Emily Morton-Owens, 2018 Candidate for LITA Vice-President/President-Elect

Photo of Emily Morton-OwensStatement

LITA has been a constant part of my professional life as I’ve worked in different libraries: public, academic, medical. LITA provides a network of career support that goes beyond any individual project; it looks at the big picture of technology's interplay with information.

LITA’s recent period of renewal shows how resilience and innovation are at the center of our identity. As LITA focuses on experimentation, I’d like to think about “translational technology”—how trends and trials can become ongoing, shareable, assessable user-facing services.

When members are able to take action based on what they learn, they are energized and in turn enliven our association. We should make sure that LITA events have takeaways for everyone.

I’d also like to see LITA help librarians think about strategies to maintain control of systems (whether vendor or open-source), their integrations, and their data--as the building blocks of ethical and sustainable technology. 

Current Position

Assistant University Librarian for Digital Library Development and Systems, University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Philadelphia, PA

Type of Organization

Academic Library

Previous Positions

Library Applications & Systems Manager, The Seattle Public Library, 2012-2015
Web Services Librarian, NYU Health Sciences Library, 2007-2012
Adjunct faculty, Drexel University College of Computing & Informatics, 2013-present

Degrees and Certificates

New York University, MS Computer Science, 2012
Drexel University, MS Library & Information Science, 2007
Yale University, BA German Studies, 1999

Division Affiliations


Were/are you a Spectrum Scholar?


Were/are you an Emerging Leader?


ALA and/or ALA-APA Activities

LITA ITAL Editorial Board, 2015–2017
LITA Top Tech Trends Committee, 2013–2015, Chair, 2014–2015
LITA Assessment & Research Committee, 2011–2013

Offices Held in State, Regional, and Other Library Associations

MLA Books Panel, 2009–2013, Chair, 2012–2013

Honors and Awards

NYU Courant Institute Computer Science Master's Thesis Prize, 2012
Beta Phi Mu, 2007
Lothar Hausmann Memorial Prize, 1999

Major Accomplishments

Several of my articles in ITAL are among the most downloaded of recent years, which I hope means they have been useful to members and readers. As chair of the Top Tech Trends committee, I ushered in a new way to select panelists to encourage new participants and diverse voices. Beyond LITA, I am proud of having been involved in a number of transformational projects that set an organization on a path to more flexible, sustainable technology, and it has been especially rewarding to work with new librarians in my role as an adjunct LIS instructor.


Morton-Owens E, Hanson KL. Trends at a glance: A management dashboard of library statistics. Information Technology & Libraries. 2012; 31(3):36-51. 

Morton-Owens EG. Editorial and technological workflow tools to promote website quality. Information Technology & Libraries. 2011; 30(3):92-98. 

Morton-Owens EG, Hanson KL, Walls I. Implementing open-source software for three core library functions: a stage-by-stage comparison. Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries. 2011: 8(1):1-14. 

Links to Further Information


Number of Years as an ALA Member



< Go to the 2018 Election Information page