Ann Okerson is a Senior Adviser on electronic resources for the Center for Research Libraries in Chicago. She also served as Chair of the Professional Committee of the International Federation of Library Associations (2011-2013) and is a member of the international governing council for SCOAP3, the project to transition the main scientific journals in the field of high energy physics to a sustainable open-access business model. She is also an Associate with INASP.
She served as Associate University Librarian at Yale from 1996-2011, following experience in academic library management, the commercial sector, and as senior/ founding program officer for Scholarly Communications at the Association of Research Libraries in Washington, DC. In her AUL position, her chief responsibilities were for Collection Development and International Programs. During her tenure at Yale, and with her leadership, the University Library made significant strides in electronic collections and engaged the Library in the Yale's global programs, strategies, and aspirations through a series of varied and innovative programs.
In 1996, after taking up her Yale position, Okerson organized the Northeast Research Libraries consortium (NERL), a group of 27 large and over 70 smaller libraries negotiating for electronic information and engaging occasionally in other cooperative activities. NERL is based at the Yale Library. She has been one of the active, founding spirits of the International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC).She has been a leader in licensing electronic scholarly resources. With funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources, she and the Yale Library staff mounted an online educational resource about library licensing of electronic content in a project called LIBLICENSE. Its extensive annotations and links are complemented by Liblicense-l, an international, moderated online discussion list frequented by over 3,500 librarians, publishers and attorneys. An additional grant created Liblicense software, which enables the users to generate a customized license using standard language options. In 2001, the Digital Library Federation endorsed the Project's work on a Model Electronic License for academic research libraries; this work is used as a basis for many other library and consortial contracts, in addition to Yale's and NERL's.
Okerson has done training of librarians around the world,
both in forming consortia and in licensing, for example, though the not-for-profit
eIFL, an international not-for-profit organization that works with libraries
around the world to enable sustainable access to high quality digital
information for people in developing and transition countries. Other activities include projects, publications,
advisory boards, and speaking engagements around the world, as well as
She has been a Principal Investigator on several grants: for example, for building components of a Middle East Virtual Library and a Foundation grant for improving liberal arts teaching through use of library special collections.
In her travels and spare time, Ann Okerson specializes in fine dark chocolate (worldwide), French macaroons, cupcakes, and murder mysteries.
Selin Courtyard, Sterling Memorial Library