365.

Earlier in his career, Chris spent nine years at a large healthcare software company where he managed testing teams spanning several product lines and geographies, and was a featured speaker at several industry conferences on the topics of test automation and balanced scorecards.

Mr Alex Ball

Alex Ball is a research data librarian at the University of Bath. His current focus is on information systems, having previously specialised in guidance and training. Prior to this, he worked for ten years as a research officer at UKOLN with a focus on digital curation and research data management, and was a member of the UK Digital Curation Centre. He is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Metadata Interest Group and Metadata Standards Catalog Working Group. He counts interactive fiction among his hobbies.

Mr Lars Binau

Lars Binau’s educational background is an MBA in Strategy, Organization and Leadership from Copenhagen Business School. Besides that, he has an associate degree in accounting from Quincy College, Massachusetts, USA. He completed LIBER’s Emerging Leaders International Development Programme for the leaders of tomorrow’s libraries in 2016 and in 2017 was enrolled in DTU Compute’s Big Data Business Innovation programme.

Lars has been head of various departments within DTU Library at the Technical University of Denmark for the last 12 years, and is presently in charge of library facilities and stacks. Lars is especially dedicated to transforming the physical locations into state-of-the-art learning environments that enforce and reframe innovation at the Technical University of Denmark. Within the vision for this ongoing project, the strategic aim is to expand the DTU Media Lab and transform the library to a SMART Library – an indoor IOT living lab.

Mr Jesse Blank

Jesse Blank is the Senior Director of UX Strategy, Design & Research at EBSCO Information Systems. Recently joining 6 months ago, Jesse is leading the redesign of the EBSCO product User Experiences through user persona & customer centric design practices and evolving methods of UX research. He brings over 20 years of experience spanning brand, product strategy and digital experience for many of the world’s top brands and digital products such as Trip Advisor, Sprint, Spalding and SONY electronics.

Most recently, as Head of Digital Experience at Liberty Mutual, Jesse led award winning digital product UX design resulting in over $2 billion in online policy sales and tripling customer satisfaction of online self-service experiences.

Dr Clara M. Chu

Dr. Clara M. Chu is the Director of the Mortenson Center for International Library Programs and Mortenson Distinguished Professor at the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign. She specializes in the social construction of library and information use, practices, and systems that impact access and collective memory in multicultural communities. She has published in leading journals and presented at conferences around the world in English and Spanish. Active in national and international library and information associations, she is Co-Chair of the IFLA Building Strong LIS Education Working Group and 2018-19 President-Elect of the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T).


Ms Loretta Parham

Loretta Parham is CEO & Library Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc. Under her leadership the library was awarded the ACRL 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award. With more than 30 years in the profession her experience includes: Director of the Hampton University Library, Deputy Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa., District Chief of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and other professional positions with the Chicago Public Schools.

An active leader, scholar and engaging speaker, Parham was named the ACRL 2017 Academic Research Librarian of the Year, the 2016 Distinguished Alumna of the University of Michigan School of Information Sciences, a 2004 “Mover & Shaker” by the industry publication Library Journal, has authored articles on HBCU libraries and archives, and is co-editor of the book, Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians

Parham is co-founder and past chair of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance.

Mr Ned Potter

Ned Potter is an Academic Liaison Librarian at the University of York, where he plays a key role in the UX Steering Group. He is a Trainer for various organisations including the Bodleian and the British Library, and his book The Library Marketing Toolkit was published by Facet in 2012. Ned can be found online at ned-potter.com and on Twitter at @ned_potter.

Mr Roelof Rabe

Roelof Rabe is a Professional Architect and is also the founding member of Roelof Rabe Argitekte. He studied at the Academy of Building Art in Amsterdam. He still carries the certification in the Netherlands which is no small feat considering that originally, Roelof came from a Civil Engineering background and left that for the love of Architecture. He started Roelof Rabe Argitekte as a one-man-show ten years ago and grew the company from strength to strength. The firm of 12 now boasts with 3 directors and 4 professional architects. Roelof has been involved with many visionary projects, has extensive experience with the University of Stellenbosch and has also been invited by the University of Pretoria as a keynote speaker at the HEFMA conference.


Ms Marli Ritter

Marli Ritter is a UX Specialist and Web Accessibility evangelist who started off as a basic web designer in the ‘90s. Creating websites, she recognized the critical link between branding and design early on and continued to explore the many facets that contribute to creating digital products. This constant search for synergy between branding, design, development and the end user is ultimately where her love affair with UX started. Her passion for the field is driven further by her interest in cultural anthropology, psychology and human behaviour, as well as her need to understand users' behaviour when interacting with digital products.

Dr Tamar Sadeh

VP, Teaching and Learning Solutions, Ex Libris

With a degree in computer science and mathematics, Tamar Sadeh began her career developing search engines for structured and unstructured data. At Ex Libris, a ProQuest company, Tamar has taken an active role in the definition and marketing of the company’s various technologies since she joined in 1999. In the past few years, she has been leading the Company’s initiatives around teaching and learning.

Tamar holds a doctorate from City University London’s School of Informatics. In parallel to her work at Ex Libris, Tamar is a narrator for audiobooks at the Central Library for the Blind.


Mr Samuel Simango

Samuel Simango studied at Rhodes University where he obtained a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree, a Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB), a Postgraduate Diploma in Taxation and a Master of Commerce in Accounting degree (specialising in the Law of Taxation). In addition to this he also obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Studies from the University of Cape Town.

Whilst pursuing his master’s degree he worked at the Rhodes University library as a library assistant and as the acting Law Faculty librarian. He then went on to pursue a career in library and information sciences. He worked as Law Librarian at  Stellenbosch University from 2014 until 2017 and then moved into the field of research data management. He is currently the manager of Research Data Services at Stellenbosch University’s library.

Ms Laila Vahed

Laila Vahed is the Director of Library and Information Services at the University of Zululand, a position she has held since 2003. She holds a master’s degree in Information Studies from the University of Natal (UKZN).

Currently Laila is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the South African Library and Information Consortium (SANLiC), a position she has held since 2006. Laila has also held portfolios in various other library structures over the years, including the Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) and the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS). She also co-chaired the IFLA WLIC National Committee for the 2007 congress. 

Ms Jenny Walker

Jenny Walker is an independent consultant based in Cape Town. For the past 2 years she has led the corporate pilot project for an important STM/NISO initiative, Resource Access for the 21st Century (RA21). Jenny is a member of the RA21 Steering Committee.

Jenny has many years’ experience in the information industry and before starting as an independent consultant in 2008 held senior positions in Product Management, Marketing and Business Development with SilverPlatter, Ex Libris and Credo Reference. She has also played an active part in the development of NISO standards, working in the areas of SFX/ OpenURL, MetaSearch and Discovery.