Ken Varnum

Primary tabs

User Information

User Name
Ken Varnum
University of Michigan Library


  • Emerging Technologies
  • Project Management
  • Technology
  • Type of Libraries
  • Academic

  • Recent Posts

    Online DocLightning Talks 3 years 6 months ago
    Online DocWho Favorited That? 3 years 6 months ago
    DiscussionLITA National Forum 2014 3 years 8 months ago
    Online DocLibrary Favorites and Resource Modeling 4 years 7 months ago


    Ken Varnum is the Web Systems Manager at the University of Michigan Library, where he manages the library web site and development of new features and functionality. He received a masters degree from the University of Michigan's School of Information and his Bachelor of Arts from Grinnell College. Over his two decades working with public-facing technology in academic, corporate, and special libraries, he has gained a deep appreciation and understanding of the need to tailor systems and interfaces to the local user base. A frequent speaker and author (see, Ken speaks and writes on the Drupal content management and site redesign to discovery interfaces and systems. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, he wrote Drupal in Libraries (2012), compiled the soon-to-be-published Top Technologies every Librarian Needs to Know (2014), and edited Lorcan Dempsey's The Network Reshapes the Library (2014). He blogs at and can be found on Twitter at @varnum.


    Current Work
    University of Michigan Library (Academic Library)
    Senior Program Manager
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    I manage the developers in Library Web Systems, the department responsible for the library's web site, including ArticlesPlus (our Drupal implementation of Serials Solutions' Summon using its API), Library Favorites, Search Tools (the database and journal finder), and the library's proxy server. Our group provides Drupal for other parts of the U-M Library, as well.

    Past Work Experience
    Tufts University (Academic Library)
    IT Manager / Special Projects Librarian
    Medford, Massachusetts
    2004 - 2007

    Ford Motor Company
    Head, Web Development Group
    Dearborn, Michigan
    1997 - 2004

    Open Media Research Institute (OMRI) (Special Library)
    Electronic Resources Manager
    Prague, Czech Republic
    1995 - 1997


    BA, History, Russian Language, 1989
    Grinnell College

    MILS, Information and Library Science, 1994
    University of Michigan

    MA, Russian and East European Studies, 1994
    University of Michigan