Library of Congress appoints leaders to advance discovery and preservation of collections

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Library of Congress appoints leaders to advance discovery and preservation of collections
Trevor Owens has been appointed as the director of digital services, one of three directorates in the new Discovery and Preservation Services unit led by Zwaard.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The Library of Congress announced the appointment of two digital transformation leaders to direct acquisition, discovery, use and preservation of the Library’s collections.

Kate Zwaard has been appointed associate librarian for Discovery and Preservation Services. A strategic leader with 20 years of experience in government and libraries, Zwaard will lead more than 600 employees responsible for acquisitions, cataloging, preservation and discovery of Library collections. One of Zwaard’s early initiatives will be spearheading the Library’s transition to the digital-forward and digitally enabled acquisitions model established in the Library’s Digital Collections Strategy.

“The Library has embarked on significant changes that evolve our services and collections to meet user needs in what continues to be a rapidly changing information landscape,” said Robin Dale, deputy librarian for Library Collections and Services. “Kate brings internationally recognized expertise and a proven track record of leading digital change. We’re excited to have her enthusiasm and experience on our leadership team as we find creative ways to meet our mission to provide the American people with a universal and enduring source of knowledge and creativity.”

During her tenure as the Library’s first director of digital strategy, Zwaard shepherded digital transformation across the institution, and authored the Library’s first Digital Strategy. Under Zwaard’s leadership, the Library launched the crowdsourcing program By the People, which invites the public to engage with and improve access to Library collections. Previously, Zwaard served as the first chief of National Digital Initiatives, where she launched LC Labs, the Library’s digital innovation team, which incubated popular experiments like Citizen DJ and Newspaper Navigator. Zwaard joined the Library in 2012 as a software engineering manager leading the development of IT systems used to manage digital collections. Before joining the Library, Zwaard played a key role in supporting the digital transformation of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Trevor Owens has been appointed as the director of digital services, one of three directorates in the new Discovery and Preservation Services unit led by Zwaard. With nearly 100 employees, Digital Services is responsible for the Library’s digital collections, digitization, discovery and metadata management services. This includes internationally recognized web archiving and crowdsourcing programs.

“Trevor’s indefatigable spirit, collaborative style, and ability to find elegant solutions to complex challenges make him a great choice for this role,” said Zwaard. “I look forward to working with him to empower our innovative staff to move us toward a more agile, user-centered and digitally enabled Library.”

Since 2017, he served as the inaugural head of digital content management in the Library’s Digital Services Directorate building organizational capacity for acquiring, preserving and enabling access to digital collections. Owens also co-led development of the Library’s first Digital Collections Strategy. Before this role, Owens led investments in digital library programs at the U.S Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Owens’ contributions to the advancement of digital library services have been widely recognized. He is the author of three books. The most recent, “The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation,” won outstanding publication awards from both the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists. In 2021, the American Library Association named Owens the recipient of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology, an award that recognizes a body of research that has had substantive impact on the field. In 2014, the Society for American Archivists granted him the Archival Innovator Award, presented annually to an archivist that best exemplifies the “ability to think outside the professional norm.”

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