A Closer Look at UN Publications: Organizing and Optimizing Content

Sponsored by United Nations Publications

Recorded on 10/16/2023
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 354

In the second episode of this four-part series, Shallu Thomas-Cherian, IT Project Manager of UN Publications, joins the program to discuss the organization and optimization of UN Publications content. She digs into the structure of the iLibrary platform, where UN research is assembled and given the appropriate metadata. Shallu explains the communication needed between departments to share and catalog the information made available to the public. She also reviews the various UN Publications content types, advanced search functions, and how the iLibrary platform appeals to scholars, policymakers, librarians, and more. Finally, Shallu closes with how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) act as an organizing feature of UN content, allowing users to filter their search according to tagged SDG content and to recognize how publications pertain to multiple goals.

This episode features:

Shallu Thomas-Cherian
IT Project Manager
UN Publications

Shallu Thomas-Cherian is the IT Project Manager for UN Publications, Department of Global Communications at the United Nations. She is the senior lead on the product development and management of all internal and external systems including the Ecommerce site, shop.un.org and the UN iLibrary, un-ilibrary.org. She is also the UN iLibrary Team Lead managing the content workflow and future enhancements for the UN iLibrary. Her primary job is ensuring all IT systems, digital distribution feeds and analysis of our data and progress reports meet the needs of the Section and the publishing industry standards. She has also worked for the Protocol Office, where she assisted in the preparations for the annual General Assembly. Similarly, she worked for the Office of Internal Oversight Section within the UN, where she could travel extensively to manage and lead the development and training of new systems for her colleagues in all field offices. She has gained years of IT experience growing within the UN system. Shallu received her Computer Science bachelor’s degree from Hofstra University, New York and PRINCE2 certified in Project Management.

Additional featured guests in the series:

Stephen McGroarty
Editorial Manager
UN Publications

Stephen McGroarty is currently Editorial Manager at UN Publications at the United Nations. Based in the UN’s Department of Global Communications, Stephen manages teams responsible for acquisitions; print and digital dissemination of UN publications and merchandise; the UN’s accessible e-book program; and three online platforms: Shop e-commerce site (a one stop shop for all UN publications and merchandise); the UN iLibrary (an online subscription platform with more than 11,000 UN publications); and Comtrade (the world’s most comprehensive global trade data platform). Prior to joining the UN, Stephen worked as Editorial Manager at the World Bank and Acquisitions Editor, Economics at Oxford University Press. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Economics from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in International Development from University College Dublin.

Antje Kristin Watermann
Associate Marketing Officer
UN Publications

Antje Kristin Watermann manages the marketing activities for UN Publications at the Department of Global Communications and leads the SDG Book Club and SDG Publishers Compact projects. She has also worked with the Education Outreach Section where she supported several educational programmes, including Model United Nations and the United Nations Academic Impact. Prior to joining the UN Secretariat, she served as a knowledge and advocacy officer at UNDP, focusing on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development negotiations, and served as a communications analyst in the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. Earlier in her career she worked as a product manager at the Reuters News Agency in Poland, Hong Kong and New York. She holds a Masters in Economics from the University of Cologne, Germany and a Masters in Management from ESADE, Spain.

Mary Glenn headshot

Mary Glenn
UN Publications

Mary Glenn is Chief of UN Publications in the Department of Global Communications, and oversees the promotion of United Nations’ knowledge, communication, and outreach objectives by publishing, selling, distributing, and licensing print and electronic publications, periodicals and databases that disseminate United Nations’ knowledge, studies and data.  The program includes over 500 new UN publications per year, in print, digital, and accessible e-book formats, available around the world in the six official UN languages, and the subscription-based platforms UN Development Business, Comtrade, and UN-iLibrary.  In addition, her department manages the e-commerce site shop.un.org, and UN Bookshops in New York and Geneva, where UN Publications, books from other publishers, and UN branded products are sold — all aligned with UN values and priorities. Before joining the UN, she was Associate Publisher at McGraw-Hill, and has experience in every sector of commercial publishing from trade start-ups to major educational, scholarly and academic houses.  She holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from Colby College, and got her start in the industry at the Grolier Bookshop in Harvard Square.

Enjoy the conversation? Listen to the rest of the series:

United Nations Publications Resources:

Overview/sign up for updates from UN Publications

UN Shop

UN iLibrary

UN Comtrade

UN Development Business

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG Book Club

SDG Publishers Compact

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