Annual Conference Keynote Speaker Information

Annual Conference Keynote Speaker


The conference planning committee is proud to announce that the 2020 Annual Conference keynote speaker will be Annie Downey.


Annie Downey
is Associate Provost and Director of the Armacost Library and Learning Commons at the University of Redlands in California. She has worked as a social sciences librarian and library administrator in a variety of academic environments for over 15 years, including her most recent roles as the Associate College Librarian and Director of Research Services for the Reed College Library and Head of Research and Instruction Services for the University of North Texas Libraries. She received her PhD in higher education in 2014 and her MLS in 2004 from the University of North Texas. She has written and presented on service design, critical librarianship, information literacy, K­20 library instruction, assessment, women in libraries, and academic library administration. Annie is the author of Critical Information Literacy: Foundations, Inspiration, and Ideas and the co-author (with Joe Marquez) of Library Service Design: A LITA Guide to Holistic Assessment, Insight, and Improvement and Getting Started in Service Design. She was awarded the first Future of Libraries Fellowship in 2017 from the ALA Center for the Future of Libraries and was named a 2018 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal.

Keynote description
Early American women librarians were pioneers who defined what and who libraries are about and for, creating many of the core services libraries still offer, like reference, open stacks, children and youth services, remote access to materials, and programming for community growth and education. Even after men were pushed to enter the profession in larger numbers in the 1950s and 1960s, they were largely in administrative roles and they mostly left the "feminized" work of operating the library to their women staff. Service to the community was the cornerstone of this work. Whittling down this cornerstone is creating generational tension within and about libraries and a muddied vision of our future.

A clear example of this is the divisive assault on the concept of service in academic libraries. At a time when justice-focused activism is enjoying the latest of a series of bursts of activity in libraries, we have continued the trend of dismissing or diminishing many of our core services. Likewise, the word 'service' has become an unacceptable word in many libraries. In this talk, I will discuss why dismissing core services (aka sacred cows) is often antithetical to our roots as a woman-driven profession and how and why we should seize opportunities to radically reimagine library infrastructure to reinvigorate services that are rooted in our historical successes.