May 22, 2022

The Aspen Institute Launches Dialogue On Public Libraries

From the Aspen Institute:

The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will begin with a working group gathering in August 2013 convening leaders from the library field, executives from businesses and officials from various levels of government, community development visionaries and education experts to create a common vision for public libraries.

Public libraries in the U.S. are at a crossroads. As trusted institutions, libraries serve their communities by improving digital skills, helping people access online information in new ways, providing a space for learning at every age, and connecting people to jobs, educational opportunities and critical community services. Yet, despite these benefits, libraries face ongoing challenges with budget cuts and the need to adapt in an increasingly digital society.


The working group includes:

  • Akhtar Badshah, senior director, Global Community Affairs, Microsoft
  • Susan Benton, president, Urban Libraries Council
  • John Seely Brown, co-chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge
  • Jonathan Chambers, acting chief, Office of Strategic Planning & Policy, Federal Communications Commission
  • Dan Cohen, executive director, Digital Public Library of America
  • Karl Dean, mayor, City of Nashville, Tennessee
  • Jessica Dorr, deputy director, Global Libraries Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Charles Firestone, executive director, Communications and Society Program, The Aspen Institute
  • Amy Garmer, director of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries, Communications and Society Program, The Aspen Institute
  • Tessie Guillermo, president and chief executive officer, Zero Divide
  • Tomeka Hart, commissioner, Memphis City Schools, Tennessee, and vice president, African American Community Partnerships, Teach for America
  • Susan Hildreth, director, Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Renee Hobbs, professor and founding director, Harrington School of Communication and Media, University of Rhode Island
  • Reed Hundt, principal, REH Advisors
  • Norman Jacknis, director, IBSG Public Sector Group, Cisco
  • Deborah Jacobs, director, Global Libraries Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Beth Jefferson, co-founder and chief executive officer, BiblioCommons
  • Joshua Kauffman, designer and consultant
  • Anthony Marx, president and chief executive officer, New York Public Library
  • Madeline McIntosh, chief operating officer, Random House
  • Bret Perkins, vice president, External & Government Affairs, Comcast Corporation
  • Lee Rainie, director, Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research Center
  • Graham Richard, chief executive officer, Advanced Energy Economy
  • Gloria Rubio-Cortes, president, National Civic League
  • AnnaLee Saxenian, dean, School of Information, University of California, Berkeley
  • John Szabo, city librarian, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Pam Sandlian Smith, library director, Anythink Libraries, Colorado
  • Maureen Sullivan, president, American Library Association
  • Susana Vasquez, executive director, LISC Chicago
  • Amy Webb, chief executive officer, Webbmedia Group

 Read the Complete Announcement

Direct to Dialogue on Public Libraries Web Page (via Aspen Institute)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.