Commons & Collective Action: Exploring Non-market Approaches to Delivering Library (and other) Services

David Bollier
David is an American activist, scholar, and blogger who is focused on the commons as a new/old paradigm for re-imagining economics, politics, and culture. The commons is as old as the human race but newly discovered, too, as the Internet, open source software, alternative currencies, and platform co-operatives.

Bollier pursues his commons scholarship and activism as Director of the Reinventing the Commons Program at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics (Massachusetts, US), and as cofounder of the Commons Strategies Group, an international advocacy project. He is particularly focused on the role of commons in re-imagining local economies to empower community self-reliance, prevent market enclosures, and anticipate the coming disruptions of climate breakdown and Peak Oil.

Bollier has co-organized pioneering international conferences and strategy workshops on the commons, and consults regularly with diverse activists and policy experts in the US and Europe. His blog,, is a widely read source of news about the commons, and his book Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons (2014), has been translated into six languages. He and coauthor Silke Helfrich will publish Free, Fair and Alive: The Insurgent Power of the Commons in September 2019.

Bollier’s other books include Patterns of Commoning (2015) and The Wealth of the Commons (2012), both with co-editor Silke Helfrich; Green Governance (2013), co-authored with the late Professor Burns Weston; and Viral Spiral (2009), Brand-Name Bullies (2005), and Silent Theft (2002). Bollier lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Mark Edington 
Mark is a higher-education executive, social entrepreneur, writer, and editor. Appointed in 2014 as the first director of the Amherst College Press, he has served as the senior executive officer of interdisciplinary research centers at Harvard, including the Center for the Study of World Religions and the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory. His work in academic publishing has encompassed directing the publications program of an independent think tank focused on issues of international security and foreign policy, and as a consulting editor at Dædalus, the journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

As a member of the founding board of three NGOs, he has a deep commitment to civic engagement with foreign policy and a passion for creative solutions to food and income security. A founding director of the 2Seeds Network, he has worked to create a new path linking the need for strengthening ethically grounded leadership in the developed world with the need for improving self-sufficiency in the world's poorest countries. He serves as well as a director of the Harvard University Employees Credit Union, where he sits on the audit committee.

Mark writes frequently on issues at the intersection of public policy and religion. His essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and other national publications. He maintains a blog on The Huffington Post, and is a frequent commentator on New England Public Radio.

Ada Emmett
Ada is Librarian and Director of the University of Kansas Libraries’ Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright. Ms. Emmett received her Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Washington and has been at the University of Kansas (KU) since 2002. She worked alongside a core group of teaching faculty to design and press for a university faculty open access policy, which passed faculty governance in 2009, and again in 2010, making KU the first public university to pass an open access policy after such schools as Harvard and MIT. Her research focuses on scholarly communication and publishing, and examines issues regarding the equity and justice of future models for the scholarly communication system. Ms. Emmett was recently awarded and then completed in December 2018 a sabbatical to focus on cross-sector collaborations, and the need for sophisticated forms of cooperation.

Jess Farrell 
Jess is project manager for the project at Educopia Institute. In the past she’s served as curator of digital collections at Harvard Law School Library, and as an archivist at McDonald's Corporation, Armstrong-Johnston Archival Services, and the College of Charleston. She’s the current chair of the Society of American Archivists’ Electronic Records Section, co-chair of the Digital Library Federation’s Born-Digital Access Group, and volunteers for many Boston-area community groups. Jess received her MLIS from the University of South Carolina in 2011.

David Lewis
David has a BA from Carleton College (1973), an MLS from Columbia University (1975), and certificates of advanced study in librarianship one from the University of Chicago (1983) and from Columbia University (1991).  He began his library career as a reference librarian and became a library administrator. He worked at SUNY Farmingdale (1975-76), Hamilton College (1976-78), Franklin and Marshall College (1978-83), Columbia University (1983-88) and the University of Connecticut (1988-93).  He came to Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 1993 as the Head of Public Services and became the Dean of the University Library in 2000, a position he held until he retired in 2018.

He has published nearly 50 articles and book chapters.  His 1988 article “Inventing the Electronic University” was selected one of seven “landmark” articles to be republished in the 75th anniversary issue of College & Research Libraries.  His book Reimagining the Academic Library was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2016.  In 2018 he was named the ACRL Academic/Research Librarian of the Year.  He is a masters swimmer who enjoys traveling to parts of the world where red wine is made.

Mike Roy 
Mike has worked at Middlebury College for a decade, first as CIO of a merged library/IT organization, and lately as the dean of the
library. Recent efforts include the launch of the Lever Press, an open access monograph press supported by over 50 small liberal arts college libraries, and a Mellon-funded grant to explore models for sustaining the creation and maintenance of community owned and community governed scholarly communication infrastructure ( He is currently the president of
the Oberlin Group of Libraries. Before joining Middlebury, he worked at Kenyon College, Wesleyan University, and Harvard University.

Christine Turner 
As Acquisitions and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Ms. Turner’s focus is guiding a shift of the Libraries’ financial investments from proprietary, market-based to open collections and systems. In nearly 20 years at UMass Amherst, Christine lead the start-up and development of the Statewide Business and Economic Development Specialized Reference Services, the centerpiece of which was the Web portal MassBedrock, then as Digital Services and Instruction Librarian, followed by 13 years as Electronic Resources Librarian. In addition to applied expertise in licensing and all aspects of the electronic resources acquisition to presentation lifecycle, Christine has led implementations of discovery services (MetaLib, WorldCat Local) and an e-resource management system (CORAL).

Ms. Turner was the recipient of the 2015 Edward Swanson Memorial Best of LRTS Award for her paper “E-Resource Acquisitions in Academic Library Consortia.” Prior to UMass, Christine was a librarian at Lesley University and Corporate Decisions, Inc.. Christine earned a master's degree in Management from Lesley University, a master's degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College, and a B.A. in English from Connecticut College. Her non-work pursuits include roaming the beaches of her native Cape Cod, gardening in the fertile Connecticut River Valley soil, and pounding tennis balls and courts, playfully.