From the President

Carol Pitts Diedrichs, ALCTS President

carol pitts diedrichs Midwinter Review

I don’t know about you, but I’m thanking my lucky stars that we weren’t in Boston a week later than we were! I have visions of more than 12,000 librarians and vendors living in the shopping mall for weeks because of snow. Thankfully, once people made it to Boston, we had decent weather, good accommodations, and productive and successful meetings.

One of the pleasures of serving as ALCTS president is visiting each of our section executive boards and division committees. I am reminded each time of the diligent efforts of each of those leaders to move the agendas and programs of the association forward. Much of their good work is included in this newsletter, and I hope you’ll take the time to review those reports. The cycle of committee appointments will begin again in earnest in February, and President-Elect Rosann Bazirjian encourages you to submit a volunteer form indicating your interests.

President’s Program at Annual Conference

My President’s Program Planning Committee—ably chaired by Julie Gammon (Akron) and Cindy Hepfer (Buffalo)—is planning a spectacular program for Annual Conference. The committee—Julie, Cindy, Beth Russell (Ohio State), and Karen Calhoun (Cornell)—had the good fortune to spend an evening with Michael Hawley while at Midwinter. Our evening ranged from drinks and a viewing of the world’s largest book in Hawley’s Cambridge loft to a flying tour of MIT via Mini Cooper. If you ran into any member of our planning committee after our evening, we simply couldn’t stop talking about the program to come at Annual Conference. We’re not entirely sure what Michael will have to share with us by Annual Conference, but we can assure you it will be interesting. Karen will be our second speaker on the program, and we look to her to knit his remarks together with some real world implications for libraries. So, please mark your calendars for Monday, June 27, 10:30 a.m. to noon. It’s a program you won’t want to miss.

The following abstract will appear in the program for the Conference, but we hope seeing it now will pique your interest.

“Librarians, Learning and Creativity: A Boundary-Breaking Perspective”

ALCTS is proud to present the recipient of the first Jack Kilby Award for Innovation in Science—Michael Hawley—as featured speaker for the 2005 President’s Program. Dr. Hawley, Director of Special Projects at MIT and a faculty member at the Media Lab, is an authority on digital media and its social and business applications and implications. This extraordinary innovator, educator, and explorer is also the founder of Friendly Planet, a nonprofit company dedicated to educating children in developing countries; founder and director both of MIT’s Toys of Tomorrow and Things That Think projects; a first-prize winner in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs; a one-time Duncan Yo-Yo champion; and a luge racer and member of the US Bobsled Federation. He has done cutting edge research at Bell Laboratories, IRCAM at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, Lucasfilm Ltd., and NeXT Computer Inc. He holds the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Published Book, Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey across the Last Himalayan Kingdom. The book, which measures five feet by seven feet and weighs 133 pounds, offers a breathtaking view of an astonishingly beautiful and remote region of the world and the people who inhabit it.

A master of creative leadership in using technology to advance the human condition, Hawley will address ALCTS President’s Program participants on the future of libraries in a digital age. Following Hawley, Karen Calhoun, Associate University Librarian for Technical Services at Cornell University, will offer observations about the changing context for being a librarian in the interconnected world of the Web, in which self-sufficient information seekers move well beyond library collections in pursuit of what they need. She will suggest how collections and technical services librarians might respond creatively and effectively to the challenge of introducing a new generation of collections, discovery systems, tools, and techniques to not only connect information seekers to what they need, where they need it, but also to continue empowering them to transform mere information into knowledge, insight, and action.