© 2015 by Athenaeum21

Megan Hurst helps Athenaeum21 clients meet the rapidly evolving information needs and behaviors of 21st-century end-users. Megan has expertise in delivering information to end-users globally, in all digital formats. Her experience in user experience design; text, audio, image, and video formats; in internationalization and localization; and in Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 accessibility compliance, directly accelerates and amplifies libraries' and publishers' capacities, resulting in better information experiences for end-users.

Before co-founding Athenaeum21 with Christine Madsen, Megan led user research, user experience, internationalization and accessibility initiatives at EBSCO Information Services for over 7 years, most recently serving as Director of Product Management for the EBSCO Discovery Service and EBSCOhost platforms. In this and previous product manager roles, she shaped the future vision for the end-user experience of library researchers worldwide. She led the user experience research and definition of EBSCO’s state-of-the art Digital Archives interface to support scholarly engagement with digitized historical materials; co-led the re-architecture of the NoveList user interface to align with how readers think about the books they love to read; the user research for searching library materials in multiple languages; the re-engineering of the NetLibrary eBook user experience on the EBSCOhost platform; and the design of the EBSCO Discovery Service and EBSCOhost mobile websites.


Prior to EBSCO, Megan created and led the usability testing, web analytics, and impact-reporting initiatives for Harvard University Library’s pioneering Open Collections Program (OCP). With Christine Madsen and OCP staff, she contributed to a new "digital circulation software" solution that measured usage of digitized books, manuscripts and ephemera. She was the architect of the Harvard Library's first large-scale outreach and evaluation program for digital collections. Prior to OCP, Megan worked as a management consultant with MIDIOR, a product development and management consultancy, serving clients ranging from venture-funded start-ups to Fortune 100 enterprises in diverse industries, including financial services, publishing, and non-profits.

Megan is also the founder and publisher of GLIMPSE, an interdisciplinary electronic and print-on-demand journal focused on "the art + science of seeing." GLIMPSE is published on the Open Journal Systems platform, and was reviewed by Library Journal as "an exceptionally engaging and visually attractive journal of art and science."

Megan graduated from Smith College and holds Masters degrees in Integrated Media from Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island (URI). She was honored in 2013 as one of 50 Notable Alumni from URI's Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. Megan enjoys traveling by land, air, and water;  visiting libraries and museums around the world; and working with causes that promote human rights, social justice, and gender equity. She views information production and access as central to these causes worldwide.


Dr Christine Madsen works at the intersection of libraries and technology. She is expert in building large-scale systems that use technology to connect researchers, teachers, and students with library and learning resources. She is interested in understanding and building the library of the future–occasionally taking inspiration from the library of the past. Her background is in digitization and digital scholarship, understanding both how to digitize and why we should.


Before co-founding A21, Christine was the Head of Digital Programmes at the Bodleian Libraries, where she was the visionary behind the digital.bodleian project, a completely new, sustainable and scalable architecture for delivering collections online. The project was mentioned by the University’s Vice-Chancellor as evidence that Oxford is a digital pioneer.


During her time in Oxford, Christine worked not just across the many libraries at Oxford, but with the faculties, divisions, and the museums to build coherent solutions for the evolving needs of the university. In addition to leading the re-writing of the Strategic Plan for the Bodleian Libraries, she helped to write and implement a Digital Humanities Strategy for the university and a vision for unified, sustainable ‘Digital Oxford’ which will provide seamless digital research support across all faculties and collections.


Christine has a DPhil from the Oxford Internet Institute, where she performed one of the first large-scale ethnographic studies of an entire discipline in order to understand their relationship to digital technology and the library. During her tenure at OII, she also contributed to several research projects at the intersection of scholarship and the Internet and helped the department to begin establishing a reputation in this area. One of these projects -- the JISC-funded Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources is an easy to use guide for measuring the impact of online resources. She was successful in raising funds for the department, for her own research (from five funding bodies including the Web Science Research Institute) and quite fortunate to be recognized for her work with several awards. She served during her tenure at Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar, was the inaugural Balliol-Bodley Scholar in 2008/9 and in 2010 received an award from the Association of College and Research Libraries and Thompson-Reuters for her dissertation research. She continues her research as a Visiting Academic at the Oxford e-Research Centre.


Prior to coming to Oxford, Christine led the Open Collections Program (OCP) at Harvard. She and Megan then worked together to build and grow the OCP from project to department, in part by leading the library’s first digital outreach and evaluation program. This was a chance to bring empirical assessment methods into the library and to use our findings to improve access and services for our online users. Importantly, it was also an opportunity to illustrate the value of opening collections to the world in order to motivate participation from the libraries across Harvard.


Christine is a frequent speaker at Library and Technology conferences and has written several publications on the impact of technology on libraries. A full list of her publications and presentations can be found here. She is very well-versed in the impact of technology on publishing as well, having started her professional career in publishing, as a representative for independent publishers in the Southwest of the US. 


We believe in the history and continuing importance of knowledge production, access, and curation.


Athenaeum21 helps diverse organizations evolve their information and knowledge systems and services with vision, confidence, and pragmatism.


The future of human knowledge starts now.

We help our clients lead the way, and get big things done, more quickly.

Christine McCarthy Madsen
Co-Founder + Chief Innovation Officer 
Head of UK Operations+

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Megan Hurst
Co-Founder  + Chief Experience Officer
Head of US Operations