Collaborators for the Future: Bringing Our Values to the Trends and Changes in Our World
Miguel Figueroa, Center for the Future of Libraries, American Libraries Association

How do we think about the future? For many, futuring begins by studying the trends and changes happening in society, education, technology, economics, and demographics. But these trends and changes only become meaningful when we consider them in light of our professional values and the values we seek to provide to our communities. How can we work together to explore a broad range of trends and changes and innovate in ways that advance our values?

Miguel Figueroa works at the Center for the Future of Libraries, an initiative from the American Library Association. He has previously held positions at the American Theological Library Association; ALA ‘s Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services; NYU’s Ehrman Medical Library; and Neal-Schuman Publishers. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona’s Knowledge River Program, an initiative that examines library issues from Hispanic and Native American perspectives.

Miguel will also be offering a breakout session to extend upon the themes discussed in his keynote presentation. More information to follow. 

Invited Presentations

Scholarly Communication in a Time of Change: Considering the Impact of Bias, Diversity, and Traditional Publishing Structures as Scholarly Communication Moves to New Platforms and Systems
Charlotte Roh, University of San Francisco

Just like legacy cataloging can be a barrier to discoverability and access, traditional publishing structures that are carried into today’s new scholarly communication technologies and systems can persist across academic peer review and publication. As librarians, publishers, and library publishers, we can take steps to subvert existing inequalities and biases in the scholarly communication ecosystem.

Charlotte Roh is the Scholarly Communications Librarian at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit University with a social justice mission. This intersection of scholarly communication and social justice is the focus of Charlotte’s work, for which she received the Library Publishing Coalition (LPC)’s 2017 Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Library Publishing for the chapter Agents of Diversity and Social Justice: Librarians and Scholarly Communication with her co-author, Harrison Inefuku. Charlotte has expertise in institutional repositories, library publishing, open education, fair use, copyright, and author rights, which is informed in particular by her background in academic publishing.


Who Succeeds in Higher Education? Questioning the Connection Between Academic Libraries and Student Success
Zoe Fisher, Southern Utah University

Many academic libraries are feeling pressured to join “student success” initiatives to collect and analyze data about students’ academic behaviors. In the library, this may result in tracking who uses group study rooms, who checks out books, who asks questions at the reference desk, and who participates in information literacy instruction. These data points are being used to prove that students who use the library are more likely to succeed in college; therefore, academic libraries are valuable. Such surveillance methods have been used in several high-profile studies, including those in the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Assessment in Action initiative. In this talk, I will question the role of academic libraries in student success and the methods being used to prove academic library value. What is at stake when academic libraries connect student library use with their academic performance? What are the implications for students’ privacy? Could tracking students in the library lead to self-censorship and intellectual freedom concerns? Most importantly, what do students really need from an academic library in order to be successful in college?

Zoe Fisher is an information literacy librarian in Seattle, Washington. She regularly writes, publishes, and presents about approaches to information literacy instruction, student learning assessment, community college libraries, and ethics in librarianship. Zoe was the Pedagogy & Assessment Librarian at the University of Colorado Denver from 2016 to 2017 and, prior to that role, she was a Reference & Instruction Librarian at Pierce College in Puyallup, Washington from 2012 to 2016. Zoe’s most recent teaching experience includes her work as adjunct faculty for Southern Utah University, Renton Technical College, and Green River College. You can find her online at