• Library Leaders Forum 2017 — October 11-13

    Creating Open Libraries


    Come to the Internet Archive to build Open Libraries—a five-year project to curate, digitize and lend 4 million diverse and inclusive books through libraries across North America. Working with organizations serving people with print disabilities, we can build the online equivalent of a major public library, making millions of digital books accessible to billions of people. This digitize-and-lend service enables libraries that own the hard copies to offer their readers temporary digital access, while preserving a century of books now missing from our digital shelves.

    Join us for this 2-day convening of early adopters, partners & stakeholders. It’s time to roll up our sleeves, meet with our peers in working groups, and lay out the plans to greatly expand every library’s digital collection.



    Learn more at OpenLibraries.online

Event Focus

Book scanning

Planning Services & Technology

What essential infrastructure will we all need to digitize and lend millions of books? How do we make them accessible to people with disabilities around the world?  Library managers and engineers will hone the services needed. We’ll define a path to minimum viability for testing and draft a roadmap for the services and systems to come.


Sharing Legal Frameworks

The goal of Open Libraries is to forge a path that honors the rights of creators, while serving the compelling interests of society. A working group of copyright experts has drafted a “Statement on Controlled Digital Lending” to share and refine with you. Together we can clarify the legal framework for the entire library ecosystem.


Connecting Stakeholders

Open Libraries includes experts in law, business, history & human rights. You come from the worlds of libraries, publishing, technology and accessibility. We want to bring you together in intimate groups to deepen our connections. Together we can build an enduring asset for libraries across this nation, ensuring that all people have equal and unfettered access to knowledge.



Highlighted Speakers

Jim Fruchterman

Founder & CEO, Benetech & Bookshare


Jim Fruchterman is a social entrepreneur and Cal Tech-trained engineer whose organization, Benetech, builds software for social good, using technology to better serve disadvantaged segments of society.  He operates Bookshare, the world’s largest digital library for people with disabilities that impact reading. Through global treaties, Benetech & OpenLibraries can bring millions of free digital books to billions of people.

Mary Lou Jepsen

Mary Lou Jepsen

Founder of OpenWater


Mary Lou Jepsen is one of Silicon Valley’s most accomplished and visionary leaders. From her earliest days as co-founder and CTO of One Laptop Per Child, Jepsen has devoted her understanding of computer hardware to make the world a more liveable and equitable place. As a top executive at Google X and Facebook’s Oculus Rift, Jepsen helped bring virtual reality to the next level. She’ll share her vision of what 4 million digital books could mean for the world.

Karen Keniger

Karen Keninger

Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped


Karen Keninger has served as the Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress for the past five years. Prior to her appointment with the Library of congress, Keninger served as Director of the Iowa Department for the Blind and as Regional Librarian at the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Her priorities for NLS focus on leveraging technology and expanding content options for people who cannot read standard print because of a visual or physical disability.


Michelle Wu

Associate Dean, Georgetown University Law Center Library


Michelle Wu is a Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, teaching and writing in the areas of copyright, licensing, and library administration. Wu is a thought leader in fair use and digitize-and-lend models. She is part of the task force drafting the “Statement on Controlled Digital Lending of Physical Library Collections,” and spearheads a project to make Georgetown Law Library holdings nearly 100% digital.



We had a blast at the 2016 Annual Celebration and Library Leaders Forum.

Check out some highlights from last year’s events.