Our Future from Outside the Box

And Now for Something Completely Different: Our Future from Outside the Box

an ALCTS Symposium at ALA Midwinter 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010, 8:30 am–5: pm
Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, Rooms 252 A/B

Several cutting-edge thinkers will prepare short opinion pieces on future trends/issues/developments that are likely to impact research, instruction, and scholarly communication. These essays will serve as the foundation for panel discussions between some of these thinkers, selected respondents, and attendees on emerging roles for libraries and librarians, particularly collections and technical services librarians. This symposium will build upon the themes developed in the ALCTS Symposium, “Living Digital.”


These papers served as the basis for discussion and brainstorming. Watch this page for reports from the discussions.

" The E-Memory Revolution" article in LJ by Jim Gemmel and Gordon Bell
Used with permission of Library Journal, a Reed Business Publication, and the authors.

Library Futures by Peter Brantley (.pdf)

Collaborate to Innovate by Meredith Farkas (.pdf)

Library Renaissance by Susan Gibbons (.pdf)

In Defense of the Book by Daniel Greenstein (.pdf)

Slacker Libraries: Is our Past, Our Future? by Thomas C. Leonard (.pdf)

Attention: A Twenty-First Century Literacy Skill by David M. Levy (.pdf)

Libraries Should Take Control of Library Technology by Lynne O'Brien (.pdf)

Between Now and 2020, Libraries Should... by Stephen Rhind-Tutt (.pdf)

Scholarly Legitimacy by Dorothea Salo (.pdf)

Knowledge as a Network by David Weinberger (.pdf)


Gordon Bell is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley. He speaks widely on future trends in supercomputing and, along with Jim Gemmell, is the co-author of Total Recall, based on their ”MyLifeBits” project.

Peter Brantley is the Director of the Bookserver Project at the Internet Archive, and the author of the Shimenawa blog. He is the former  Executive Director of the Digital Library Federation, prior to which he served as the Director of Technology at the California Digital Library.

Meredith Farkas, Head of Instructional Initiatives at Norwich University, writer, teacher and self-described tech geek, and author of Social Software in Libraries. She is also the author of the Information Wants to Be Free blog.

Jim Gemmell is a Senior Researcher at Microsoft Corporation where he works on next- generation search and initiated and led the Digital Memories (Memex) project. Along with Gordon Bell, he co-authored Total Recall, based on their “MyLifeBits” project.

Susan Gibbons, Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester, sponsor of the Extensible Catalog (XC) project, and co-editor of "Studying Students".

Daniel Greenstein, is Vice Provost for Academic Planning, Programs, and Coordination in the University of California's Office of the President. Prior to this, Greenstein was University Librarian for the California Digital Library (CDL). Before joining the CDL, Greenstein was Executive Director of the Digital Library Federation.

Thomas Leonard, Kenneth and Dorothy Hill University Librarian at the University of California, Berkeley, where he also serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism. , Dr. Leonard is Immediate Past-President of the Association of Research Libraries.

David Levy is Professor at the Information School at University of Washington and the author of Scrolling Forward: Making Sense of Documents in the Digital Age. He has held the Harissios Papamarkou Chair in Technology and Education at the Library of Congress, and was a member of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where his research focused on the nature of documents and on the tools and practices through which they are created and used.

Lynne O’Brien is the Director of Academic Technology and Instructional Services at the Perkins Library, at Duke University. She was also the Principal Investigator for the Mellon-funded OLE (Open Library Environment) Project, a multinational library initiative to design a next-generation, open source library automation system. http://oleproject.org/overview/full-project-description/

Stephen Rhind-Tutt is President of Alexander Street Press, publisher of scholarly digital collections in the humanities and social sciences. In 2008, Mr. Rhind-Tutt was a contributor to CLIR’s No Brief Candle: Reconceiving Research Libraries for the 21st Century.

Dorothea Salo, blogs at Book of Trogool, ( http://scienceblogs.com/bookoftrogool) and is the Digital Repository Librarian at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

David Weinberger, Fellow at Harvard University’s  Berkman Center for Internet & Society and author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and Everything is Miscellaneous.

Registration Fees

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

How to Register

ALCTS on-site registration will be available outside the meeting room the morning of the event.  Space is limited.

Note: You do not need to register for the entire Midwinter Meeting to attend this symposium.

Learn about Friday's ALCTS symposium: Living Digital: The Future of Information and the Role of the Library.  Register for both symposia and save!