"Community Engagement & Advocacy in Libraries: How to Thrive in Volatile Times," by Nicholas Alexander Brown 
Virtually, Friday, March 24, 2023  
Register here!

The CUA LIS Alumni Association is excited to announce that Nicholas Alexander Brown will be our speaker for the 32nd annual Stone Lecture.

As libraries across the United States face increasing censorship attempts, safety and security challenges, and an ongoing reckoning with pervasive long-term systemic race and social inequities, community engagement and advocacy are essential tools for sustaining operations and emphasizing libraries’ central role in civic life. Brown will discuss how community engagement initiatives, including programming, outreach, strategic partnerships, and marketing/communications, combine with a robust advocacy strategy to help libraries effectively face societal crises, funding challenges, challenges to intellectual freedom, and support wellness for library workers. Using the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System as a case study, attendees will learn best practices for building and nurturing relationships through community engagement and advocacy in order to be prepared for the challenges of the future.

 Nicholas Alexander Brown is a Honduran-American library executive and musician based in Maryland, where he serves as acting co-CEO and chief operating officer for communication and outreach at the Prince George's County Memorial Library System. He is the recipient of the 2021 Library Journal Marketer of the Year Award and was a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2019. Brown is also adjunct faculty for the Department of Library and Information Science at Catholic University and music director/founder of The Irving Fine Society. He previously worked as director of special productions and initiatives at Washington Performing Arts, program specialist (detail) for the Office of the Librarian/Office of Special Events & Public Programs at Library of Congress, music specialist/concert producer at Library of Congress, and army bandsman with the 215th Army Band. Brown is an active conductor, choral singer, and musicologist, and has performed across the U.S., Europe, and Honduras. His writing has appeared in Library Journal, The Horn Book, and HuffPost Blog. He is a contributor to The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford  University Press, 2013) and Popular Music and Public Diplomacy (Transcript Verlag, 2017). Brown is a past president of the DC Library Association and Beta Phi Mu Iota Chapter, a past chair of Library of Congress GLOBE, and an active committee co-chair in the ALA Rainbow Roundtable. He serves on advisory boards for the Financial Empowerment Center at Prince George's Community College,  the LIS department at Catholic University, and the MLIS program at University of Maryland's iSchool. nicholasalexanderbrown.com.

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

  • 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"