2021 Convening on Libraries – Knight Foundation

2021 Convening on Libraries

2021 Convening on Libraries: Toward Equitable Broadband

Join Knight Foundation and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) on June 28 for a gathering of library, civic and philanthropic leaders. Many of you have been part of our annual Knight Library Directors convening, which over the last decade has forged a community of library leaders and others from across the country committed to libraries’ digital transformation. 

Knight Foundation is proud to support this opportunity for public library leaders to work with and learn from each other. As in 2020, DPLA is partnering with Knight to organize the meeting. 

The centerpiece of our convening will be two conversations about the role of libraries in securing equitable broadband. Diane Kaplan, president and CEO of the Rasmuson Foundation; Crosby Kemper, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Greg Lucas, California State Librarian, will join a discussion of library funders, moderated by Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen. Jill Bourne, city librarian for San Jose Public Library; Juliet Fink-Yates, Digital Inclusion Fellow, City of Philadelphia; Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian, and Felton Thomas Jr., Cleveland Public Library director, will share the adaptations their libraries have made over the last year to achieve equitable internet access. The meeting will close with a conversation between Tracie D. Hall, American Library Association executive director, and John Palfrey, president of the MacArthur Foundation and author of “Bibliotech: Why Libraries Matter More Than Ever in the Age of Google.” 

When we were last together in February 2020, we left with a consensus on the need for a common digital approach by and for libraries and of the need of applying lessons from history to contemporary issues. We look forward to taking up those issues with you again, starting on June 28, better informed and even more urgently, given all that we have learned over the last year. 


Monday, June 28, 2021
2:00 – 4:00pm ET  

  • 2 p.m. ET: Welcome and Introduction
    • George Martinez, Knight Foundation
    • John Bracken, Digital Public Library of America  
  • 2:10 p.m. ET: Special announcement 
  • 2:20 p.m. ET: Equitable Internet Access Through Libraries
    • Jill Bourne, City Librarian, San José Public Library 
    • Juliet Fink-Yates, Digital Inclusion Fellow, City of Philadelphia
    • Jennie Stapp, Montana State Librarian 
    • Felton Thomas, Jr., Director, Cleveland Public Library
    • Andrew McLaughlin, Assembly OSM; former Deputy CTO of the U.S. (moderator)
  • 3 p.m. ET: Funder Conversation: Libraries Role in Achieving Universal Broadband Access 
    • Diane Kaplan, Rasmuson Foundation 
    • Crosby Kemper, IMLS
    • Greg Lucas, California State Librarian 
    • Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation (moderator)
  • 3:30 p.m. ET: What is to be done? Tracie D. Hall, ALA, in conversation with John Palfrey, MacArthur Foundation
    • Tracie D. Hall, ALA 
    • John Palfrey, MacArthur Foundation
  • 3:45 p.m. ET: Concluding Remarks
    • George Martinez, Knight Foundation
    • John Bracken, DPLA  
  • 3:50 p.m. ET: Adjourn