More than two days of learning, sharing, insights, and connections

How can you drive transformation in your library to better address users’ evolving needs? The Americas Regional Council Program Committee is creating an intensive two-day agenda to explore this question and more. Conference programming will balance a dialogue around our shared future with discussion around practical “get-started-now” takeaways. Programming will focus on how to apply a “game-changing” approach in several key areas, including technology and innovation, spaces and resources, analytics and data, and public purpose.


The agenda is being developed with multiple learning and sharing opportunities, including:

  • Preconference (new this year!): The OCLC Research Library Partnership invites institutional leaders from national and university libraries to join our preconference where we will share findings from recent OCLC research and partner activities. Preconference attendees will also have the opportunity to discuss today’s greatest library challenges with stakeholders within and beyond the library community. This programming is free to attendees of the ARC18 Conference, or you may choose to register only for the preconference for a small fee.
  • Plenary sessions: All attendees will hear and learn from thought leaders inside and outside of the library community. These sessions will feature keynote presentations and panels.
  • Member breakout sessions: These member-driven breakout sessions will feature library leaders who will be sharing learnings, insights, and innovations around various aspects of building a game-changing library. We are seeking member contributions for these sessions.
  • Networking activities: Attendees will have several opportunities to connect with peers over meals, breaks, and a special Thursday night dinner event, all of which are included with your conference registration.

Below is a high-level agenda for the conference. Please watch this site for updates to the agenda and program. Member-submitted sessions will be posted in August, along with conference keynotes. Unless otherwise noted, all events will take place at The Drake Hotel.


Wednesday, October 24

Event Time
Preconference: Leading the 21st century research library (coordinated by the OCLC Research Library Partnership)
Research libraries are rethinking current collection practices and infrastructures, shifting from relatively autonomous local library collections to those built on networks of collaboration, often outside of the traditional library community. Network intelligence is becoming essential for the facilitation of discoverability, interoperability, and operation at scale.

The OCLC Research Library Partnership invites institutional leaders from national and university libraries to join us for a preconference where together we will discuss today’s institutional and library challenges and strategize for the future.
1:00 – 5:00 pm (check-in begins at 12:30 pm)
Conference registration open 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Early arriver’s reception
Please join fellow members and OCLC colleagues to kick off the ARC18 Conference with light refreshments.
5:30 – 6:30 pm

Day one: Thursday, October 25

Event Time
Registration open 7:30 – 9:00 am
Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00 am
Welcome 9:00 – 9:10 am
Plenary session one
Featured keynote: Skip Prichard, author of Wall Street Journal bestseller The Book of Mistakes and OCLC President and CEO
9:10 – 10:45 am
Member breakout sessions 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Plenary session two 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Member breakout sessions 2:15 – 3:15 pm
Day one closing session 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Dinner event
Join OCLC staff and your fellow library colleagues for dinner and networking in the heart of downtown Chicago. Additional location details will be available soon and complimentary transportation will be provided by OCLC.
7:00 – 10:00 pm

Day two: Friday, October 26

Event Time
Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00 am
Welcome 9:00 – 9:10 am
Plenary session three
Keynote: Rolf Hapel, 2018–2020 Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, University of Washington iSchool
9:10 – 10:10 am
Member breakout sessions 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Member breakout sessions 1:15 – 2:15 pm
Plenary session four 2:30 – 3:15 pm
Day two closing session
Moderated by Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President, Membership and Research, Chief Strategist
3:15 – 4:00 pm
Conference adjourns 4:00 pm