7. februar 2018

About keynote and plenary speakers

Andy Priestner
Formerly a librarian at both Cambridge and Oxford University, Andy is now a freelance trainer and consultant in user experience (UX) research methods, leadership and teambuilding. As well as teaching UX courses he works directly with library staff and their users in both the academic and public sectors in order to identify opportunities for new and improved user-centred products and services.

He originated the international UX in Libraries conference and has written for and edited several UX books. From 2015-17 Andy led the Futurelib innovation programme at the University of Cambridge which conducted UX research and design thinking across its libraries. He regularly works all over the world and last year visited Norway to teach for the first time.

Dan Banik
Dan Banik is professor of political science and research director at the University of Oslo’s Centre for Development and Environment. He has published extensively on poverty, food security, governance, human rights, legal empowerment and development aid. Dr. Banik has previously served as the head of the Norwegian-Finnish Trust Fund in the World Bank for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (TFESSD) and on the Board of the Norwegian Crown Prince and Crown Princess’s Foundation.

His books include ‘The Democratic Dividend: Political Transition, Poverty and Inclusive Development in Malawi (with Blessings Chinsinga, Routledge 2016), ‘The Legal Empowerment Agenda: Poverty, Labour and the Informal Economy in Africa’ (2011, Ashgate), ‘Poverty and Elusive Development’ (2010, Scandinavian University Press) and ‘Starvation and India’s Democracy’ (2009, Routledge). Dr. Banik currently directs The Oslo SDG Initiative at the University of Oslo.

Rocky M.D. Ralebipi-Simela
Prof. Rocky Ralebipi-Simela is the National Librarian and CEO of the National Library of South Africa.  She is the Chairperson of African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) Section on National Libraries. She also serves as Vice Chairperson of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL).

Rocky holds a Ph.D in Library and Information Science from the University of Minnesota, USA. Her career which spans 40 years includes the following leadership positions: Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic (Provost) at the Central University of Technology; Free State, Regional Director at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Executive Dean: Faculty of Humanities, Management Sciences and Law at the University of Venda; Head of Department of Information Studies, University of the North and Campus Librarian at the University of St. Catherine, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

She served and continues to serve on many councils, boards and committees including the Higher Education Quality Committee (HEQC), National Council on Library and Information Services (NCLIS), Sabinet and the National Skills Authority Board, amongst others. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a Hubert Humphrey Policy Fellow, a Minnesota Lawyers for Human Rights Award recipient, CSIR Advanced Leadership Award of Outstanding Merit holder and American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow.

Confirmed plenary speakers

Curt Rice
Curt Rice is currently Rector at the Oslo Metropolitan University. He also leads Norway’s Committee on Gender Balance and Diversity in Research. He served as the Pro Rector for Research and Development (2009-2013) at the University of Tromsø and was the founding director of the first Center of Excellence in Tromsø, the Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics (CASTL). He is Professor of Linguistics. He is also strongly engaged in work related to open access publishing.



Aslak Sira Myhre
Aslak Sira Myhre is the General Director of the National Library of Norway. He is the former director of the House of Literature in Oslo (2006 – 2014) and !Les, an organization promoting reading among children and youths. He was party leader of the Red Electoral Alliance 1997-2003, and is the author of several books.




Bethany Wilkes
Bethany Wilkes is the College Librarian at Yale-NUS College, Singapore, which she joined in July 2017.  She has a particular fondness for islands and has worked in academic libraries in various parts of the world, including the Virgin Islands, Hong Kong, and Alaska. In her current position she works with the Library team and campus partners to connect the College community to high-quality collections, agile and timely services, and engaging spaces in order to further scholarship and curiosity.  She is the Chair of the new IATUL Special Interest Group for the Advancement of Library Services in Emerging Countries.



Dianne Cmor
Dianne Cmor has enjoyed an international career in academic libraries working in Canada, Qatar, Hong Kong, Singapore, and has recently returned to Canada once again.  She is currently Associate University Librarian, Teaching and Learning, at Concordia University in Montreal.  In this position, she is responsible for ensuring the high quality and high impact participation of the Library across the teaching and learning endeavours of the University. She oversees various services, spaces, and cross-unit committees devoted to teaching and learning, user experience, etc., and plays well with other academic and student support units on campus.


Hildegard Schaeffler
Hildegard Schaeffler is the Head of the Serials, Licensing and Electronic Publishing Department at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, Germany. This position involves responsibility for the local serials and licenced electronic resources collections, the electronic publishing centre and the head office of the Bavarian Licensing Consortium. It also extends to negotiating licences at the national level, including membership in the project and negotiation group of Project DEAL.