Dr. Elizabeth W. Stone Lecture Series "Finding the Nature of Illumination in Libraries and Museums:  Cultural Heritage and the Technology of Culture," by Martin R. Kalfatovic 


Event Date:  Friday, April 5, 2024

Event Time:  6:00 - 8:00 pm

Location:  Zoom Webinar 

Please register by Wednesday, April 3rd 


The CUA LIS Alumni Association is excited to announce that Martin R. Kalfatovic will be our speaker for the 33rd annual Stone Lecture.

Galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (GLAMs), in varying forms and modalities across time and culture, have proven to be the best, though too often fragile, vessels for the transmission of culture through both time and space.  Over the past twenty-five years, new technologies have expanded the reach of our “memory institutions” and enabled them to engage in cross-border and inter-institutional collaboration and cooperation.  At the same time, these same technologies have uneasily shared the GLAM space and raised concerns that the embrace of technology would pose existential challenges to the relevance of traditional GLAM institutions.

Long held practices around curation, selection, and use of GLAM collections are being questioned from both inside and outside these institutions.  Increasingly, technology is providing the means to bring GLAMs closer together, to unite dispersed collections, and to engage a new and wider audience that can enhance the institutional knowledge of these collections.  Digital scholarship and newly envisioned library services, including digital pedagogy, have created new opportunities for the librarians and other cultural heritage professionals of today.

In this century we have seen technology increasing access to collections through mass digitization and too slow opening possibilities for ethical repatriation of artifacts looted or otherwise unethically collected; broadening scholarly communications to engage a deep analysis of collections; the adoption of social media engage around collections with a mass and potentially more diverse audience; and innovative tools to preserve collections.

The future will need librarians and other GLAM workers with deep and broad conversance in technology as well as a firm grounding in discipline-specific subject areas. The reconciliation of historic missions, new audience expectations, and a seemingly relentless deluge of technological innovation (including the latest disruptor, artificial intelligence) need to be looked on, not as existential threats, but as opportunities to evolve our “memory institutions” for survival in ages to come.


About the Speaker

Martin R. Kalfatovic is the Associate Director for Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communications and Program Director of the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) at Smithsonian Libraries and Archives (SLA).  At SLA, he is involved with scholarly communications, mass digitization, and research analytics and metadata.  As the Program Director for the BHL, a global consortium of forty-two natural history, research, and botanical garden libraries, he participates in the national and global coordination around issues of collection aggregation, technical development, and research applications of the digital library.  A regular contributor to popular and scholarly publications, Mr. Kalfatovic holds both a BA and MSLS from The Catholic University of America and received the Raymond Von Dran Memorial Award for innovation, collaboration, and leadership in 2013.  He can be found on select social platforms as @udcmrk and has an inordinate fondness for dodos.


About the Stone Lecture Series

Elizabeth StoneEstablished in 1990, the Elizabeth W. Stone Lecture Series honors Dr. Elizabeth W. Stone, Dean Emerita of the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS), for her service to the school and the library profession. Dr. Stone (M.S.L.S. '61) joined the LIS faculty in 1961 and was named chair of the Department of Library Science in 1972. Under her leadership, the department became the School of Library and Information Science in 1981 and she served as Dean until 1983.

The Elizabeth W. Stone Lecture series is held each spring. The speakers, who are invited by the Alumni Association, include esteemed librarians, university presidents, journalists, members of professional associations, and government representatives.

The 13th Annual Elizabeth W. Stone Lecture included a special remembrance of Dr. Stone, who passed away on March 6, 2002, at the age of 83. Her presence throughout the years has given the school a sense of continuity, connecting students with the larger Catholic University library and information science community of alumni. This lecture series strives to bring innovators in the library profession to Catholic University that demonstrate Dr. Stone's commitment to the life-long development of librarians. To continue Dr. Stone's legacy, donations will be accepted for the Elizabeth W. Stone Scholarship Fund. Please call 202-319-6926 for further information.


Previous Speakers

  • 2023 - Nicholas Alexander Brown
    Acting co-CEO and Chief Operating Officer for Communication and Outreach at the Prince George's County Memorial Library System
    “Community Engagement & Advocacy in Libraries: How to Thrive in Volatile Times”
  • 2022 - Julius C. Jefferson, Jr.
    Section Head Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade Division, CRS, LOC
    “The First Amendment, Race and the Truth: Librarians and Social Justice”
  • 2021 - Dr. Trevor Owens
    Head of Digital Content Management at the Library of Congress
    “Caring for Digital Collections in the Anthropocene”
    Click here to watch video
  • 2019 - Kate Zwaard
    The Digital Strategy Director of the Library of Congress
    “Innovation and Digital Strategy at the Library of Congress”
    Click here to watch video
  • 2018 - Professor Dave Shumaker 
    Clinical Associate Professor at the Department of Library and Information Science, Catholic University of America
    "How to Predict the Future" 
  • 2017- Melanie Townsend Diggs
    Pennsylvania Avenue Branch manager at Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library Recipient of the 2016 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity
    “Being a ‘beacon of light’ in the face of adversity”
  • 2016 - Don Collins
    Oceanographer and archivist at NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
    "An Oceanographer's Voyage Into Librarianship"
  • 2015- Linda Ueki Absher
  • 2014- Barbara Stripling
  • 2013- Blane Dessy
    Executive Director, Federal Library Information Network, Library of Congress
    The Federal Government's Information Sphere & The Myth of Federal Information Policy  
    Click here to view the slides
  • 2012 - Dr. Deanna Marcum
    Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, Managing Director of Ithaka S+R., and former Dean of the Catholic University of America School of Library and Information Science, 1989-1992
    "Leadership for the Digital Age"
    Click here to watch video
  • 2011 - Elizabeth Aversa
    Director of the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama and former Dean of LIS
    "A Passion for Libraries - or - Why We Do What We Do"
  • 2010 Dr. Clifford Lynch Ph.D.
    Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information
    “Scholarship, Cultural Memory and Libraries in the 21st Century”
  • 2009 - Camila Alire
    ALA President
    "Issues and Trends in American Libraries," April 21, 2009
  • 2008 - Andrew Pace
    Executive Director for Networked Library Services, OCLC
    "From SLIS to OCLC: An Alumnus Reflects on His Career and the Evolving Profession"
    April 30, 2008
    Click Here to View the Powerpoint Presentation slides (pdf)
  • 2007 - Dr. Deanna Marcum
    Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress
    "Culture Shock: The Changing Nature of Library Science Education"
  • 2005 - Richard Baker
    Historian of the Senate
    "History on the Hill: From Gunpowder Paste to the Nuclear Option"
  • 2004 - Dr. Siva Vaidhyanathan
    Director of the undergraduate program in Communication Studies in Culture and Communication at New York University.
    "The Anarchist in the Library"
  • 2003 - Sanford Berman
    Berman, a Catholic University SLIS alumnus, has written extensively and especially on increasing access to libraries via attention to subject cataloguing and collection development.
    "Not in My Library: Issues of Workplace Speech and Governance"
  • 2002 - Duane E. Webster
    Executive Director for Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
    "Reflections on the Future of Scholarly Communications"
  • 2001 - Nancy Kranich
    President, American Library Association
    "Why Do We Still Need Libraries?"
  • 2000 - Dr. John Cole
    Director of the Center for the Book, Library of Congress
    "Bicentennial of the Library of Congress"
  • 1999 - Dr. Carla Hayden
    Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore
    "Institutional Change in a Traditional Library"
  • 1998 - Kurt Cylke
    National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress
    "That All May Read"
  • 1997 - Henriette Avram
    Library of Congress, Retired
    "On the Fourth Decade of the MARC Format"
  • 1996 - Dr. Mathilde V. Rovelstad
    Professor Emerita
    School of Library and Information Science, CUA
    "Temples of Wisdom and Faith: The Picture World of Monastic Libraries of the Baroque Period"
  • 1995 - Jeanne Hurley Simon
    Chair, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science
    "The Role of the National Commission in American Library Development"
  • 1994 - Eileen D. Cooke
    Director, American Library Association Washington Office
    "Lobbying for Libraries: Thirty Years on Capitol Hill"
  • 1993 - Hardy R. Franklin, Ph.D.
    Director, The District of Columbia Public Library and President, American Library Association
    "Customer Service and the Library: The Crucial Link"
  • 1992 - Rev. William J. Byron, S.M.
    President, The Catholic University of America
    "Library Support for Community Service"
  • 1991 - Sheilah Kast
    Network Journalist, ABC News
    "The Public's Right to Know in the Information Age"
  • 1990 - Rev. Timothy S. Healy, S.J.
    President, New York Public Library
    "The Role of the Public Library in a Democratic Society"