News & Noteworthy

2015 Kilgour Award Goes to Ed Summers

Ed-Summers1-130x130The Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), announces Ed Summers as the 2015 winner of the Frederick G. Kilgour Award for Research in Library and Information Technology. The award, which is jointly sponsored by OCLC, is given for research relevant to the development of information technologies, especially work which shows promise of having a positive and substantive impact on any aspect(s) of the publication, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information, or the processes by which information and data is manipulated and managed. The awardee receives $2,000, a citation, and travel expenses to attend the award ceremony at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, where the award will be presented on June 28, 2015.

Ed Summers is Lead Developer at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), University of Maryland. Ed has been working for two decades helping to build connections between libraries and archives and the larger communities of the World Wide Web. During that time Ed has worked in academia, start-ups, corporations and the government. He is interested in the role of open source software, community development, and open access to enable digital curation. Ed has a MS in Library and Information Science and a BA in English and American Literature from Rutgers University.

Prior to joining MITH Ed helped build the Repository Development Center (RDC) at the Library of Congress. In that role he led the design and implementation of the NEH funded National Digital Newspaper Program’s Web application, which provides access to 8 million newspapers from across the United States. He also helped create the Twitter archiving application that has archived close to 500 billion tweets (as of September 2014). Ed created LC’s image quality assurance service that has allowed curators to sample and review over 50 million images. He served as a member of the Semantic Web Deployment Group at the W3C where he helped standardize SKOS, which he put to use in implementing the initial version of LC’s Linked Data service.

Before joining the Library of Congress Ed was a software developer at Follett Corporation where he designed and implemented knowledge management applications to support their early e-book efforts. He was the fourth employee at CheetahMail in New York City, where he led the design of their data management applications. And prior to that Ed worked in academic libraries at Old Dominion University, the University of Illinois and Columbia University where he was mostly focused on metadata management applications.

Ed likes to use experiments to learn about the Web and digital curation. Examples of this include his work with Wikipedia on Wikistream, which helps visualize the rate of change on Wikipedia, and CongressEdits, which allows Twitter users to follow edits being made to Wikipedia from the Congress. Some of these experiments are social, such as his role in creating the code4lib community, which is an international, cross-disciplinary group of hackers, designers and thinkers in the digital library space.

Notified of the award, Ed said: “It is a great honor to have been selected to receive the Kilgour Award this year. I was extremely surprised since I have spent most of my professional career (so far) as a developer, building communities of practice around software for libraries and archives, rather than traditional digital library research. During this time I have had the good fortune to work with some incredibly inspiring and talented individuals, teams and open source collaborators. I’ve only been as good as these partnerships have allowed me to be, and I’m looking forward to more. I am especially grateful to all those individuals that worked on a free and open Internet and World Wide Web. I remain convinced that this is a great time for library and archives professionals, as the information space of the Web is in need of our care, attention and perspective.”

Members of the 2014-15 Frederick G. Kilgour Award committee are:

  • Tao Zhang, Purdue University (chair)
  • Erik Mitchell, University of California, Berkeley (past chair)
  • Danielle Cunniff Plumer, DCPlumer Associates, LLC
  • Holly Tomren, Drexel University Libraries
  • Jason Simon, Fitchburg State University
  • Kebede Wordofa, Austin Peay State University, and
  • Roy Tennant, OCLC liaison

About LITA

Established in 1966, LITA is the leading organization reaching out across types of libraries to provide education and services for a broad membership of over 3,000 systems librarians, library technologists, library administrators, library schools, vendors and many others interested in leading edge technology and applications for librarians and information providers. For more information, visit

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information environment. It works with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and share findings through publications, presentations and professional interactions. For more information, visit

Question and Comments

Mary Taylor
Executive Director
Library & Information Technology Association (LITA)
(800) 545-2433 ext 4267