Speakers for EDGE2024


Jen Nelson, State Librarian, New Jersey

“What drives me to do the work I do is hope – I see the potential for creating a more informed and just society through libraries.”

Jen’s state-level experience provides, a strong advantage that allows her to dive right into the library construction bond cycle and join in New Jersey libraries’ related operations. She has experience working with federal programs and supporting innovative statewide programming.

M’Balu “Lu” Bangura, Director of Equity and Fair Practices, Epoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore

As Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for Enoch Pratt Free Library and Maryland State Library Resource Center, M’Bala is responsible for leading and overseeing the Library’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts and works to impact change within  local communities and the Library’s internal structures.

Sue Wills MBE, Assistant Director, Arts, Culture, Heritage & Libraries, Surrey County Council.

“Let’s put Culture on the map”

She has extensive knowledge and significant experience of working in the public sector, as a senior leader and manager and as a consultant with a strong track record in leading and transforming services. Sue has worked as a government advisor and is a Local Government Association Peer Reviewer and she has significant experience of leading large-scale capital projects.

Ian Gibson, Organisational Design Lead, Imagination Activism, London Borough of Camden

In late 2022, Camden Council became the first UK local authority to offer Imagination Activist training to its staff.  32 people from repairs to planners took part over 8 weeks in a course designed to expand their imaginations, give practical tools and techniques and to make them ambassadors for the imagination within the organisation.

Neil Macinnes OBE, Head of Libraries, Galleries, Culture and Youth Services, Manchester ​City Council

Neil has led the Library Transformation Programme in Manchester including the £50m refurbishment of Manchester Central Library which now boasts 1.7million visits per year.

Edinburgh Libraries Partnership with Tinderbox

Tinderbox passion in setting up Musical Instrument Libraries across Scotland and how this has grown substantially, also Tinderbox on their tour of UK libraries.

Nick Tanzi, Library Leader; Author, Speaker, & Technology Enthusiast, Assistant Director Huntington Public Library, New York

AI in the Library: The Current Landscape

As artificial intelligence continues to grow by leaps and bounds, how is AI technology manifesting itself in Libraries.

Anita Luby, Head of Cultural Services, Redbridge Culture and Leisure

During the pandemic we worked with Kirklees and Newcastle Libraries and a research team from Northumbia University to create a web app called Tickets for the Afterlife www.afterlifetickets.co.uk This was an extension of the Death Positive Work that Redbridge Libraries initiated in 2017/18 when we received funding from the Engaging Libraries Programme.

Aat Vos, Architect and Creative Consultant, The Netherlands

Public spaces keep our society vital and intact. Unfortunately, the public domain is becoming increasingly less public as it falls victim to the whims of commercial parties. Those whose wallets cannot afford to pay the required entrance fee or that branded cup of coffee are starting to be left behind. Inclusion and equality are keystones for creativity and innovation, which is why revitalising third places such as cultural centres and libraries is an urgent mission.

Margie Singleton, CEO of Vaughan Public Libraries, Canada

Margie is the 2023 recipient of Dalhousie Library and Information Alumni Association’s Outstanding Alumni Award. Her achievements in shepherding a significant growth plan for VPL, including 7 new facilities and her commitment to mentoring and developing others, has provided colleagues and staff at all levels with many opportunities. Our guiding principle — to rethink what libraries were and to try to anticipate what they can become in the future.”