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More Tech Forum 2020 speakers

Filed under: Tech Forum

The speakers and sessions keep rolling in for Tech Forum 2020. It’s shaping up to be our best year yet. With three full days of programming — Intensives on March 23, Workshops on March 24, and the Main Day on March 25 — there’s something for everyone each day.

With that in mind, if you’re already purchased your ticket for only one or two of the days above and one of the sessions announced below is a can’t miss for you, we’ve made it easy for you to upgrade your existing ticket. See how here.

Keep an eye on this space for more announcements about speakers over the winter leading up to the conference in March. March 23 to 25 in Toronto to be exact. See all the details here: the location, all the news, FAQs, and most importantly, how to register!

Day one: March 23

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Introducing best practices for accessible workflows into the publishing cycle

Daniella Levy-Pinto is an expert in accessibility, including digital technology as well as livable spaces. She has been a user of assistive technologies for more than 25 years in her different roles in academic and professional settings. As the Coordinator for Accessibility Testing with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), Daniella leads a team of testers who assess the accessibility of EPUB files and reading apps to access content through public libraries across Canada, and provides advice to prevent or eliminate accessibility barriers. Daniella works to promote and inform a paradigm shift towards accessible-by-design ebooks and platforms. Outside of the digital space, Daniella works to improve the accessibility of public spaces and advocates for pedestrian safety and the design and construction of streets which are useable for people of all abilities. Daniella holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.

Leah Brochu is the Accessible Publishing Coordinator for the National Network for Equitable Library Service, where she helps to improve the state of equitable reading in Canada. From organizing the Accessible Publishing Summit, to coordinating logistics for a variety of projects, to website maintenance and social media, Leah is passionate about using her skills and experience to work towards a more accessible and inclusive future.

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Making Brazilian literature accessible

Isadora Cal has an MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and is currently finishing an MBA in Business Intelligence and Analytics at FIAP (São Paulo, Brazil). She has been working in the publishing industry for 10 years now, with experience in proofreading, copyediting, digital marketing, digital publishing, and more recently in data analysis. She started the Accessibility Project at Bookwire after attending her first ebookcraft in 2018.

Joana De Conti has an MA in Anthropology, although she left the academic world a long time ago to dedicate her time to digital publishing. She worked for many years in one of Brazil’s biggest publishing houses, Rocco, and has been at Bookwire for 3 years now. She has already converted dozens of books but stopped counting when she finished the 200th. Today Joana is Head of Account Management, using her leadership and organizational skills to improve the company’s processes.

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Reading needs and preferences among Canadians with print disabilities: ebooks & audiobooks

Daniella Levy-Pinto is an expert in accessibility, including digital technology as well as livable spaces. She has been a user of assistive technologies for more than 25 years in her different roles in academic and professional settings. As the Coordinator for Accessibility Testing with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), Daniella leads a team of testers who assess the accessibility of EPUB files and reading apps to access content through public libraries across Canada, and provides advice to prevent or eliminate accessibility barriers. Daniella works to promote and inform a paradigm shift towards accessible-by-design ebooks and platforms. Outside of the digital space, Daniella works to improve the accessibility of public spaces and advocates for pedestrian safety and the design and construction of streets which are useable for people of all abilities. Daniella holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego.

David Kopman has worn many hats over the years, including news photographer, technical support analyst, media specialist, and photography instructor. Around the year 2000, when his sight began to decline, and reading print material became more difficult, his career path took a big shift. David held several positions at BALANCE for Blind Adults, a non profit organization for people who are blind or have low vision. Those roles included, Volunteer Coordinator, IT Support, and Access Technology Instructor. Currently, he works as an accessibility tester for the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), evaluating the usability of EPUB files and the applications used to read them. In his words, “Low vision can be difficult to understand because each individual’s perception dictates how and what they see, and as a result, what reading barriers they face.” David is grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of how people with low vision can better access information.

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Towards an accessible digital publishing ecosystem

Graduated in Italian literature, Elisa Molinari has been working at the Italian Publishers Association since 2011, taking part at national and EU projects devoted to digital publishing as TISP – Technology Innovation for Smart Publishing and Aldus – The European Bookfairs network. Since 2013 she has been working with Fondazione LIA where she is responsible of events, training activities, and projects aimed at spreading the culture of accessibility.

Day two: March 24

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Audiobook accessibility

Danny Faris is a blind software engineer from British Columbia. An avid reader, he's listened to audiobooks from digital DAISY, audio CD, and even cassette tape. Now, with audiobooks fast gaining popularity in the mainstream market, we're excited to explore a brand new delivery method — that should finally be accessible to everyone!

Simon Jaeger, from Nanaimo, BC, is a technology and accessibility enthusiast, audio producer, and avid reader. He has experience with a wide variety of reading software and devices and excellent working knowledge of audio formats, as well as 10 years of audio editing and production experience. Before his position as an accessibility tester with NNELS, he spent more than five years training visually-impaired clients to get the most out of their computers, smartphones, and other assistive technology, starting from the basics.
Robert Gordon manages CNIB’s Audio Publishing and Distribution departments, coordinating the creation and circulation of DAISY audio productions in French and English on behalf of CELA, the Centre for Equitable Library Access. CNIB’s Accessible Publishing department has been transcribing print works into alternative formats for Canadians living with vision loss and print disabilities for more than 100 years. In recent years, CNIB has begun to more closely collaborate with publishers and educators to encourage the mainstream adoption of best practices, as well as producing accessible works on their behalf.

Jessica Albert is the Digital and Art Director at ECW Press where she works on ebooks, accessibility, audiobooks, book covers, and metadata — sometimes all at once. When not playing fetch with her dog, Jessica has been working to overhaul the digital production and metadata systems at ECW to apply accessibility standards to their ebooks and hands-on, fluid control to their communication through metadata.

Wendy Reid is a Senior QA at Rakuten Kobo, where she works with kobo's mobile apps and device teams to improve reading experiences, promote accessibility, and raise quality. At her other day job she is one of the chairs of the Publishing Working Group at the W3C, and editor of the Audiobooks specification. In her abundant spare time she likes to travel, play sports, and join steering committees for interesting conferences.

Farrah Little is the Content Coordinator at the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), a national digital library of accessible format materials that works with public libraries and publishers across Canada to ensure equal access to reading materials for all Canadians. She manages digital book production, acquisition, technical services, and various projects that aim to integrate accessibility into mainstream publishing practices. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia where she frequents its many excellent coffee shops with a book in hand.

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Case study: Brazilian audiobooks

Isadora Cal has an MA in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University and is currently finishing an MBA in Business Intelligence and Analytics at FIAP (São Paulo, Brazil). She has been working in the publishing industry for 10 years now, with experience in proofreading, copyediting, digital marketing, digital publishing, and more recently in data analysis. She started the Accessibility Project at Bookwire after attending her first ebookcraft in 2018.

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#eprdctn tools & tips round-up

As the Director of Content Standards at Macmillan Learning, Rachel Comerford helps to implement and maintain industry and internal standards in content, platforms, and processes. Her work includes establishing internal accessibility, metadata, and EPUB implementation guides that align with best practices. She co-chairs the w3c Publishing Community Group and participates in working groups at IMS GlobalBISG, and AMAC where she asks lots of annoying questions and competes for the title of "most snarky." She enjoys lazy strolls on the beach, red wine, and well-constructed EPUBs complete with all of their accessibility features and metadata.

Monique Mongeon has always been fascinated with the intersection of books and technology – from her start making fansites for her favourite books, to her current role as Project Manager at BookNet Canada. Monique also teaches ebook production at Ryerson University’s Chang School. Prior to joining BookNet, Monique worked in ebook production for Penguin Random House Canada.

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How to sell books in 100+ countries

Cristina Mendes is a Marketing Manager at Rakuten Kobo, in charge of Global CRM Communications and Online Engagement, and has been marketing books for almost 4 years. She works with stakeholders around the world to determine the best way to showcase new, interesting, and relevant titles to the Kobo customer.

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Checking up on EPUBCheck

Tzviya Siegman is Wiley’s Information Standards Lead. Tzviya wrote and maintained Wiley’s ebook specifications and stylesheets and serves as Wiley’s liaison to industry standards groups. She currently works in Wiley’s Platform Architecture Group, joining her interests in content structure, standards, accessibility, and linked data. Tzviya co-chairs the W3C Publishing Working Group, helping to make the web and publishing better friends.

Romain Deltour is a software developer and accessibility expert for the DAISY Consortium. He notably leads the development of Ace –the accessibility checker for EPUB–, and EPUBCheck.

Romain sometimes dreams of a world made only of hyphen-less “ebooks”, uppercase “EPUB”s, and capital-case “Ace”. When he’s not dreaming, he tries to promote the Web’s potential to enable a truly inclusive publishing ecosystem.

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State of the #ebookcraft nation: #eprdctn & #a11y in 2020

Laura Brady is an ebook developer, working at the House of Anansi Press managing the Cross-Media department. She is into ebooks, accessibility, dogs, and baseball. In her spare time she helps plan ebookcraft and follows the Blue Jays. She also probably tweets too much.


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Recommendation systems in publishing: An interactive workshop

Camille Grange is an associate professor of Information Technologies at HEC Montreal. In her capacities as a Professor, she does research, teaches, and participates in managing the school’s e-commerce graduate programs. Camille’s teaching and research address challenges associated with how individuals and organizations interpret, use, and reach valued outcomes from information technologies. Her work focuses on four topics: (i) the digital transformation of organizations and industries, (ii) the analysis, design & optimization of companies' online presence, (iii) the affordances and business value of emerging technologies, and (iv) the design of e-commerce environments for effective decision-making.

Viêt Cao is manager and lead analyst at Synapse C, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering arts & culture organizations through data valorization. He is mainly involved in data analytics projects with arts & culture partners, including data mutualization projects to help in audience understanding and audience development. By extension, he is also in support of workshops and training sessions, as well as business development.

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The role of the e-reader in reading to understand

Harry Hutton is Lead Product Designer at Kobo and is obsessed with how people read and understand content across different mediums. His Master's thesis in Product Design Engineering examines differences between reading physical books vs. reading digitally, and the latent potential for the future of reading.

Day three: March 25

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Building a consortium to benefit creators

Roanie Levy is an internationally recognized champion of creator rights. Strategic and forward-thinking, she bridges the worlds of intellectual property law, content rights management and exponential technologies to represent and advocate for creators and rights holders. Roanie serves as CEO and President of Access Copyright, a collective that distributes millions of dollars annually in licensing royalties to creator and publisher affiliates. She also leads Prescient, Access Copyright’s creator-focused innovation lab dedicated to exploring the future of rights management and content monetization through Blockchain and other technologies.Prior to joining Access Copyright, she held key positions on major policy files at Canadian Heritage and Industry Canada, and as a private sector management consultant for Fortune 500 companies. An Intellectual Property lawyer by vocation, Roanie has been called to the bar in Ontario and Quebec. She is fluently bilingual.

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Creating caring spaces: A panel about sustainable community care in publishing

Julia Horel is the publisher at Shameless, a 100% volunteer-run feminist magazine for teen girls and trans youth based in Toronto. She holds an Honours B.A. in English Literature from Trent University, a Master of Publishing from Simon Fraser University, and a Certificate in Project Management from Ryerson University. She spent nine years as the General Manager of LitDistCo, the distribution arm of the Literary Press Group of Canada, before making a career change in 2018 to her current role as the Manager of the Executive Office and Administration at YWCA Toronto. She spends a lot of time reading to her toddler, so reading adult books and magazines is a rare luxury.

Jas Der is currently a delivery manager at TWG. With interests in video games, activism, software geekery, cannabis, literature, music, and longboarding, Jas connects with a wide variety of people. It’s these connections and communities that inspire and bring Jas to life.

Outside the office, you might find them marching the streets for what’s right, playing the drums, or hunkering down at home with sweet canine sidekick, Ripley.

Cynara Geissler is the director of marketing and publicity at Arsenal Pulp Press, a leading Canadian independent book publisher the operates in Vancouver, BC, the unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She has run their marketing and publicity programs since 2010. Books and authors she represents have been featured in a wide range of lauded media outlets including The New York Times, People Magazine, O Magazine, The Paris Review, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been praised by industry peers and authors for her creative and effective book marketing campaigns and regularly speaks on marketing, publicity and independent book publishing at universities (SFU, Humber College), professional writers associations (The Writers Union of Canada), and publishing conferences (BookSummit, BookCamp).

Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter.

The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” Knight was the previous managing editor at Room (2016-June 2019), and programming director for the Growing Room Festival (2018, 2019), and now founder and CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials and Breathing Space Creative. She often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling.

Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020. She was selected as a 2019 Writers' Trust Rising Star by David Chariandy.

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Diversity auditing rural Canadian libraries

Laina Kelly is a Client Services Librarian who serves school and public libraries in Pembina Hills, Northern Gateway and Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools. She is a former English teacher and loves helping teachers build strong and engaged readers and a culture of reading in the classroom.

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Towards a shared understanding: Libraries in 2020

Susan Caron is the Director of Collections and Membership Services at Toronto Public Library, overseeing the collection development and management of the Library’s physical and digital collections and the policies and procedures guiding Library membership. She is a member of the Canadian Urban Libraries Council Ebook Task Group and the U.S. Urban Libraries Council Ebook Working Group. As an advocate for better access for North American libraries to digital content, she has taken a leading role in public advocacy campaigns and has spoken frequently on the topic. She is also responsible for supporting the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and serves on the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Intellectual Freedom Committee. She was formerly the Manager of Collection Development and led the Library’s expansion into digital collections.

Toronto Public Library is the world's busiest urban public library system. In 2018 Torontonians borrowed more than 30 million physical and digital items.

Mary Ghikas started with ALA in 1995. She has her MLS and BA from UCLA as well as her association executive certification (CAE) from the American Society of Association Executives. Throughout her career, she has served in numerous library systems including Chicago Public Library, Los Angeles Public Library, Western New York Library Resources Council, and the U.S. Book Exchange in Washington, DC.

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The art and science of working with emerging writers

Dani Zacarias is Wattpad's Head of Content and Creator Development and leads a dream team of genre agnostic story enthusiasts on a mission to find and develop the platform’s next big writer. Prior to joining Wattpad in early 2017, Dani worked at Worldreader as their Director of Content, helping to bring stories from around the world to readers in Sub Saharan Africa and India. Dani loves all stories but has a soft spot for science fiction and fantasy. She is a writer herself who always casts mixed-race characters into her stories (because growing up, she never got to read about characters like herself) and likes to use fantasy as a lens for examining real-world issues.

As the team on the front lines of identifying and making contact with the millions of writers on Wattpad, Dani and the Wattpad’s Content and Creator Development Team sit at the crux of publishing, entertainment, and technology. They are the first point in a writer’s journey from uploading to the platform to making it big with a book, TV, or film deal. While Wattpad’s technology has allowed the company to find incredible diverse storytellers faster than ever, Dani’s teams develop the programs that ensure Wattpad remains a deeply human community, a place where writers come to develop their craft, build a network of other writers, and are supported by a development team that understands their needs throughout the writing journey.

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#standardsgoals for 2020: Standards & certification roundup

What is quality in metadata?

Tom Richardson is BookNet Canada's Bibliographic Manager and friend to all ONIX producers and users.

New from BookNet Canada: BNC BiblioShare

Tim Middleton is a Project Manager & Retailer Liaison at BookNet Canada. With a passion for startup culture, entrepreneurial enterprises, and disruptive technology ignited by a varied career in retail and consumer research, all things bookish remain his first and true love.

New from BookNet Canada: BNC CataList

Carol Gordon manages BookNet Canada's CataList project. Having previously worked on both sides of the sales and purchasing relationship, she is excited to work with Canadian publishers, sales reps, retailers and librarians to develop new and efficient ways to share information about forthcoming books using online catalogues. Her reading list continues to grow at an alarming rate.

New from BookNet Canada: Loan Stars

Elizabeth Barker: marketer, library power-user, metadata nerd. As a member of the BookNet Canada team, Elizabeth is able to spend her days doing what she loves: working closely with libraries, bibliographic data, and publishers. When not making/seeking reading recommendations, Elizabeth can be found wherever an absurd amount of pop culture knowledge is needed.

New from BookNet Canada: BNC LibraryData

Hannah Johnston is a Product Coordinator at BookNet Canada, where she works on the SalesData and LibraryData projects. Prior to joining the BookNet team, Hannah worked in various environments including public libraries, academic archives, and local museums. Books are her first love, and she has reached the maximum number of loans and holds at her local library on numerous occasions.

New from BookNet Canada: BNC SalesData

Monique Mongeon has always been fascinated with the intersection of books and technology – from her start making fansites for her favourite books, to her current role as Project Manager at BookNet Canada. Monique also teaches ebook production at Ryerson University’s Chang School. Prior to joining BookNet, Monique worked in ebook production for Penguin Random House Canada.