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Speaker Biographies

Key Note Speakers


Charles Leadbeater

Charlie Leadbeater is an independent and strategic adviser on innovation whose advice is sought by governments, cities and companies across the world.

The New York Times anointed Charlie’s idea, The Pro-Am Revolution, referenced extensively by Chris Anderson in his landmark book The Long Tail, as one of the biggest global ideas of the last decade. His TED talks on innovation have been watched by more than 800,000 people.

Find out more about Charles


Skip Prichard
President and CEO, OCLC

Skip Prichard has led multi-national organisations that serve libraries across the full spectrum of library services and content needs. Skip joined Ingram in 2007 as Chief Operating Officer. He was named President and CEO of Ingram Content Group in January 2008, and served through June 2012.


John Tsebe
National Librarian and Chair of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries, South Africa

John K. Tsebe has worked in the Library and Information Services field since 1975. In March 2004 he was appointed National Librarian of South Africa, after previously holding the position of University Librarian at the University of the North, now University of Limpopo, for 19 years.

Find out more about John



Stephanie Diakité, JC-JD/MBA/PhD
Co-Founder T160K - Timbuktu Libraries in Exile Knowledge for Peace Initiative

With the left side of her brain, Stephanie is a jurist and a poverty eradication institutional development specialist working in more than 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa through her firm, D intl. With the right side, she is a book artist and a book and paper conservation specialist. She has been working for over 20 years in support of the preservation of the ancient manuscripts of Africa, including those from Timbuktu.

T160K is dedicated to the protection, preservation and study of the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. Our long-term vision is the return of the manuscripts to their home in Timbuktu and to apply the vast knowledge they contain to the peace process in Mali and in other places in Africa. T160K was co-founded by Stephanie Diakité and Abdel Kader Haidara, President of SAVAMA DCI and Curator of the Mamma Haidara Library in Timbuktu.

Additional Speakers

Jos Damen


Director, African Studies Centre, Netherlands  

Jos Damen is Director of the Library and ICT Department at the African Studies Centre (ASC) in Leiden, the Netherlands. The ASC is an independent scientific institute that undertakes social-science research on Africa and aims to promote a better understanding of developments in Africa. Damen arranged the take-over of the Library of Congress’s Quarterly Index of Africana Periodicals and its inclusion in the ASC database AfricaBib (2013). Recent activities include the organisation of a project with two Wikipedians in Residence at Dutch libraries, including the Rijksmuseum Library.

Elisabeth Denk


Marketing Manager / Project Coordinator BiblioFreak, OCLC

Elisabeth Denk has focused on marketing and communication for branded fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) since her degree in European Business Studies. In 2009 she started to apply her skills and passion at OCLC to inform and support Public Library services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In 2012 OCLC initiated an expert group to analyse whether the US campaign “geek-the-library” is suitable for the German speaking countries in Europe. Elisabeth Denk is coordinating all activities around the BiblioFreak project.

Poul Erlandsen


Head of Department Royal Library Denmark

Since January 2012, Poul Erlandsen has been the head of the Copenhagen University Library Department in the Black Diamond (The Royal Library) in Copenhagen. Before that (beginning November 2009) he was head of the ILL Section in the same library coming from a position as head of Document Access Services at the National Library of Education also in Copenhagen.

Poul has a long experience in the field of resource sharing. From 2004 to 2007 he chaired the IFLA Document Delivery and Resource Sharing Standing Committee and in 2009-2010 he chaired the Rethinking Resource Sharing Initiative Steering Committee. He has recently been a member of the ALA International Interlibrary Loan Committee and the NISO Physical Delivery of Library Materials Working Group. He is presently serving on the OCLC SHARES Executive Group.

Ted Fons


Executive Director, WorldCat Global Metadata Network, OCLC

Ted directs three different components of OCLC's metadata services: The Batch Services group coordinates the loading and ongoing synchronisation of thousands of library catalogues with WorldCat. The WorldCat Registry group provides coordination and stewardship for the WorldCat Registry of data about the world's libraries. Finally, the WorldCat knowledge base team manages the growth and quality of the WorldCat knowledge base of licensed electronic resources. That team is currently engaged in a project to integrate the knowledge base with WorldCat and to provide expanded metadata management of licensed electronic resources.

Ted brings more than a decade of experience in the integrated library system industry to his role as Director of the WorldCat Global Metadata Network. He has presented and published articles on such diverse library system topics such as electronic resource management systems and standards for the exchange of ILS-related data. Ted has participated in a number of standards-related activities, including the NISO/EDItEUR Joint Working Party on the Exchange of Serials Subscription Data and the NISO Standardized Usage Statistics Harvesting Initiative.

Prior to joining OCLC, Ted was a senior product manager and director of customer service at Innovative Interfaces and before that worked in academic libraries understanding acquisitions, cataloguing and reference work. He received his MLS from Syracuse University in 1996.

Jeff Gima  


American University of Paris, Director AMICAL Consortium

After receiving his BA in Physics from Reed College, Jeff Gima began his work with libraries as a Peace Corps volunteer, building a school library in rural Zimbabwe. Jeff received his MS in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois, and has worked in academic, public and school libraries. Currently based at the American University of Paris, he is director of the AMICAL Consortium, through which he facilitates collaboration between librarians, technologists and faculty at 26 American-modeled colleges and universities across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Central and Southern Asia.

Roger Grossmann


Technical Director of Management Services (EMEA), OCLC Germany

Roger leads OCLC EMEAs engineering teams that build and maintain library management products. As Technical Director he coordinates the development of ILS and metadata management systems such as Amlib, Bibliotheca, CBS, LBS, OLIB and SunRise. He also oversees the development of WorldShare Management Services in EMEA. 

Roger designed and developed library automation applications and services for more than a decade. He worked for many years as development team lead for OCLC (and formerly SISIS Informationssysteme) and contributed actively to the code base of library management systems and service components.  Prior to OCLC, Roger worked at the Technical University in Berlin.

Rosalind Hattingh


Managing Director, Sabinet Online

Rosalind Hattingh has 27 years’  experience in the  library and information industry.  She joined Sabinet in April 1986 as an Analyst/Programmer and held the positions of IT Director and Director of Product Management prior to being appointed as Managing Director in April 2009. She graduated from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1985.

Naomi House


Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular webzine and jobs list (I Need a Library Job). Currently, Naomi is a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC. 

Sarah Kaddu


Project Coordinator, National Library of Uganda

Sarah is currently Project Coordinator, World Digital Library (WDL) Uganda, National Library of Uganda.   She has also been apart of IFLA Leaders Programme Associate, IFLA/OCLC Fellow 2008, Immediate past Secretary General Uganda Library & Information Association, Deputy Secretary General, Uganda US Alumni Association, former Vice President, Information Science Foundation for Eastern Africa (ISFEA) and Coordinator, Uganda Christian University (UCU) Library & Information Science Programme, Patron, Uganda Christian University Library & Information Science Students’ Association (UCULISSA).

Sarah carried out research and published on Information Ethics, ICT Application in agricultural women development, Tracer study of UCU graduate Alumni and Digital Library Development in Uganda.


Axel Kaschte


Product Strategy Director, OCLC EMEA

Axel Kaschte graduated in theoretical Physics at Humboldt-University in East-Berlin and in 1989 obtained a Ph.D. there. After the fall of the Wall he started to work for the Utah based library software company Dynix and became development team leader in the Dynix headquarters in Provo, Utah, where he worked for 5 years. His final position at Dynix was International Product Manager before he joined Ex Libris in 2009 as Strategy Director Europe where he was deeply involved in defining and presenting the new strategy of unified library automation and cloud solutions.

Since June of 2013 he is Product Strategy Director at OCLC EMEA. In this capacity he oversees at one side the product management of the legacy library management systems which have been acquired by OCLC EMEA in recent years. The main activity however is the EMEA related product management tasks to enable the transition of the library community to next generation library services within the web paradigm. Axel works out of Hamburg, Germany.

Barbara Lison


Director, Bremen Public Library

Barbara has been the Director of the Public Library system of Bremen for the last 20 years. The beginning of her library career started in an academic field where she was the manager of the library and information centre of the German Federal Institute for Workplace Safety in Dortmund.

Between 2011 and 2013 Barbara served as elected member of the IFLA Governing Board; she was re-elected for 2013 - 2015. Her particular commitments during the first term include the IFLA-working group for multilingualism and the Congress Advisory Committee. One major result of this work was the launch of the Spanish and French versions of the IFLA-website.

As library expert for the Goethe-Institute, Barbara has been active in workshops and conferences across Europe and indeed worldwide. During the terms 2010 – 2013, 2013 – 2016 she will be a member of the advisory board for libraries and information of the Goethe-Institute.

Eric van Lubeek


Managing Director, OCLC EMEA

Eric joined OCLC as Director of Operations & Services EMEA in March 2007 and was appointed Managing Director OCLC EMEA in January 2011. Prior to joining OCLC, Eric was Managing Director of Infor’s global library systems division (formerly known as Geac Library Systems). He has a long standing career in the library information systems industry for in several positions, including consulting, sales, marketing and senior management.

Eric has a degree in librarianship and documentation and a master of science in business administration from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

Pierre Malan

Pierre Malan

Executive Director, Sabinet

Pierre Malan started his career in the Library and Information industry at SABINET in the beginning of 1992 as Network Manager after gaining 5 years experience as Support Manager in the Computer Industry. He took over full responsibility for all computerisation and networking infrastructure at SABINET as Information Technology Manager from 1994. This allowed him to experience the deployment of the internet at academic libraries and witnessing the change that came with it.

He has since been responsible for various further functions at Sabinet including that of systems development and later product development. He currently oversees various departments at Sabinet such as Sales, Client Services and Metadata and also serves on the Sabinet board.

Jacques Malschaert


Director, Bibliotheekservice Fryslan, The Netherlands

Jacques Malschaert has been Director of Bibliotheekservice Fryslân, since September 2011.  Throughout his professional career Jacques has worked with a variety of libraries including the Public Library Zoetermeer, Netherlands, Public Library Schiedam and as a Director of Public Libraries in the South Holland region.   

Jacques has a vast knowledge of the library sphere and is currently a Member of the board from BFF (union of publishers in the region of Friesland), Chairman of the Platform reading promotion in Friesland and a Member of the board of the Dutch service organisations for libraries.

Buhle Mbambo-Thata


Executive Director of Library Services UNISA

Dr Buhle Mbambo-Thata is Executive Director of Library Services at the University of South Africa (UNISA). Prior to that, she served as University Librarian at the University of Zimbabwe.

Dr Mbambo-Thata served a second term as member of the Governing Board. She  previously served as secretary, and subsequently Chair of IFLA Africa Section.

She is a member of the Strategic Advisory Network of the Global Libraries Programme of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has previously served on various committee affiliations including the Library Network of the Association of Commonwealth Libraries, the E-Knowledge Society for Women in Southern Africa (of which she was chairperson), the Advisory Committees  of EIFL, 2004-2007, and the Gender in Africa Information Network 1996-2001.

Her research interests are in women and ICT, ICT applications in libraries and library services on mobile devices.

Robert Moropa


Chair, OCLC EMEA Regional Council

Robert Moropa’s professional career spans over more than two decades. He started his career as a regional librarian with the former Transvaal Provincial Administration before he moved to the University of Fort Hare and then to the University of Transkei where he held the positions of Assistant Librarian in 1981, Deputy University Librarian in 1985 and University Librarian in 1990. He has subsequently held senior positions at the following institutions: Tshwane University of Technology , University of South Africa and University of Pretoria. 

He was one of the key players in the unification process of the pre 1994 fragmented Library and Information Services (LIS)profession in South Africa. This process led to the launch of LIASA (Library and Information Association of South Africa) in 1997. He served as President of LIASA from 2002 to 2004 and Chairperson of the Northern Gauteng Branch of LIASA from 2004 to 2006. Robert  was awarded the Honorary Lifetime Membership of LIASA at the LIASA AGM that was held on 30 September 2010 for the outstanding leadership and service to LIASA.

Robert received the Alumnus of the year award for 2005 from the Department of Library and Information Science at Unisa. He was the first recipient of this award. He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ATLA (Access to Learning Award) 2006 and 2008. He was recently appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Susan Murray  


Executive Director of African Journals OnLine

Susan Murray is the Executive Director of African Journals OnLine (AJOL), a South African Non Profit Organisation hosting the world’s largest online collection of peer-reviewed, African-published scholarly journals. She is also a Trustee of Umthathi Training Project, a local skills and development Non Profit in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) at

Susan’s academic qualifications are in development economics and her professional experience is in the non-profit sector in South Africa, and several other African countries. She has an abiding interest in the role that access to research outputs can play in economic development in low income and emerging economies, as well as the practicalities of attaining this.

George Needham


Vice President, Global and Regional Councils

George was appointed Vice President of Member Services in 1999 and was named to his current position in 2009. During his tenure at OCLC, he has been deeply involved with transforming the cooperative into a global membership organisation with a new governance structure—a more inclusive, representative model designed to extend participation to more libraries and cultural heritage institutions around the world.

Before joining OCLC, he was State Librarian of Michigan, where he launched several innovative, statewide library projects, including AccessMichigan, a pioneering LSTA-funded project that provides full-text databases, indexes, abstracts and other online reference services to all types of libraries in Michigan. From 1984 to 1989, he served as library director of Fairfield County District Library in Lancaster, Ohio, during which he opened a new library built entirely with community donations and designed by library staff. From 1990 to 1993, he was Director of Member Services of the Ohio Library Association. He was also Executive Director of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association, from 1993 to 1996.

Cornelius Parkin


Software Engineer and Solutions Architect, Sabinet Online

Cornelius is a Software Engineer and Solutions Architect with over 10 years experience in PHP and MySQL developments. He has a strong background in the Mobile VAS market and has been working on Wordcat API integrations for the past 3 years of which the past 10 months, he has been leading the Sabinet Development team in various projects. He also has a business management diploma which allows him to consider business requirements when developing software solutions. 

Jenny Raubenheimer


Director of Information Resources Distribution of UNISA Library, University of South Africa

Ms Jenny Raubenheimer is Director of Information Resources Distribution of Unisa Library at the University of South Africa. Since the early 1990’s, been actively involved in resource sharing activities particularly in South Africa but also internationally. Her research interests are within this topic. She has delivered papers on this topic at national and international conferences and has published in this field of interest.

In addition to her role at UNISA, she is currently serving within the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Document Delivery and Resource sharing section as a member of the Standing Committee for Resource sharing and Document supply.

Jenny Raubenheimer is acting as Chair of the African Library Summit Organising Committee.

Emma Sansby

Emma Sansby

Head of Library Services, Bishop Grosseteste University

Emma Sansby has been Head of Library Services at Bishop Grosseteste University (based in Lincoln, UK) for 9 years.  She gained a Masters degree in Information and Library Management from the University of Northumbria and began her library career working in further education, initially at Peterborough Regional College and then at New College Stamford. 

She is involved in several local library groups, acting as secretary to both the East Midlands branch of the Academic and Research Libraries Group (ARLG) of CILIP and to the East Midlands Academic Libraries (EMAL) group.  She was a founder member, in 1998, of the Lincolnshire Information Services Network and has been co-editor of children’s literature newsletter Hullabaloo! for the past 8 years.

Bas Savenije

Bas Savenije

Director General, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library

Bas Savenije graduated in philosophy in 1977. Since then, he has held a range of positions at Utrecht University, among which director of Strategic Planning and director Budgeting and Control. From 1994 until 2009 he was university librarian of Utrecht University, managing the comprehensive university library. He has initiated a pervasive innovation program for the library aimed at implementing and continuously improving electronic services. One of the results is an e-press within the university library of Utrecht for electronic publishing and archiving services.

Since June 2009 Bas has been Director General of the KB, National Library of the Netherlands. At the KB his emphasis is on digital library services and the national information infrastructure.

He is (among others) chairman of FOBID (the Dutch Federation of Organisations in the Field of Libraries, Information and Documentation).

Anja Smit


Past Chair, OCLC EMEA Regional Council
University Librarian, Utrecht University

Anja is responsible for the University Library of Utrecht University.  She joined Utrecht University in March 2010, after an international career of over 20 years in library management and library automation.

Anja served as library director at two Dutch Universities (Nijmegen and Maastricht) and spent 3 years in the US.  At NELINET, she was a consultant for libraries on strategic and tactical planning, human resource management, facilities renovation, and other topics critical to library administrators.  Active in the library world since 1988, Anja served on several national and international committees, including The Dutch Consortium for Information Infrastructure, and the Board of a public library organisation.  She is currently chair of the Dutch Consortium of University Libraries and the Royal Library.   

Ellen Tise


Senior Director, University of Stellenbosch

Ellen R. Tise is Senior Director, Library and Information Services at Stellenbosch University South Africa, since January 2006. She previously held the positions of University Librarian at the University of the Western Cape from 2001–2005, and Deputy University Librarian at the University of the Witwatersrand from 1996-2000, in South Africa. In February 2011, Ms Tise was appointed to the UNESCO International Advisory Committee of the Memory of the World for a four year period from 2011-2014. In October 2012, she was appointed Chairman of the Board of the National Library of South Africa for a three year period from 2012–2015.

Ms Tise was recently nominated by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) to serve on the UNESCO expert working group for the restoration and reconstruction of Mali’s cultural heritage and building the necessary capacity.

Ms Tise was awarded an honorary fellowship of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the Federation’s highest award in August 2012.  She has received many other awards for distinguished leadership and outstanding contributions to librarianship, including a special recognition award for contributions to international librarianship by the International Relations Committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association in 2010, and honorary membership of the Library and Information Association of South Africa in 2007.

Laila Vahed


Director of Library and Information Services, University of Zululand

Laila Vahed is the Director of Library and Information Services at the University of Zululand, a Comprehensive University situated on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, approximately 2 hours drive north of Durban.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Information Studies from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu Natal (UKZN) having obtained her BBibl and the BBibl Honours from the University of Durban Westville, now also part of UKZN.

After having served the University of Durban Westville in various capacities as a professional Librarian, she joined the University of Zululand in 2003 as head of its Library Services, a position she still holds. Laila has held portfolios in various library structures over the years, including LIASA. She co-chaired the IFLA WLIC National Committee for the 2007 congress. Currently Laila sits on the National Council for Library and Information Services (NCLIS) and is the Chair of the Board of Directors of the South African Library and information Consortium.

Hanita van der Meulen


Marketing Manager, OCLC EMEA

Hanita van der Meulen (OCLC) started working for OCLC as Marketing Manager, the Netherlands in the summer of 2013 bringing new élan and fresh insights to the team. She is a driven marketer with a passion for commercial success to whom thinking out of the box is second nature.

Hanita has more than 20 years experience in sales, business development, project management, events management, marketing communications and developing go-to-market strategies for new and existing products in new markets. Her passion makes Hanita a strong motivator with a good sense of humor which is inspiring to co-workers and others around her. Some of her competencies include coaching individual employees, managing internal and external relations and managing commercially successful re-organisations.

Her international marketing and sales experience, hands-on mentality, and multilingualism (she speaks 6 languages!) help her bring all kinds of projects to a successful end. She has worked in North Africa, Europe, and Oceania.

Ton van Vlimmeren


Director of the Public Library of Utrecht, Netherlands.

Ton van Vlimmeren was trained as a psychologist and has previously worked as a teacher, an educational consultant and Director of public schools in Utrecht.  He has also acted as Director for the city in different roles, such as Real Estate and Urban Planning, Districts and Civic Centers and Public Services. 

He has served as vice-president of the Dutch Library Association and member of the governmental steering commitee for library innovation. He also contributed in the International Libraries Network of the Bertelsmann Foundation (now PLIN) and is a strategic advisor for the Global Libraries Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

His main challenges now are implementing a Geek the Library campaign in the Netherlands and creating innovative services for the library in cooperation with the Artmoviehouse for the new central library that is planned to be opened in 2018.

Richard Wallis


Technology Evangelist, OCLC

Richard Wallis, distinguished thought leader in Semantic Web and Linked Data technology, joined OCLC in 2012 as Technology Evangelist.

Richard has been at the forefront of emerging Web and Semantic Web technologies in the wider information world for over 20 years. He is an active blogger and was a regular podcaster in the "Talking with Talis" series. From 2008 to 2010, he hosted and chaired "Library 2.0 Gang," a monthly round-table podcast series that brought together thought leaders, movers and shakers and executives from leading organisations in library technology.

Richard most recently had been with Talis, a Linked Data and Semantic Web technology organisation in the United Kingdom. He is based in Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Norbert Weinberger

Norbert Weinberger

Managing Director, Germany, OCLC

Norbert has been involved with the IT automation of libraries for almost three decades and since 2005 has been the General Manager of the German division of OCLC.  He is also one of OCLC’s portfolio Director’s and responsible for the development of library management systems.

Cyrill Walters


Head of Commerce Information Services, University of Cape Town Libraries

Cyrill Walters holds Bachelors and Masters Degrees in the Performing Arts, a Postgraduate Diploma in Library and Information Science (LIS), and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Stellenbosch Business School.

Cyrill has had significant international experience since entering the LIS profession including being awarded an exchange scholarship for her Master’s Degree at the University of Michigan in 2002 and being awarded the IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellowship in 2008.

She also visited the United States under the auspices of the Research Libraries Consortium (RLC), a three-year program funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which included a five-week residency at Yale university libraries. Her professional interests include statistical assessment and the application of innovative pedagogical techniques in research education.

Titia van der Werf


OCLC Office of Research

Titia van der Werf is a Senior Program Officer in OCLC Research based in OCLC's Leiden office. Titia coordinates and extends OCLC Research work throughout Europe and has special responsibilities for interactions with OCLC Research Library Partners. She represents OCLC in European and International, library and cultural heritage venues.  Prior to joining OCLC Research in January 2012, Titia was the deputy director of the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam, responsible for collections and digital infrastructure.

Sandy Yee


Chair, OCLC Board of Trustees

Sandy Yee has served as Dean of the University Libraries and the Library and Information Science Program at Wayne State University since May 2001. Prior to joining Wayne State, Sandy spent 19 years at Eastern Michigan University in various library administrative roles including professor and associate dean. She also has experience in community college, high school and junior high school libraries.

Sandy joined the OCLC Board of Trustees in November 2008 after her election by OCLC Members Council in May 2008. She served as President of Members Council during its 2007-2008 session.

Currently, Sandy serves on the ARL Board of Directors. In addition to her previous service on OCLC Members Council (2001-2008) Sandy has served on numerous committees of the Association of College & Research Libraries including the Budget and Finance Committee. She has been an active member of the Michigan Library Association (MLA), serving as its president, treasurer, and academic division chair; and in 1999, she was named MLA's Librarian of Year. She also serves on the Detroit Public Library Friends Foundation Board.

Sandy presents and publishes on a variety of topics relating to academic libraries including instruction, outreach and digital projects. She is also actively engaged in Library and Information Science education activities.

We are a worldwide library cooperative, owned, governed and sustained by members since 1967. Our public purpose is a statement of commitment to each other—that we will work together to improve access to the information held in libraries around the globe, and find ways to reduce costs for libraries through collaboration.