Rachel Vacek
Image courtesy of Cindi Blyberg, @cindiatwork

Rachel Vacek has been a librarian since 2001 and is currently the Head of Design & Discovery at the University of Michigan Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In this position she manages the department that provides front-end web application development, design, content strategy, user research, accessibility, and user experience strategy across the entire U-M Library web presence. Her team also coordinates and manages strategic initiatives within the Library IT division and provides leadership in library analytics, discovery, and delivery of resources and services.

She brings a well-rounded perspective to the table having taught classes, led information literacy initiatives, provided reference services, maintained electronic resources, and redesigned large websites.

Rachel was the 2014-2015 President of the Library & Information Technology Association (LITA), one of the divisions of the American Library Association (ALA). She was also a 2014 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and a 2007 ALA Emerging Leader. She enjoys speaking and writing about user experience, library web technologies, and leadership in libraries. She is a published author and has presented at many local and national conferences.

Rachel is originally from West Chester, Ohio (just north of Cincinnati) and earned her bachelor’s degree in English (BA) from the University of Dayton in 1999 and her master’s degree in library and information science (MLIS) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2001.

For more information about her work history, please see her CV.


Rachel speaks regularly on library and web technologies at national conferences like Internet Librarian, the ALA Annual and Midwinter Conferences, and the LITA Forum. Her areas of interest and expertise include:

  • Open-source technologies
  • Web services
  • Leadership
  • User experience thinking
  • Encouraging innovation
  • Digital libraries
  • The future of libraries
  • Board games and game design

If you are interested in Rachel speaking at your event, please contact her and she’ll get back to you as soon as she can.