May 18, 2022

Podcast Interview: NYPL’s Chief Digital Officer Tony Ageh Says Public Is Better Off When Libraries Are ‘Risk Averse’ About Tech”

From GeekWire:

First: It’s not just about digitizing books.

That’s the biggest misconception that the public has about the role of digital technology in libraries, according to the chief digital officer of what is arguably the world’s largest public library.

New York Public Library’s Tony Ageh was recently in Seattle to talk about libraries’ digital transformation. Ageh made the point that tech now permeates pretty much all of a library’s operations, from ebooks and article databases, to systems for checking out materials and tracking fines.


“Librarians are incredibly risk averse,” he said. “I think they do care very much about patrons and about the impact that their work does, and so we’re very unlikely to take a chance when we’re dealing with public money and when we’re dealing with patrons; we have a personal relationship with them.”

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See Also: The Guardian Profiles Tony Ageh, New Chief Digital Officer at the New York Public Library (April 7, 2016)

See Also: New York Public Library Appoints Tony Ageh Chief Digital Officer (March 15, 2016)

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.