Tony Zanders is an award-winning software entrepreneur and enterprise software executive. He is best known in the world of library technology, where he served as an international ambassador in over 30 countries at two of the largest global firms ProQuest and EBSCO. Though his career has been spent in San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston, Tony’s mission is to create similar opportunities for the next generation in his hometown of New Orleans.
In 2012, Zanders became the top participant in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s College Knowledge Challenge, where he received $100,000 to develop a research management platform for first-generation college applicants. He was also recognized by his alma mater Washington and Jefferson College as the Outstanding Young Alumni of the year, less than a decade after completing his Bachelors of Arts with honors in Philosophy and English.
In 2018, he became the Founder and CEO of Skilltype – a New Orleans-based software company developing tools for librarians and their teams to analyze, develop, and share expertise. After bootstrapping the company to its first $300,000 in revenue, he was successful in raising over $1M in venture capital to expand their customer base to customers around the world. Skilltype now serves librarians and their organizations in the United States, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and Israel.
Tony is a sought-after keynote speaker and thought leader on the library circuit, regularly speaking and writing on the future of work and talent management to global audiences. He has been invited to present at thought-leading organizations including the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Special Libraries Association (SLA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA).
As a product of New Orleans Public Schools during the city’s most dire decade in history, Tony is passionate about creating opportunities to enter the fields of technology and librarianship for children who share his background. His core thesis is that cities like New Orleans have all of the talent necessary to build economies of the future – it simply needs to be activated.
He often states that “if the goal is to have 5,000 local information professionals by 2030, we have to start with the grade schoolers who will begin their careers at that time.” As such, most of his volunteer efforts are geared towards cultivating a love for librarianship, entrepreneurship, technology, and design through organizations like Rooted School, Black Tech NOLA, 4.0 Schools, Camelback Ventures, and the Idea Village.
- Tech Intersect #29: Reskilling for the Library of the Future
- The Kindle Chronicles Episode 623: Tony Zanders
- Serials Librarian: An Interview with Tony Zanders, Founder of Skilltype
- Libraries as Community Catalysts :: American Libraries Magazine
- Tony Zanders joins Boston University Libraries as Inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence