Future of Information and the Role of the Library

sun microsystems logo

Living Digital:The Future of Information and the Role of the Library
an ALCTS Symposium at ALA Midwinter 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Rooms 252 A/B


ALCTS and the symposium planners wish to thank Sun Microsystems for its generous support of Living Digital.

Collections and access to information are the bread and butter of libraries. The digital environment has introduced new materials, new partners, and new user expectations into the information arena. Four distinguished speakers from inside and outside of librarianship will consider topics that include recruiting students into information-related professions, information-seeking behaviors of those living in the digital age, emerging initiatives related to information access, and techniques institutions may employ in adapting to new information ecologies. Attendees will learn how to facilitate the delivery of information and understand their role in an environment of constantly evolving genres and increasing quantities of information.


Presentation Materials are available on the ALA Presentations Archive Wiki

8:30-8:40  Welcome and introduction
8:40-9:20  Margaret Ashida
9:20-10:00 Kevin Guthrie
10:00-10:20 Break
10:20 -11:00 Panel presentations: Ann, John, Tom, Jenny
11:00-12:00  Brainstorming session
12:00-1:45 Lunch on your own
1:50-2:50 Breakout group lightening report-outs with panelist reactions
2:50-3:10 Break
3:10-3:50  John Palfrey
3:50-4:20  John Wilkin
4:20-4:30  Conclusion


Presentation Titles and Absracts

Presentation Materials

Plenary Speakers

margaret ashida

Margaret Ashida, Project Director, Empire State STEM Education Initiative, Rensselaer Polytechnic  Institute, Troy, NY.
Abstract: Going Global in the Knowledge Economy



kevin guthrie

Kevin Guthrie, President of ITHAKA
Abstract: When Books are Bytes, What Adds Value?

picture of john palfrey

John Palfrey, Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for Library and Information Resources, Harvard Law School, and co-author of “Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives”
Abstract: Born Digital

john wilkin

John Wilkin, Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology (LIT) and Executive Director of Hathi Trust
Abstract: Thinking and Acting Globally to Better Serve Local Needs in the Michigan Digital Library


A participative session which will enable attendees to exchange ideas with each other and with the speakers is planned.

tom corbett

Tom Corbett, Executive Director, Fisher-Watkins Library, Cushing Academy
Abstract: Collection development in an all-digital age

jenny levine

Jenny Levine, Internet Development Specialist and Strategy Guide, ALA and owner of The Shifted Librarian blog
Abstract: Leveling Up at the Library

Brainstorming Session Topics

  • Determining collections for a paperless library
  • Designing an information commons for a generation of digital natives
  • Incorporating gaming into library services
  • Delivering information to consumers in a virtual environment

   Registration Fees

Membership status
Advance Rate
On-site Rate
  Register for Both Days & Save!Thursday & Friday Symposia
(Event Code: ALC3)
ALCTS member
ALA member
Full-time library student / retired member

How to Register

To register, visit the ALA Midwinter Registration Web page and complete the meeting registration form. Follow the instructions to register online, by mail,or by fax.

Note: You do not need to register for the entire Midwinter Meeting to attend this symposium. To register for the "Living Digital" Symposium, simply indicate you wish to register for Event Code: ALC1

Learn about Friday's ALCTS symposium: And Now for Something Completely Different: Our Future from Outside the Box. Register for both symposia and save!