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President's Program: Libraries in Space with Helen Klein Ross

We'll explore the power of libraries in the social media space and why simply staking claim there isn't enough. We'll look at why branding is more than logo and graphics and why a strong brand unified across platforms is key to galvanizing new usage and support. And we'll ask what libraries can learn from innovations by others on the digital frontier.

Helen Klein Ross spent more than 20 years as a writer/creative director at top ad agencies in New York and San Francisco before turning to writing other fiction. Her novel Making It was published by Simon and Schuster last year. Her poetry and fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and elsewhere.

She is author of AdBroad, an award-winning blog with over 11,000 followers from advertising and digital marketing communities. In 2008, she brought characters from AMC's drama "Mad Men" onto Twitter. Her work as @BettyDraper has attracted 35,000 followers, a Shorty (Twitter) award and press coverage in Time and the Wall Street Journal.

Helen also founded Brand Fiction Factory to help brands extend their stories into the digital space. She is a branding advisor to the Poetry Society of America and is board member and lead on a current rebranding effort for Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, CT.

The doors for this program will open at 7:00 p.m. with a dessert reception.

Tuesday Keynote: Steve Berry, New York Times Bestselling Author

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of eight Cotton Malone adventures, four stand-alone thrillers, and four short-story originals. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15 million printed copies in 51 countries.

History lies at the heart of every Steve Berry novel. It's his passion, one he shares with his wife, Elizabeth, which led them to create History Matters, a foundation dedicated to historic preservation. Since 2009 Steve and Elizabeth have crossed the country to save endangered historic treasures raising more than $400,000 via lectures, receptions, galas, luncheons, dinners and their popular writers’ workshops. In 2012 Steve’s devotion to historic preservation was recognized by the American Library Association, naming Steve the first spokesman for National Preservation Week (a role he reprised in 2013). Among other honors that came his way in 2013 were the Poets & Writers’ Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, the International Thriller Writers Silver Bullet Award and the Spirit of Anne Frank Human Writes Award. The first two awards honored Steve’s philanthropic work with fellow writers and historic preservation. The latter is given to the writer who best exemplifies the spirit of Anne Frank in their work; the other recipients have been playwright Arthur Miller and New York Times journalist Nicholas Kristof.

Steve was born and raised in Georgia and graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He was a trial lawyer for 30 years and held elective office for 14 of those years. He is a member of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Advisory Board and a founding member of International Thriller Writers—a group of more than 2,000 thriller writers from around the world—and served three years as its co-president.

Wednesday Keynote: Nate Hill, Assistant Director, Chattanooga Public Library

Nate Hill is Assistant Director at the Chattanooga Public Library, where he started The 4th Floor project ( The 4th Floor is a 14,000 square foot flexible community library space: some days it is a makerspace, others it is a coder dojo or hackerspace, and still others it serves as an event, production, and presentation space. Nate's talk will tell the story of the rapid development of this space, offer insight into teambuilding and organizational structures for creative library spaces, and present actionable ideas for implementing similar solutions in participants' own libraries.

In addition to his work in Chattanooga, Nate serves as a co-chair of the Digital Public Library of America's Marketing and Outreach Committee, and he's been recognized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as an American representative for the International Network of Emerging Library Innovators (INELI) program. Nate was also named a "Mover and Shaker" by Library Journal in 2012. If Nate isn't thinking about libraries, he's thinking about design, technology, nature, hiking, camping, or more importantly his fantastic wife, son, daughter, dog, and cat.

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