Speaker bio

Sam Demas is a freelance librarian, helping libraries invent their futures as dynamic and flexible organizations, and as stewards of both remarkable legacy collections and a burgeoning world of digital resources.  Sam has worked as a library director, as a specialist in collections and preservation in the research library community, and as a collaborator in and instigator of numerous projects and programs.

As College Librarian and Senior Lecturer at Carleton College for 13 years (1998-2011), Sam and his colleagues experimented with the development of the liberal arts college library as both a virtual space and a vibrant place of student research, community building and cultural events. The staff of Carleton’s library won the ACRL Award for Excellence in Library Services for their exemplary work in developing library services in support of the college’s mission. ┬áSam provided leadership in establishing the Bridge Consoritium with St. Olaf college and was involved with programs and initiatives of the Oberlin Group of libraries.

Prior to Carleton, Sam worked at Cornell University for 20 years in a variety of positions and libraries. He was Head of Collection Development and Preservation at the A.R. Mann Library of Cornell University from 1985 to 1998, and Associate Director of Mann Library for three years before that. His research interests at Cornell were in selection for preservation, national preservation planning, and in adapting the principles and practices of collection development to the challenge of developing the electronic library. As an administrator in a dynamic electronic library environment, he specialized in management strategies for developing staff skills, adapting policies, and re-engineering procedures to mainstream the selection and delivery of electronic information. As a collection administrator he has developed models for systematic selection of electronic resources, and worked with DIALOG to develop the first contract in the U.S. for an aggregation of databases made accessible to a user community. As a preservation administrator, he helped to develop a national preservation plan for agricultural sciences literature. He was also active in promoting the use of a disciplinary approach to setting priorities for preservation and for constructing an intellectual framework for cooperative preservation efforts.