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As Senior Program Manager, my responsibilities include technology and project management for the library's discovery interfaces (the "MLibrary" single search tool, ArticlesPlus, Search Tools, etc.), delivery interfaces ("M Get It"), and the library's evolving and emerging analytics infrastructure.
From 2007-2015, I was the manager of the Library Web Systems department, which worked on the library's web site, including ArticlesPlus (our Drupal implementation of Serials Solutions' Summon using its API), Library Favorites, Search Tools, and the library's proxy server.
I serve on a number of library committees and working groups, including the Library Web Committee, PARC (Public Access Resources Committee), and Senior Managers. Beyond the library, I am a member of the NISO Open Discovery Initiative's Standing Committee, co-chair the NISO Tracking Link Origins working group, am on the LITA Board of Directors, and serve on the editorial board for Information Technology and Libraries (ITAL). My blog about libraries and technology is RSS4Lib.
I received Masters' degrees in Library Studies (with a concentration in archives) and Russian & East European Studies from the University of Michigan. Before that, I received Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Russian from Grinnell College. I have previously worked at Tufts University (Boston), Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI), and the Open Media Research Institute (Prague, Czech Republic).
Recent Publications and Presentations
“A Brief History of the Open Discovery Initiative,” by Kenneth J. Varnum. Learned Publishing, 30:1 2017. pp. 45-48.
Exploring Discovery: The Front Door to Your Library’s Licensed and Digitized Content. ALA Tech Source. April 2016.
“Full-Text Links: Fish, or Fishing License?” presented at the LITA National Forum 2015, Minneapolis, MN. November 14, 2015.
"Measuring Journal Linking Success from a Discovery Service," by Kenyon Stuart, Kenneth J. Varnum, and Judith Ahronheim. Information Technology and Libraries, 34:1 2015. doi: 10.6017/ital.v34i1.5607.
Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know (A LITA Guide). ALA Tech Source. May 2014.
An edited collection describing the up-and-coming technologies that will be critical to libraries in the next few years. Includes a chapter I wrote, "Library Discovery: From Ponds to Streams" (open-access pre-print in Deep Blue, the University of Michigan's institutional repository).
- The Network Reshapes the Library: Lorcan Dempsey on Libraries, Services and Networks. ALA Editions. July 2014.
I edited this compilation of posts from Loran Dempsey's Weblog.
- "Manually Classifying User Search Queries on an Academic Library Web Site," by Suzanne Chapman, Shevon Desai, Kat Hagedorn, Kenneth J. Varnum, Sonali Mishra, and Julie Piacentine. Journal of Web Librarianship, 7:4 2013. pp. 401-21. (Authors' Accepted Manuscript available in Deep Blue, U-M's Institutional Repository).
- Drupal in Libraries. ALA TechSource. June 2012. A primer for technically proficient librarians who want to learn more about Drupal and manage a web site using it, but who are not themselves coders.