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Lettie Conrad slides

Kathleen Donovan slide

Bruce Heterick slides

Rachel Kessler slides

Alexa Pearce slides

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How best can libraries, content providers and discovery service providers work together to  optimize the discovery service experience? This webinar is open to all and will give voice to content providers and librarians who will share their perspectives on library discovery systems and will then discuss how the NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) can help navigate the challenges.

The NISO Open Discovery Initiative (ODI) is working with the community of discovery service vendors, librarians and content providers in a number of ways in order to make discovery services more transparent and to "streamline the process by which information providers, discovery service providers, and librarians work together to better serve libraries and their users.” 

Date: Tuesday 10 January 2017
Time: 1400 GMT
Duration: 45 minutes including Q&A (up to 60 minutes maximum if there is sufficient demand for an extended Q&A)


Lettie Conrad, Publishing and Product Development Consultant
Kathleen Donovan, Research Librarian, Harvard University
Bruce Heterick, Vice President, Outreach & Participation Services, ITHAKA/JSTOR
Rachel Kessler, Product Manager, ProQuest
Alexa Pearce, Head of Social Sciences at the University of Michigan Library, University of Michigan


Lettie Y. Conrad is a publishing and product development consultant, working as a senior associate with Maverick Publishing Specialists, as well as with a portfolio of independent global clients. When she's not bringing a user-centered approach to scholarly content discovery and accessibility, Lettie serves as North American Editor for Learned Publishing and as a member of NISO’s Open Discovery Initiative. Lettie is also a part-time information science doctoral student via a remote program at Queensland University of Technology. 


Kathleen Donovan supports a wide range of education researchers working to improve practice in fields from language and literacy to mind, brain and education. During her many years at Harvard, Kathleen has worked on the selection and implementation of the Harvard Library's online catalogs and discovery systems. She has a special interest in usability, and has coordinated numerous user surveys and usability tests to inform interface design and customization. Kathleen is active in libraries in her non-Harvard life, too. She has served on her public library's board of trustees since 2001.


Bruce Heterick is Vice President at ITHAKA, where he has library outreach and business development responsibilities for JSTOR, Portico, and Artstor on a global basis.  He manages a group of 35+ individuals in ITHAKA that work with over 11,000 participating libraries in 163 countries around the world.  He also works closely with commercial linking and discovery partners, web-scale discovery initiatives, and other library and publisher business ventures that interact with the JSTOR, Artstor, and Portico platforms.


Rachel Kessler currently works for ProQuest in content aggregation. Previously, she worked for Ex Libris where she was responsible for Metalib and Primo Central and more recently Knowledgebase strategy. Prior to this position, Rachel was a member of the Publisher Relations team, where she established and maintained ongoing communication with publishers regarding SFX and Primo Central content. Rachel has spoken at industry conferences and has been a member of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative Standing Committee since 2014, which she has co-chaired since April.


Alexa Pearce is Head of the Social Sciences Team in the University of Michigan Library. Pearce served previously as Librarian for History & American Culture at U-M and Librarian for Journalism, Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU. She received an M.A. in World History and a B.A. in History from NYU and an M.S.L.I.S. from Long Island University's (LIU) Palmer School of Library and Information Science. Pearce has held teaching appointments at the Pratt Institute's School of Information and LIU's Palmer School.



  • an understanding of the benefits and challenges of discovery services from the librarian and content provider point of view
  • familiarity with the NISO Open Discovery Initiative and how it attempts to navigate the challenges

Subject level and previous knowledge required

Attendees should be familiar with the concept of a library discovery service.


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