Keynote Speaker

Loretta ParhamPicture of keynote speaker

Loretta Parham is CEO & Library Director of the Robert W. Woodruff Library of the Atlanta University Center, Inc., an independent entity operating as the single library shared by its four member institutions—Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College.  Under her leadership the library was awarded the ACRL 2016 Excellence in Academic Libraries Award.  With more than 30 years in the profession her experience includes: Director of the Hampton University Library, Deputy Director of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Pa., District Chief of the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and other professional positions with the Chicago Public Schools and the City Colleges of Chicago.

An active leader, scholar and engaging speaker, Parham was named the ACRL 2017 Academic Research Librarian of the Year, the 2016 Distinguished Alumna of the University of Michigan School of Information Sciences, a 2004 “Mover & Shaker” by the industry publication Library Journal, has authored articles on HBCU libraries and archives, and is co-editor of the book, Achieving Diversity: A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians. She has been a featured speaker for programs of the IMLS, Digital Library Federation, University of Tennessee Libraries, Georgia Public Library Services, The Commerce Club, Atlanta, Ga., University of Northern Colorado Libraries, the Heritage Preservation’s National Institute for Conservation, OCLC, the Georgia Society of Archivists, and more.

Parham is a member of the EDUCAUSE Board of Directors and is a member of the University of Michigan Information School Alumni Advisory Board. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Educopia Institute and serves as Chair of the ALA Committee on Accreditation.

Parham is co-founder and past chair of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCU) Library Alliance, past chair of the Georgia Humanities Council, past chair of the ARCHE (Atlanta Regional Council of Higher Education) Library Council, former board member of the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Wayne State University School of Library Science Advisory Board, past treasurer of the Oberlin Group and former trustee of OCLC, Inc.

She has served as faculty for the EDUCAUSE Management Institute, on the National ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Literacy Policy Council’s Governance Committee, past president of the OCLC Members Council, past chair of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET-now LYRASIS), and as a member of the Editorial Board of College & Research Libraries (a peer review journal).

Parham holds the Master of Library Science degree from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and the Bachelor of Science in Communications from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.  Parham is an alumna of the Frye Institute, the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians and the HBCU Library Alliance Leadership Institute. Loretta O’Brien Parham is married to James B. Parham, Ph.D., and a proud mother of two sons and a daughter.