Follow us on Twitter or shoot us an email if you’re interested in any of our projects or sketches. All of our code is open source. Send a pull request on GitHub if you want to collaborate.
The Library Innovation Lab
1545 Massachusetts Avenue Map
Cambridge, MA 02138
We’re a dynamic group of thinkers and doers working to make libraries better by exploring the countless, dimly lit pathways that connect libraries to the larger world.
We focus our energy on a handful of large multi-year projects and a number of small projects we call sketches. Our large projects are ambitious undertakings that reflect our long-term mission and efforts. Sketches are experiments and provocations that are often driven by one or two folks in the Lab.
We’re stationed in the Harvard Law School Library and benefit greatly from the deep legal thinking and scholarship that surrounds us. We often approach library challenges using our law school library lens, but we work hard to make sure our local efforts have broad application. Libraries are universal.
Our group’s culture is freewheelin’ and open. We welcome new ideas and new collaborations. Let’s work together to make libraries better.
The people at the Library Lab.
Prior to learning to code, Anastasia was an art director and designer at ad agencies, design studios, and the New York Public Library. She now works on mixing everything she knows together for large projects like Caselaw Access Project and explorations like Alterspace. She likes drawing and mutual aid. She is also fluent in Russian, and immigrated to the U.S. at age ten.
Catherine has spent most of her career in the education space, first in development and later at a startup working with education users. In 2020 she graduated with an MLIS from CUNY, spending time during the program at public libraries and archives while focusing on information access and preservation. She now works primarily with academic users of H2O and perma.cc, supporting their efforts to more openly share and preserve their work.
Brennan has lived in 4 states and 2 countries. He's had a wide variety of professional experience, including making coffee, writing programs to help people make coffee, and never-graduating from the Recurse Center in between. He currently works on the H2O project.
Becky was a student of physics and religion before becoming a faculty assistant in the Harvard SEAS Artificial Intelligence group. She moved on to support Harvard's open-access policies at the Office for Scholarly Communication, where she got the bug for web development. She now spends most of her time working on Perma.cc, advocating for web accessibility, and assisting with other LIL projects.
Jack worked as an appellate litigator before coming to write code at LIL. His proudest case was Finch v. Commonwealth, which returned health insurance coverage to tens of thousands of Massachusetts immigrants — and now lives on at case.law, the American caselaw database Jack helps to run.
Jack has served as a board member of the ACLU of Massachusetts and as a fellow of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. He also teaches the Programming for Lawyers course at Harvard Law School.
Kelly connects researchers with the Caselaw Access Project and leads project outreach and communications. She also supports work on open casebooks as part of the H2O project. Before joining LIL, Kelly worked on open access at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
Though Andy has worked with the Harvard Law School Library off-and-on for almost twenty years, his professional experience is unusually broad. He helped maintain the Federal Reserve Bank's check processing infrastructure, worked with many restaurants, nightclubs, and bars as a classically trained chef and bouncer, worked in code-level support for an IBM network performance suite, and even worked as a 35mm movie projectionist. He is currently a developer working primarily on Caselaw Access Project's back end, and a student of Interactive Design.
Clare's true occupation is as a milliner, creating multiple hats for herself everywhere she goes. She's worked in every department of a photography gallery, as the event coordinator/alumni liaison/substitute teacher at a small independent school, as the database maintainer/research assistant/calendar keeper for a group of innovation and management researchers, and now as the compost watchdog/vinyl cutter whisperer/side-project logistics manager at LIL. She also is the outreach and communications lead for Perma.cc and has an MLIS from Simmons University.
Ben has been a bookseller, an editorial assistant, and a cataloger, but the largest part of his work life has been as a reference librarian in a public library, where he was also a shop steward and treasurer of his local. Since then, he's become a software developer, at first in support of Harvard's open-access policies at the Office for Scholarly Communication; he now works on the infrastructure for all of LIL's projects.
Adam joined LIL in 2014, after representing clients in court as an attorney for 10+ years and then launching a web startup that sought to promote open and collaborative legal knowledge. He's worked for law firms large and small, the U.S. DOJ, a federal appellate judge, the Davidson College Library, and a pizza buffet, among others, and he's taught law school courses on computer programming and the role of technology in legal services. He's immensely proud of LIL's work and grateful to be part of such a creative and kind-hearted team.
JZ directs the Law School Library, co-created the Berkman Center, is an EFF board member, and is faculty in the Law School, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the Kennedy School.
Friends and fellow travelers.