OITP Fellows

Robert Bocher, OITP Fellow

July 2009 – July 2014

Bob Bocher is the Library Technology Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning (the State Library Agency). Bocher has an MLS from the University of Wisconsin- Madison and has been working in the area of libraries and information technology for over 30 years.

Bocher managed WISCAT, the state’s union catalog from its inception in the early 1980s until its transition from microfiche to CD-ROM late in the decade. As part of the WISCAT program, he co-developed the first complete MARC cataloging program to operate on early Apple and IBM compatible PCs. By the late 1980s WISCAT was one of the largest state union catalogs with over 3 million records from 455 participating libraries.

In the 1990s Bocher worked with the state’s networking office on the development of BadgerNet, Wisconsin’s statewide telecommunications network. All of Wisconsin’s public libraries have broadband Internet access and over 95% are connected to BadgerNet, which is one of the largest state networks in the country connecting over 2,400 public sector agencies. The network is heavily subsidized by the state, making it affordable for even small, rural libraries.

Mr. Bocher has assisted the Office for Information Technology Policy in a number of areas over the past several years including:

  • Serving on the E-rate Task Force since 1999, including a term as Chair.
  • Serving on the OITP’s Advisory Committee.
  • Serving as the first Chair of OITP’s Telecommunications Subcommittee.
  • Developing OITP’s Internet Access Principles

In addition he has assisted OITP on several different projects and studies including the Public Library Connectivity Study (2007), filings with the FCC on Net Neutrality and other topics and the current work OITP is doing as part of the Broadband Strategy Advisor Project. Bocher is a member of LITA and PLA. He has a special interest in privacy issues related to technology and recently co-authored Privacy in the 21st century: Issues for public, school, and academic libraries.

Research Associates

Margaret Kavaras

September 2014 – August 2015

Margaret Kavaras is a recent graduate of George Washington University and served as ALA’s Google Policy Fellow for 2014. She is currently an MPA student at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, where she will continue to focus on the role of libraries in technology innovation, digital literacy and community development. In collaboration with ALA, Margaret launched a digital storytelling initiative; Living Stories, Living Libraries, to create a database of librarian’s and patron’s stories of library value, change, and impact.  She plans to expand and  build upon this project in graduate school, using it as a platform for library advocacy and community building.

Jessie Mannisto

November 2011 – August 2014

Jessie Mannisto was OITP’s 2011 Google Policy Fellow and completed her master’s degree at the University of Michigan’s School of Information in spring 2011. As a Research Associate, Jessie has published an OITP Perspectives paper on “contemplation.” The paper advocates for disconnected spaces, especially in libraries, where people can escape the constant chatter of online communication and engage in deeper thinking.

Jamie Schleser

September 2013 – August 2014

Jamie Schleser is a Ph.D. candidate at American University and served as ALA’s Google Policy Fellow for 2013. Jamie’s dissertation research focuses on online-specific digital libraries such as the Internet Archive, Digital Public Library of America, and World Digital Library. For OITP she continues her project of applying her dissertation research to public policy analysis that she began during her Google Policy Fellowship.