Associate University Librarian for Data & Technology
John T. Butler is the Associate University Librarian for Data & Technology at the University of Minnesota. Previously, he served for five years as the inaugural Director of the University of Minnesota’s Digital Library Development Lab, which produced systems, architecture, integrations, and tools for the online research library.
His work in library information technology began in the late 1980s with innovative pre-web research-workflow support systems, and accelerated in the 1990s, when he led a four-year grant-funded program to implement a comprehensive array of library services to distance and distributed learners at one of the largest research institutions in the United States. For several years, Butler also served as Head of the Science and Engineering Library at the University of Minnesota. More recently, Butler has played leadership roles in multiple virtual community development projects, involving disciplines such as bioethics and food policy research.
Recently, Butler has served as a member of the HathiTrust Strategic Advisory Board and currently on the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee. He has recently been appointed to the Minnesota Digital Library Governance Committee. Butler is presently Principal Investigator of recently awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Knight Foundation (both via the Open Knowledge Commons) in support of the Minnesota Digital Library’s Service Hub role in the Digital Public Library of America. He is a frequent presenter at regional and national conferences and has authored several articles and chapters related to technology and information services.
EducationM.L.I.S., Library and Information Science, University of Texas at Austin
B.F.A., University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Selected Presentations and Publications
Selected Publications, Opinion Pieces, and Interviews:
“Differentiation -- What will set the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) apart?” Re-Thinking (blog), Council on Library and Information Resources; March 2013. Available online at: http://connect.clir.org/BlogsMain/BlogViewer/?BlogKey=e1904414-a116-4809...
“Sharing oral histories from Minnesota's immigrant population,” Knight Blog, interview of John Butler by Annie Schutte, as part of a series about the Digital Public Library of America; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Blog; March 2013. Available at: http://www.knightfoundation.org/blogs/knightblog/2013/3/27/sharing-oral-...
John Butler, “Radical Acts of Collaboration,” continuum issue 10, 2012, p. 11-12. Accessible at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/continuum/hathitrust.html.
Layne M. Johnson, John T. Butler, and Lisa R. Johnston; "Developing E-Science and Research Services and Support at the University of Minnesota Health Sciences Libraries," Journal of Library Administration 52 (8): 754-769. Available at: doi:10.1080/01930826.2012.751291.
Michael D. Ekstrand, Praveen Kannan, James A. Stemper, John T. Butler, Joseph A. Konstan, and John T. Riedl; "Automatically Building Research Reading Lists," RecSys '10 Proceedings of the fourth ACM conference on Recommender systems. Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY; 2010.
Krisellen Maloney, Kristin Antelman, Kenning Arlitsch, and John Butler; “Future Leaders' Views on Organizational Culture,” College and Research Libraries 71(4): 322-45 (July 2010); http://crl.acrl.org/content/71/4/322.short. Also available at E-LIS: http://eprints.rclis.org/handle/10760/14822.
Nishikant Kapoor, John T. Butler, Sean M. McNee, Gary C. Fouty, James A. Stemper, and Joseph A. Konstan. "A Study of Citations in Users' Online Personal Collections"; European Conference on Digital Libraries (ECDL) 2007.
Nishikant Kapoor, John T. Butler, Gary C. Fouty, James A. Stemper, and Joseph A. Konstan. “Resolvability of references in users' personal collections.” Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Conceptions of Library and Information Science (COLIS) Featuring the Future. Published in IR:Information Research vol. 12 no. 4, October 2007. Available at:
Nishikant Kapoor, Jilin Chen, John T. Butler, Gary C. Fouty, James A. Stemper, John Riedl, Joseph A. Konstan, “Techlens: a researcher's desktop”; RecSys '07: Proceedings of the 2007 ACM conference on Recommender systems; October 2007.
Paul F. Bramscher and John T. Butler. “LibData to LibCMS: One Library’s Evolutionary Pathway to a Content Management System.” Library Hi-Tech 24 (1): 14-28 (2006).
James A. Stemper and John T. Butler, “Developing a Model to Provide Digital Reference Services,” Reference Services Review, 29 (3): 172-188, 2001. Article received the Literati Club 2002 Highly Commended Paper Award.
“The DPLA Digital Hubs,” panel presentation at DPLAfest 2013, Simmons College; Boston, Massachusetts; October 25, 2013.
“Digital Preservation: Keeping the Promise of our Digital Legacy,” presented with Jon Nichols at the 2013 Minnesota Digital Library Annual Conference; St. Paul, Minnesota; June 4, 2013.
“Digital Public Library of America: Minnesota’s Contribution to a National Library,” Minnesota Library Association Academic and Research Library Division Annual Conference. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum; Chaska, Minnesota, April 26, 2013.
“Digital Preservation=Enduring Access,” presented at the 2013 Library Technology Conference. Macalester College; St. Paul, Minnesota, March 20, 2013.
“Digital Public Library of America: Minnesota’s Contribution,” presented with Jason Roy at the 2013 Library Technology Conference. Macalester College; St. Paul, Minnesota, March 21, 2013.
“HathiTrust 101: There’s an Elephant in the Library,” presented at the 2011 Library Technology Conference. Macalester College; St. Paul, Minnesota, March 16, 2011.
“Minnesota Digital Library: a DPLA Service Hub.” John Butler, University of Minnesota; DPLA Midwest Plenary (Digital Public Library of America); Chicago Public Library; Chicago, IL, October 12, 2012. Videorecording of presentation at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7UhgI5Czl8
“What’s being Lost, What’s being Saved: Practices in digital scholarship and personal archiving.” Smiljana Antonijevic, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences; John Butler, University of Minnesota; Laura Gurak, University of Minnesota, and Ellysa Stern Cahoy, Penn State University; 2012 Personal Digital Archiving, Internet Archive; San Francisco, California, February 2012.
“Minnesota Digital Library and HathiTrust Prototype: an Image Preservation Archive.” Presented with Eric Celeste (consultant) and John Weise (University of Michigan); 2011 Spring Task Force Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information; San Diego, California; April 2011.
“Virtual Communities: Catalysts for Advancing Scholarship,” Module 7: Libraries and Collaborative Research Communities; presented at the Ticer international summer course "Digital Libraries à la Carte,” Tilburg University, the Netherlands; August 2009.
“Future Leaders of Research Libraries: What Are They Thinking?” Presented with Krisellen Maloney, Kristin A. Antelman, and Kenning Arlitsch. 2009 Spring Task Force Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information; Minneapolis, Minnesota; April 2009.
“EthicShare: A Model for Virtual Research Communities,” presented with Kate McCready, John Riedl, and Frazier Benya. 2009 Spring Task Force Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI); Minneapolis, Minnesota; April 2009.
“Discovery and the Future of Library Systems,” invited presentation at the Utah ILS Symposium on Open Source and Beyond; Salt Lake City, Utah; October 2008.
“What Are Our Future Leaders Thinking?” Presented with Krisellen Maloney, Kristin Antelman, and Kenning Arlitsch. 153rd Membership Meeting of the Association of Research Libraries; Arlington, Virginia; October 2008. http://www.arl.org/bm~doc/mm08future.pdf
"HarvestChoice: Developing Biblio-spatial Integrations for Search," presented with Chad Fennell, and Grant McKenzie; Digital Library Federation 2008 Spring Forum; Minneapolis, Minnesota; April 2008.
"University of Minnesota Digital Repository, myLibrary, and UThink Blog Initiatives," presented with Shane Nackerud; American Distance Education Consortium’s All ADEC Meeting; Minneapolis, Minnesota; April 2008.
"Assessing Research Cyberinfrastructure Needs at the University of Minnesota, " presented with Ann Hill Duin, Bernard Gulachek, Eric F. Celeste, and Kemal Badur; Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Spring Task Force Meeting; Minneapolis, Minnesota; April 2008.
“TechLens: Exploring the Use of Recommenders to Support Users of Digital Libraries,” presented with Joseph A. Konstan, Nishikant Kapoor, Sean M. McNee; Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Fall Task Force Meeting; Phoenix, Arizona; December 2005.
"LibData: a Library Web Management System," presented with Paul F. Bramscher and Shane A. Nackerud; Digital Library Federation Fall Forum 2003; Albuquerque, New Mexico; November 2003.