Our Speakers

our speakers

Short biographies and curiosities.

Jill bourne

Jill Bourne is the City Librarian for San Jose, California, and Director of the San Jose Public Libraries, serving a diverse population of one million residents through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library and 24 community branch libraries.  With a focus on expanding access, partnerships, innovation, and educational outcomes, she is committed to enhancing the relevance and leveraging the value of public libraries in the communities they serve. 

Fortunate to have started her career at the Seattle Public Library during a time of great transformative growth and change, Jill gained experience in every aspect of urban library service and management.  In 2006, after managing the innovative new Seattle Central Library, she became Deputy City Librarian in the civically-engaged and politically-charged environment of San Francisco, California. In 2013, Jill joined the City of San Jose as Library Director. Under her leadership, the San Jose Public Library has led the City’s Education and Digital Empowerment strategies, including pandemic and recovery response efforts in digital equity and enhancing connectivity in unconnected and under-connected households.  

Jill has been recognized as a “2009 Mover and Shaker” by Library Journal, one of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “2015 Women of Influence,” Library Journal’s “2017 Librarian of the Year,” a member of the 2018 “Upstart 50” by the San Francisco Business Times, and was honored with the “2019 Visionary Award,” by the Cinequest Film Festival.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Literature from New York University and her Master’s of Library and Information Science from the University of Washington. 

valeria abdal

Valeria Abdal, co-founder of the “Children of Heroes” Charity Fund, marketing specialist, as well as a specialist in working with affected Ukrainian families.
35 years old.

“I joined the Fund’s mission to help future generations of Ukrainians to the fullest extent. Helping the next generation is the key to creating a strong, happy, and educated nation with great potential in the global community.

Before the war, I worked as a marketing specialist in the hotel and restaurant industry, organized and conducted wedding ceremonies, and developed my own YouTube channel. Today, as part of the Fund, I take care of 60 children from 28 families and  actively involved in content creation and cooperation with media personalities. I also manages the creation of motivating online events for the children under the Fund’s care.

We are an invincible nation full of people that will always support each other. Ukraine will undoubtedly become a powerful country, one which we will all be proud of, and I am ready to do everything necessary to help it realize its potential. I see my future here and want to live here, while nurturing and raising my children in Ukraine.”


Mike Waldron is  a consultant with global experience of the design, development and implementation of inter-cultural, social leadership and sustainability-focused capacity building programmes across the civil society and governmental sectors, He is an experienced facilitator, host and moderator in international settings and  is highly experienced in the training of trainers and facilitation and design of off-line and on-line training and workshops, policy dialogues, consultation and e-learning programmes. He is also experienced in the development of academic curricula around Design Thinking and capacity building for civil society organisations.  Mike has worked previous in the implementation of Occupy Library trainings and conferences.

Mike has ten years experience in government, focused on policy development and delivery of social programmes in communities. and the advancement of the diversity and inclusion agenda across government departments. He has skills in strategic planning, budget setting, team building and deployment, strategic communications and policy development . Mike’s specialism is active citizenship and community engagement.

David Lankes

R. David Lankes is the Virginia & Charles Bowden Professor of Librarianship at the iSchool at University of Texas at Austin. Lankes has always been interested in combining theory and practice to create active research projects that make a difference. His work has been funded by organizations such as The MacArthur Foundation, The Institute for Library and Museum Services, NASA, The U.S. Department of Education, The U.S. Department of Defense, The National Science Foundation, The U.S. State Department, and The American Library Association.

Lankes is a passionate advocate for libraries and their essential role in today’s society earning him the Reference and User Services Association Isadore Gilbert Mudge Award for distinguished contribution to reference librarianship in 2021 and the Ken Haycock Award for Promoting Librarianship in 2016. He also seeks to understand how information approaches and technologies can be used to transform industries. In this capacity he has served on advisory boards and study teams in the fields of libraries, telecommunications, education, and transportation including at the National Academies. He has been a visiting fellow at the National Library of Canada, The Harvard School of Education, the French national library school Enssib, and was the first fellow of ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy. His book,The Atlas of New Librarianship won the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.

Erik Boekesteijn

Erik Boekesteijn is a senior advisor at Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB), National Library
of the Netherlands. Erik is a presenter, motivator, musician, author, entrepreneur and
above all a storyteller. He has worked with hundreds of libraries and other organizations around the world
world on a variety of challenges.
After a start in the music industry and a work as a music librarian, Erik founded Shanachie Media,
which among other productions produces the popular This Week In Libraries series of interviews, and ShanachieTours,
a worldwide tour searchinf for best practices in libraries.
Erik was one of the co-founders of the library innovator DOKLAB. More
recently, he was a consultant for Public Libraries 2020 and a founding father of Public Libraries 2030. Erik is a facilitator
and consultant for IFLA and a Library Avenger. He has worked with architects
such as Zaha Hadid, Francine Houben and Stewart & Hollenstein on the design and development
of libraries in many countries.
Erik has been awardee as LJ’s Mover and Shaker of the Library World in 2009 and was nominated
Best Librarian in the Netherlands in 2015.