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Against the Grain v34#1

Andrea Ferro

Andrea Ferro

Global Account Development
Casalini Libri
Via B. Da Maiano 3
Fiesole, Italy
Phone:  +39 – 055 50181
Fax:  +39 – 055 5018201

Born and lived:  La Spezia, Liguria, ITALY;  Florence, Tuscany, ITALY.

Professional career and activities:  I joined Casalini in 2009, after more than 12 years spent in marketing roles at an IT Company. 

In my spare time:  I take black and white photos with my rangefinder camera and my iPhone.

Favorite books:  Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar;  The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck;  The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov;  The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino.

Pet peeves:  Egomania, hypocrisy.

Philosophy:  Happiness is not doing what you want but wanting what you do.

Most memorable career achievement:  Opening new markets for my company.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Continue to grow Casalini’s customer base and expand our presence — especially on the digital front (Torrossa digital library) — in new territories.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  A profound digital transformation of our industry has certainly begun and it will continue but I neither expect a radical shift from the printed book to eBooks nor the end of libraries as we have known them so far.  Libraries will remain — and it is important that this be so — physical places for meeting, socializing, exchanging ideas, as well as learning.  The new technologies will play a decisive role in how content (in whatever format) will be used by people, so I expect a great development of research and discovery tools, artificial intelligence, data mining, textual analysis etc.

Melissa K. Fulkerson

Melissa K. Fulkerson

Vice President, Research Reference
50 Hampshire Street, 5th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02139
Phone:  (781)  663-5241

Born and lived:  I’ve lived in Massachusetts, USA my entire life!

Professional career and activities:  I’ve hovered around the media industry almost my whole career.  I began working in record stores while going to school, and after a stint at a window and door manufacturer that taught me I love marketing, I moved into a marketing role with Borders bookstores in New England.  I joined Elsevier as a marketing manager in 2009, and have spent the last 13 years contributing to our books business through various marketing and sales roles, culminating in my current role as Vice President, which is a general manager role for our global STEM books business unit. 

Family:  My husband Bill and I have a 10-year-old son Travis, and our family dog is Bark Wahlberg.

In my spare time:  I am a semi-retired marathon runner, but have recently taken up kickboxing as a new sport.  I love to read, cook/bake (the exercise helps offset that), and am eagerly awaiting the ability to travel again so I can fulfill my wanderlust.  I’m also currently the assistant treasurer for Friends of Beebe Library, an all-volunteer nonprofit fundraising organization supporting my hometown’s public library.

Favorite books:  My favorite authors are Haruki Murakami and David Sedaris;  anything by either of these authors will be on my ongoing reading list.

Pet peeves:  Lack of self-awareness.

Philosophy:  I believe deeply in the power of curiosity, empathy, authenticity, humility and diversity.  Through these values, all things are possible and businesses — and people — are stronger.

Most memorable career achievement:  Becoming a Vice President before my 40th birthday.  Despite not having a library or scientific background, I have been able to build a strong career and grow within Elsevier based on just the strength of my own skills and desire to learn, and that has been the most satisfying achievement.  A close second is finishing my bachelor’s degree in 2020 after attending part-time for a few years.  Being an adult learner has helped me be a better business leader and also a better student!

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Professionally, I want to continue to build the profile of Elsevier’s book portfolio in our served markets so we can be an increasingly better support to the research and academic communities through the content we publish.  Personally, I just want to continue learning more and making a difference in whatever ways my skills and experience are best suited.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  If I think specifically of books, I believe we will see a continued evolution of how books are impacted by — and impactful to — the research and academic communities.  The concept of what a book is, and the concept of what learning materials are, will continue to evolve.  We’ll deliver our content in new ways — shorter form, data rich, more interactive/video content.  As younger students become researchers and faculty, they will continue to require access to content that supports the ways they naturally communicate.

Marjorie M.K. Hlava

Marjorie M. K. Hlava 

President, Chairman, Chief Science Officer, Founder (although just President will do fine!)
Access Innovations, Inc.
6301 Indian School Road NE, Suite 400
Albuquerque, NM  87110
Phone:  (505) 998-0800
Fax:  (505) 265-1080

Born and lived:  Manistee, Michigan.  Moved to California and then to Wisconsin, where she grew up.  Went to college in Madison, WI, River Falls, WI, Minneapolis MN, and then moved to Albuquerque, NM.

Early life:  Margie’s early life was centered around logging and farming.  Her father was a lumberjack in California, and the family later moved to Wisconsin, where they had chickens, goats, and a donkey.  She attended a one-room school with her sister and two brothers for grades 2 – 8.

Professional career and activities:  Margie’s career in information science started when she took a job with a NASA tech-transfer (Technology Application Center or TAC) facility in the 1970s, while pursuing a masters in Botany.  There, she became an early and expert searcher and was responsible for the entire process from data acquisition to marketing and shipping of information products and services.  She directed the production of five quarterly-published bibliographies on solar-thermal energy, heat pipes, hydrogen, wind, and remote sensing.  She also directed searching and editorial staff of nine people and performed extensive online searching on nine different database systems, including Medline, Dialog, Orbit, and NASA Recon.  She was responsible for document delivery operations, a staff of seven, and marketing of publications.

She was concurrently hired as Information Director at the National Energy Information Center Affiliate (NEICA), a Department of Energy operation for energy information statisitics.  Her responsibilities included hiring and training staff, and organizing and supervising the information dissemination program including the design of products.  She facilitated vocabulary development for the NEICA database, and setting up all production time tables and telecommunications interface with the Washington, DC office.   This project was on a six month “loan” from TAC.

In October of 1978, she founded Access Innovations with five partners.  She holds the positions of President and Chairman of the Board.  As such, she is responsible for directing overall corporate operations, especially production and marketing activities.  These involve extensive public relations, contract negotiations, analyzing and transacting acquisition and joint venture negotiations, hiring and training personnel, purchasing equipment and participating in short-term and long-range planning.  She also does professional consulting in the areas of efficient production work flows and database design and development.  Consulting has included projects design, workflow analysis, project administration, database design, software development and problem solving in all areas of corporate activity.  She is a popular presenter at conferences and meetings.  She continues to do research in areas of making database production more efficient, such as machine aided indexing, multi-lingual access for databases, and machine translation.

Family:  Margie has been married to Paul since 1967.  She has two daughters who are married and have children of their own:  Heather, married to Paul Kotula, with daughter Alison;  Holly, married to Ryan Cook, with son Jacob.  Margie has one sister and two brothers, Kitty, Larry, and Glenn.

In my spare time:  Margie is active in the Hubbell Society Museum and Library, and enjoys tracing the geneaology of her cousins and ancestors.  She also enjoys gardening, travel, weaving, sewing, scrapbooking, and bird watching

Favorite books:  Margie is an avid reader and enjoys many genres.  Among her favorites are The Catalog of Shipwrecked Books.  She is particularly interested in biographies, history, archaeology, and fiction by authors including Dick Francis, Ellis Peters, Dorothy Gillman, Simon Winchester and is currently reading The First Signs by Genevieve Von Petzinger.

Pet peeves:  Distribution of misinformation, negative people (which she calls “negatrons”).

Philosophy:  In data, trust but verify. In life, expect the best from people.

Most memorable career achievement:  Margie’s most memorable career achievement was either delivering the NFAIS Miles Conrad Lecture or winning the ASIS&T Award of Merit.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  Margie hopes to see widespread implementation of controlled vocabularies to ensure widespread, precise search results to users.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  Margie sees there will be more direct user access to information products and services.  She thinks there will be a diminishing role of libraries in the traditional sense and that the skills sets required to support those users will change considerably.

Kara Kroes Li

Kara Kroes Li 

Director of Product Management, eBooks
10 Estes Street
Ipswich, MA  01978
Phone:  (800) 653-2726
Fax:  (978) 356-5640

Born and lived:  Born in Detroit, MI;  Lived in Fremont and San Luis Obispo, CA, London, U.K., Boulder, CO, Boston, MA, Washington, D.C. 

Early life:  Grew up in California, spent summers with family in Michigan.

Professional career and activities:  Earned a BA in English from Cal Poly and an MA from CU Boulder.  I started working on eBooks at NetLibrary / OCLC in Boulder, Colorado in 2005, and then EBSCO with the acquisition in 2010.  My work focuses on the end-user experience and also on librarian workflows to procure and manage them.  I am passionate about pursuing better accessibility in academic publishing/information products.

Family:  Married with 3 children, ages 5, 3, and 4 months. 

In my spare time:  Besides crafting and reading with my kids, I enjoy traveling, hiking, learning how to tend my urban garden, and quality time with friends and family.

Favorite books:  Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts, Everything Is Illuminated, by Jonathan Safran Foer, Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan.

Philosophy:  You’re only given a little spark of madness, and if you lose that, you’re nothing. — Robin Williams

Most memorable career achievement:  Defining and launching an aggregator DRM-free model for eBooks was a highlight, as was my first Charleston presentation.  I collaborated with a librarian and a publisher and developed friendships with both that I still value today. 

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  I am looking forward to advancements in technology that create smarter and more personalized user experiences and that remove barriers to content for users.  Specifically, I think improvements to authentication, mobile access, and collaboration tools will create a rich environment for book publishing to thrive.

John Lenahan

John Lenahan

Associate Vice President, Published Content
101 Greenwich Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY  10006
Phone:  212-358-6409

Born and lived:  I was born in Redondo Beach, CA and and went to high school at Westlake High School in Westlake Village, CA.

Early life:  Searched for my path by living in Mammoth to snowboard, the Navy and eventually through college in the redwoods in Northern California.  

Professional career and activities:  Worked with children in special education, an instructor for psychology and developed an online teaching program.  Eventually moved to the East Coast and worked at Softline to support bringing online resources to colleges and universities, ProQuest and JSTOR over the last 10 years.

Family:  My wife Ginny and daughter Audrey, who is just about to graduate from college in Maryland.  Still having a hard time grasping that. 

In my spare time:  Snowboarding, playing bass, kayaking road trips and hiking.  

Favorite books:  Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown, The Stand by Stephen King, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Pet peeves:  Lack of follow through.

Philosophy:  Be kind, respectful, and accountable for your actions. 

Most memorable career achievement:  Being part of a team at JSTOR for the successful launch and continued growth of our Books at JSTOR program.

Goal I hope to achieve five years from now:  In collaboration with libraries and publishers, significantly increasing the amount of open access scholarly content to users around the world via a sustainable business model.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  New business models are in place that take into consideration the costs of publishing and the need for access to underserved populations, and a significant increase in scholarly content is available to users around the world.  Library funding will shift to supporting these sustainable business models and publishers will continue to find ways, through partnerships, to lower the costs associated to publishing.

Jared Oates

Jared Oates

Chief Operating Officer
Niche Academy
139 N. Hunters Grove Lane #308
Lehi, UT  84043
Phone:  801 331 5981

Born and lived:  Born in Provo, UT.  Grew up in Colombia, Germany, Japan, and Washington DC.

Early life:  Growing up overseas gave me a lifelong love of travel and languages.  It also gave me the ability to find common ground with almost anyone.

Professional career and activities:  I finished college with English degrees and an intent to join the Foreign Service.  As way led on to way, though, I found myself doing writing in Utah’s tech sector.  I taught myself to program and worked as an engineer, a product manager, and, intermittently, as an entrepreneur.  Niche Academy is the 3rd startup I’ve helped to found and the first to succeed sustainably.

Family:  My wife and I have five children and one grandson.  They are the root reason I go to work every day.

In my spare time:  I read, take walks, and make music.

Favorite books:  The Book of Mormon, Little Women, John Adams (McCullough).

Pet peeves:  Hmmm… I don’t really do peeves.

How/where do I see the industry in five years:  Libraries succeed when they provide educational services to their communities and parent institutions.  Many librarians think of themselves as keepers or guardians of a collection.  This perception will, of necessity, receed as budget cuts and funding priorities require a renewed focus on the problems libraries can solve for the people who provide their funding.  Academic libraries, for example, are in a unique position to teach essential information literacy skills.  They will need to improve their ability to provide this service and expand the reach of this offering.


Access Innovations, Inc.

6301 Indian School Road NE, Suite 400
Albuquerque, NM  87110
Phone:  (505) 998-0800
Fax:  (505) 256-1080

Officers:  Marjorie M. K. Hlava, President; Jay Ven Eman, CEO.

Association memberships, etc.:  NISO, ASIS&T, SLA, ALPSP, STM.

Key products and services:  Content Analysis, Data Classification, Abstracting and Indexing, Taxonomy/thesaurus/ontology Building, Metadata Enrichment, Controlled Vocabularies, Content Conversion, Data Harmony software, streamlining workflows.

Core markets/clientele:  Learned and Scholarly publishing, Corporations both profit and not for profit, University special collections.  We do have government clients as well but government contracting is expensive so we prtner for those engagements with organizations who can provide the overhead personnel to match the requirements.

Number of employees:  12 after covid, 18 before – which is the same size as Craigs list.

History and brief description of your company/publishing program:  Incorporated in 1978, Access Innovations, Inc. is now in its 43rd  year of providing information management services.  Established in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the organization maintains its corporate headquarters there.  The organization’s services are provided to a broad range of public and private organizations in the United States as well as in international locations.

Employing a core staff of information professionals, Access Innovations is a small company but highly regarded in the information services and software industry.  Access Innovations has won many awards, including being listed several times in both KMWorld’s prestigious “List of 100 Companies That Matter in Knowledge Management” and KMWorld’s annual list of “Trend Setting Products.”  In 2009, Access Innovations was named to eContent’s prestigious Top 100 list, in the Taxonomy and Classification category, as well as KMWorld’s “AI Trailblazer” in 2020.  Key personnel are extremely active and well known in information management professional and standards organizations.  Marjorie has been named a “women of influence in technology.”

Access Innovations has set up work flow analysis and production guidelines modeled on the Baldrige and Six Sigma quality management methodologies.  The organization has won recognition from Quality New Mexico, an organization dedicated to promoting organizational excellence.

Access Innovations is a closely held, woman-owned business.

Is there anything else that you think would be of interest to our readers?  Metadata, especially rich subject metadata is key to changing search to found.  In order for libraries to survive they must embrace the notion of making their information findable not just being store houses of documents.  Dumping documents into digital store houses is like previously copying them to microforms, an unfindable inaccessible cemetary for data.

Casalini libri

Via B. da Maiano, 3
Fiesole, Italy
Phone:  +39 055 50181
Fax:  +39 055 5018201

Websites:  www.casalini.itwww.ilibri.com

Affiliated companies:  Erasmus Boekhandel, Houtschild International Booksellers, AtCult.

Officers:  Michele Casalini (CEO).

Key products and services:  Books, journals, e-content, cataloging services, approval plan selections, shelf ready services.

Core markets/clientele:  University, Research, National and Public Libraries worldwide.

Number of employees:  More than 100.

HISTORY AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF YOUR COMPANY:  Established by Mario Casalini in 1958, Casalini Libri is recognized as one of the leading suppliers of publications from across Southern Europe to libraries and institutions worldwide. 

We currently work with over 3,000 libraries and institutions, and more than 5,500 publishers from over 40 countries.  We provide an efficient and personalized service for libraries, combining the supply of publications with a range of solutions that facilitate selection, acquisition and processing workflows.  Our dedicated services for publishers range from subscription management to coordinated sales for print and electronic editions.  The Torrossa platform aims to offer institutions a resource that gives access to scholarly eBooks and ejournals, at the same time simplifying acquisitions, licensing and integration with the library catalog.  We firmly believe in communication, cooperation and collaboration to optimize new opportunities such as BIBFRAME, Linked Data and Open Access.  We are involved internationally with projects and conferences. 

In 2020, Casalini Libri joined forces with Mr. Dirk Raes to acquire Erasmus and Houtschild, to combine the experience and expertise for which we are known, and with its historic partner @Cult, strengthening and furthering our mission to provide increasing advanced services to libraries and publishers.

EBSCO Information Services, LLC

Main Office:  10 Estes Street, Ipswich, MA 01938
Headquarters:  5724 US-280, Birmingham, AL 35242
Remittance:  Payment Processing Center, PO Box 204661, Dallas, TX 75320-4661
Phone:  (800) 653-2726  •  Fax:  (978) 356-5640

Affiliated companies:  EBSCO Industries, Inc.

Officers:  President: Timothy R. Collins.  Vice Presidents: Allen Powell, Sam Brooks, Alex Saltzman, Bowen Thagard, Patricia Carroll, Mandy Catrett, Heather Moore.  Secretary: Tyler Novak.  Assistant Secretary: Elise Stearns.  Treasurer: Jay Mark.

Key products and services:  

EBSCONET journal subscriptions and management 

• EBSCOhost online databases 

EBSCO eBooks and Audiobooks

• GOBI Library Solutions from EBSCO (for academic print and eBook acquisitions)

Flipster digital magazines 

• LearningExpress skill-building, test prep, student and career resources

• Licensed secondary databases, such as Rosetta Stone, MyHeritage Library Edition, ABC-CLIO

• NoveList readers’ advisory solutions

• Point-of-care and clinical decision support tools

• Software-as-a service, including EBSCO Discovery Service

• Stacks for website design and content management

• FOLIO Services from EBSCO (implementation, hosting and support for the FOLIO OS-LSP)

• OpenAthens authentication support

Core markets/clientele:  Academic, Public Library, K-12, Corporate, Government, Medical

Number of employees:  2,900

EBSCO supports a large number of associations and other specialty groups within the library, information and publishing industries.  While EBSCO may not always enjoy corporate membership to all of the below, it tends to support these organizations through conference attendance, sponsorships, speaking engagements and other means, adding value to these associations and their members.  Additionally, many EBSCO employees are members of various associations and participate in various capacities individually — chairing committees, leading programs and, in some cases, serving as chapter presidents.

In addition to many subject-focused associations around the world, as well as state, provincial and local associations, the following are some of the larger associations to which EBSCO provides support: 

• National Information Standards Organization (NISO)

• North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG)

• National Federation of Abstracting and Information Services (NFAIS)

• International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)

• EDItEUR, an international group coordinating development of the standards infrastructure for electronic commerce in the book, eBook and serials sectors 

• Medical Library Association (MLA)

• American Library Association (ALA)

• Special Library Association (SLA)

• Public Library Association (PLA)

• International Association of Music Libraries (IAML)

• American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)

• American Academy of Nurses (AAN)

• European Council of International Schools (ECIS)

• Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP)

• Association for Christian Libraries (ACL)

• Canadian Library Association (CLA)

• Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association (OASPA)

• European Association of Health Information libraries (EAHIL)

• The DAISY Consortium (Inclusive Publishing Partner)


101 Greenwich Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10006
Additional offices in Ann Arbor, MI and Princeton, NJ
Phone:  888-388-3574  •  Fax:  212-358-6499  •  www.ithaka.org

Officers:  Kevin Guthrie, President.

Association memberships, etc.:  We participate in a wide range of industry associations to ensure that we learn from others’ expertise and experiences as well as sharing our own progress.  We’re grateful for the engagement and collaboration of librarians, publishers, technology developers, and scholars represented in these organizations: ALA and ACRL, ALPSP, American Alliance of Museums, ARLIS/NA, AUPresses, BISG, CNI, COAR, College Art Association, COUNTER, CrossRef, Digital Library Federation, Digital Preservation Coalition, EdItEUR, EDUCAUSE, IIIF Consortium, National Humanities Alliance, NISO, OASPA, ORCID, SSP, STM, and UKSG. 

Key products and services:  Our organization’s not-for-profit mission to expand access to knowledge and education is advanced through four services:  JSTOR, Artstor, Portico, and Ithaka S+R.

JSTOR and Artstor are digital platforms that make millions of journal articles, eBooks, images, and primary sources available to researchers and learners around the world.

Portico is a digital preservation service for scholarly content.  We work closely with libraries and publishers to ensure that academic resources will be accessible to researchers in the future.

Ithaka S+R provides strategic advice and support services to help institutions improve their performance and further their missions.  We generate action-oriented research for institutional decision-making and act as a hub to promote and guide collaboration across the communities we serve.

Core markets/clientele:  Academic libraries, museums, secondary schools, and independent researchers.

Number of employees:  350

Niche Academy

139 N Hunters Grove Lane #308, Lehi, UT  84043
Phone:  (801) 903-2663

Key products and services:  Training and online learning platform for students, patrons, and librarians

Core markets/clientele:  Academic and Public Libraries

Number of employees:  34

History and brief description of your company/publishing program:  Niche Academy’s Founder & CEO, Jeromy Wilson, was only 4 years old when his dad helped start Dynix, a company responsible for the software system that replaced library card catalogs.  Growing up, Jeromy tagged along to countless library conferences and events.  After graduating from college, Jeromy also took a job at Dynix.  After a few years, he began to notice a different problem:  despite the increase in available online resources, they just weren’t being used to their potential.

So in 2013, Jeromy set out to find a better way to engage communities digitally, and that’s where the idea for Niche Academy was born.  He started out on his own but soon recruited the help of former Dynix co-worker Jared Oates.  Together, they were able to get Niche Academy off the ground.  It wasn’t long before they found a whole team of people who believed in their idea and its cross-industry potential.

Seven years later, we are now a team of 34 (and counting!) and are trusted by over 1,000 communities (including libraries, IDD service providers, parks & recreation departments, and more!) across the world.

After getting our start with just a few short library tutorials, we’re now helping to build the future of niche training and community engagement.

Is there anything else that you think would be of interest to our readers?  Our focus with academic libraries is to create tools that help librarians increase job satisfaction and job security by providing better measures of their impact on student success.


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