Principal investigators

Mega Subramaniam

Dr. Mega Subramaniam is a Professor and the Associate Dean for Faculty at the College of Information Studies (INFO) at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on enhancing the role of libraries in fostering the mastery of digital literacies among youth. Her work brings research and practice together to enhance the skills of in-service and pre-service librarians. She has successfully led the design of multiple professional development resources and training for in-service and pre-service librarians including ConnectedLib, Safe Data Safe Families, HackHealth, Youth Experience, and IMPACT. Her research has resulted in several national recognitions, most recently including the Library Journal’s 2019 Movers and Shakers award, YALSA’s 2020 Outstanding Achievement Award, and the Fulbright Specialist Award. To learn more about her work, visit her website.

Nitzan Koren

Nitzan Koren is a doctoral candidate at the University of Maryland iSchool. She received her master’s in Science Education (educational technology concentration) from Tel Aviv University in 2019. Nitzan is an instructional designer with experience working in the tech, insurance, and health industries. She is creating learning experiences for and with youth to acquire information and digital literacy in afterschool settings such as libraries and community centers. Currently, she is exploring how to design programs for youth to develop political information literacy for civic engagement.


Linda W. Braun

Linda W. Braun is LEO’s Principal. Over the past two decades, Linda has provided project management, planning and evaluation, training, and consulting services to a variety of organizations. She is experienced in managing large-scale national projects and facilitating ongoing virtual communities of practice. Linda has a Masters of Science Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University and a Masters of Education with a specialization in Technology in Education from Lesley University.

Sandra Hughes-Hassell

Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell is a Professor and Coordinator of the School Library Media Coordinator Program at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS). Her research focuses on social justice issues in library services, culturally relevant practice in libraries, and diverse youth literature. She has published widely and presented locally and nationally on critical race theory, culturally relevant pedagogy, and the role of librarians in supporting the literacy needs of African American youth.

Graduate students

Robert Cheng

Robert Cheng is an MLIS candidate at the University of Maryland iSchool. He is also a fellow in UMD’s Research and Teaching Fellowship, Class of 2025. Through the Ready NOW project, he aims to integrate his library science education with his experience as an EMT and hurricane relief volunteer.

Advisory board

Deborah Dutcher

Library services Consultant, NH State Library
ASRL Representative

Karen Earp

Youth Services Manager
Paul S. Sarbanes Branch, Wicomico Public Libraries

Jack Martin

Executive Director,
Providence Public Library

Dawn LaVille

Director, Division of Library Development,
CT State Library

Beth Yoke

Executive Director, Workforce Council
of Southwest Ohio


Michael Scott

State Librarian, State Library of Iowa

COSLA Representative