2018 Keynote Speakers

Becky Brasington Clark, Director of the Publishing Office, Library of Congress

The Library of Congress: Publisher, Partner, Publishing Resource

The Library of Congress has been an active publisher since 1802. Today, the Library’s Publishing Office partners with co-publishers to create books and other products that showcase the collections and services of the world’s largest library. With more than 164 million books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts in its collections, the Library is also a rich resource for authors, researchers, and publishers.

Director of the Publishing Office Becky Brasington Clark will discuss the Library’s fascinating publishing history and its evolution from a publisher of bibliographies and catalogs to a co-publisher of illustrated trade titles, jigsaw puzzles, calendars, and coloring books. She will also provide an overview of the Library’s immense resources—many in the public domain—that are available to the public.

Before joining the Library, Becky Brasington Clark spent 12 years as director of marketing for the Johns Hopkins University Press and held similar positions at the Brookings Institution Press, the New Republic, Counterpoint Press, and Moon Travel Handbooks. She serves on the board of the American Association of University Presses (AAUP) and has served as an adjunct faculty member in George Washington University’s Master of Professional Studies in Publishing program.


Lian and Liz Dolan of the Satellite Sisters

It’s All Just Telling Stories

Liz Dolan and Lian Dolan are sisters and storytellers. Together, they created Satellite Sisters, a talk show focused on telling the tales of modern women with humor, heart, and integrity. Individually, the two have worked in different media—Lian as a writer, Liz as a marketing expert—but both have discovered success in telling the product’s story to the right audience. The Satellite Sisters will share their hard-won wisdom about how to identify stories that matter, trust your authentic voice, and communicate the power of a great story to an audience.


Chris Finan, Executive Director, National Coalition Against Censorship

Threats to Free Speech in an Age of Protest

Are we living through another great age of protest? The election of Donald Trump has aggravated our deep political polarization, and there is rising intolerance for the opinions of others. Join Christopher Finan, a free speech activist for more than 30 years, in examining the current censorship threats from the government, educational and social institutions, and private industry. The former president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Speech, Chris is the new executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship.


Lisa Lucas, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation

Preaching to a New Choir: Building a Wider Audience for Readers

How do publishers build a bigger, bolder, and more inclusive audience of lifelong readers across the US? In an age where books are regularly declared “dead,” publishers need more than just a diverse catalog of authors and social media accounts to reach and engage new readers. Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, will discuss the importance of engaging and building a community of book-lovers—through institutional and public programming, youth engagement, and marketing to would-be readers—and how to convince even the most apprehensive people that they just might be a bibliophile, too. Learn also about the National Book Foundation, its history, current mission and goals, and how they decide which books get the prestigious NBF awards.