22 April 2016

I specialize in libraries, writing, speaking, teaching and consulting. Over the past two years, my professional life has had three threads: developing course content and teaching for PittOnline, the University Library System of the University of Pittsburgh, and others; working as an independent library professional (Karen Calhoun Library Consulting); and projects related to being the author of the book Exploring Digital Libraries.

Since my retirement in late 2014 I've been undertaking consulting projects, most notably for Ithaka S+R and the UCLA Senior Fellows program. Before that I held senior leadership positions and directed strategic initiatives as Assistant University Librarian at the University of Pittsburgh; Vice President of WorldCat and Metadata Services at OCLC Online Computer Library Center (2007-2011); and  Senior
Associate University Librarian for IT and Technical Services and Associate University Librarian at Cornell University Library (2002-2007).  Prior to that I held other management and professional specialist positions at Cornell (1997-2001), OCLC (1986-1997) and the University of Oregon Library (1983-1986).

During my first tenure at OCLC I earned an MBA at Franklin University (1996). I have been a librarian since 1983, when I earned my M.S. in library and information science from what is now known as the Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics.  My career has focused on academic research libraries and global library cooperatives with particular emphasis on setting strategic direction, introducing innovation and organizational change, and revitalizing library services for the digital age.

You can learn more about me here
My Google Scholar Profile is here and a more complete list of my publications and presentations is here.

Biographical Sketch for Use in Programs


Karen Calhoun is a consultant, librarian, teacher, writer and international speaker with wide-ranging experience leading libraries in the digital age. Author of a book on libraries' digital future, Karen has directed strategic initiatives in senior management positions at Cornell, OCLC and the University of Pittsburgh.


Karen Calhoun is a consultant, librarian, teacher, writer and international speaker with wide-ranging experience leading libraries in the digital age. Since her retirement in late 2014 she has been undertaking projects through her own consulting business. Before that, Karen worked for the University Library System at the University of Pittsburgh from July 2011-September 2014, where she led strategic initiatives in collaborative planning, service innovation and implementation, organizational development and assessment, in addition to teaching a Leadership Development Program for Pitt's librarians each year. From 2007 to 2011, Karen was Vice President, OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services, where she was charged with helping to chart a course for future services, engaging with OCLC member libraries, and extending WorldCat's global relevance. From 1996 to 2007, she served in leadership positions at Cornell University Library, most recently as Senior Associate University Librarian for Information Technology and Technical Services. Karen is the author of Exploring Digital Libraries, a new (2014) book for LIS students, educators and practicing professionals on libraries' digital future. She holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, an M.S. in library and information science from Drexel University, and an M.B.A. from Franklin University.


A high resolution photo, suitable for attaching to announcements, is available for download here.