Kick off the Digital Humanities/Digital Scholarship Special Interest Group at this year’s 2017 IFLA general conference in Wroclaw, Poland. This new SIG is a part of IFLA’s Knowledge Management (KM) section. We will to meet from 13:45 -15:45 on Sunday, August 20 at IASE 1st floor.

This inaugural meeting at IFLA Wroclaw will feature “lightning talks” with speakers from four continents (Africa, Asia, Europe and North America), and will explore “The Global Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship Best Practices – What is the Role of IFLA and the DH/DS SIG: Lightning Talks and Interactive Conversations.” The founding convener, Xuemao Wang, will be the moderator of the session.


The meeting’s confirmed speakers are:


Edwin Qobose is acting director of the University of Botswana Library, where he has worked for 34 years. He received his MLS from the University of Dalhousie Library School in Halifax, Nova Scotiam, and is a former Mortenson Fellow from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.


Mr. Qobose is in his first term as IFLA Secretary of the Reference and Information Services Section (RISS). Outside of Africa, he has traveled to Europe, North America, Asia and Latin America, most often on business for IFLA. He is also a member of Botswana’s Open Data Open Science ODOS Steering Committee, which is planning its first national forum later in 2017 with the theme “Towards a coordinated formulation and implementation of ODOS framework in Botswana,” and was the project leader in the planning and implementation of the Learning Commons at UB in 2010.


His publications include journal articles in reference and conference proceedings, a book chapter, Joseph Hafner and Dian Koen: IFLA Section on Library Buildings and Equipment: De Gruyter Saur, 2016.


Sophie Vandepontseele is history licentiate at the Université catholique de Louvain (Belgium). She is currently Director of the Directorate of Contemporary Collections at the Royal Library of Belgium. One of the objectives of the Directorate is to develop and guarantee access to contemporary collections. She is notably working on extending the law on legal deposit to digital publications. The Royal Library will also change its library management system and this change will impact all the management processes of the contemporary collections, notably the purchase of collections. Against this background, the Directorate of Contemporary Collections is also committed to the bibliographic transition of cataloguing practices.


Sophie Vandepontseele started her career as Head of the “Archives and Documentation” department of the War Victims where she developed several projects in the field of heritage digitization and document management. Then, she joined the ‘NoVo’ project management team of the FPS Social Security where she was responsible for managing the problem of paper archives in the light of making the FPS a paperless environment.


Zheng (John) Wang is Associate University Librarian for Digital Access, Resources, and Information Technology at the University of Notre Dame. He provides leadership and guidance and manages vision and strategies in the development and optimization of library systems and applications, and digital, technical, and delivery services.


Previous to the position at Notre Dame, he served as Associate Director of Content Division and Director For Digital Assets Strategies at Emory University and as Head of the Library Web Services at UCLA. He is a librarian and a technologist, holding both Master of Arts in Library and Information studies as well as Mast of Science in Information Systems. His experience includes content workflow, user-centered design, usability methodologies, Web systems, and application development. He published and lectured in the areas of web services and analytics, digital library development, project management, collection supply chain management, and digital scholarship. His professional aspiration is to integrate library online and offline services seamlessly for users. He is a native of Beijing, China. He lives with his family in Granger, Indiana.


 Lihong Zhou, DSc, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor at the School of Information Management at Wuhan University.


He obtained his MSc an PhD in Information Studies from the Information School, University of Sheffield, UK. Dr. Zhou has published widely in healthcare knowledge sharing, information management and library management.



 Xuemao Wang is the Dean and University Librarian of the University of Cincinnati Libraries, a position he has held since August, 2012. As the dean, he oversees entire university library system with focus on strategic leadership, operational oversight and community partnership building. In addition to his deanship, he also serves as a Special Advisor to the university’s President and Provost on China Affairs. Prior to working at UC, he was the Associate Vice Provost of University Libraries at Emory University from He also held positions at Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries , the Metropolitan New York Library Council, and Queens Borough Public library.


Xuemao has over 30 years of progressive, diverse library, information management and leadership experience, with a career that spans the public, academic and large library consortium worlds. He has held global leadership positions in the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), he is currently serving as Director of the Board and Treasurer for the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), is a member of multiple committees within the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and serves on the steering committee for Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). He has strong connections and networks with global libraries with particular connection with China’s academic and library leaders.