For immediate release | May 9, 2011

ALCTS President's Program features Paul Courant

CHICAGO - Paul Courant, university librarian and dean of libraries, Harold T. Shapiro collegiate professor of public policy, Arthur F. Thurnau professor, professor of economics and professor of information at the University of Michigan, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 ALCTS President’s Program at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans. The President’s Program takes place beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, June 27 in the Morial Convention Center, rooms 388-390.

His most recent academic work has considered the economics of universities, the economics of libraries and archives and the effects of new information technologies and other disruptions on scholarship, scholarly publication and academic libraries. The economics of libraries will be the subject of his presentation: “Economic Reflections on Libraries.”

“Libraries are often considered as cultural heritage institutions, and appropriately so. At the same time, many of their functions are essential to economic growth and well-being, and they are important economic entities in their own right. I am both an academic economist and a university librarian, and my remarks will combine these perspectives, considering libraries (both academic and more generally) both as producers of value and as entities whose behavior is subject to the laws of supply and demand.”

Dr. Courant has authored half a dozen books and more than 70 papers covering a broad range of topics in economics and public policy, including tax policy, state and local economic development, gender differences in pay, housing, radon and public health, relationships between economic growth and environmental policy and university budgeting systems.

From 2002-2005 he served as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, the chief academic officer and the chief budget officer of the university. He has also served as the associate provost for academic and budgetary affairs, chair of the Department of Economics and director of the Institute of Public Policy Studies (which is now the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy). In 1979 and 1980 he was a senior staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers.

Paul Courant holds a BA in History from Swarthmore College (1968); an MA in Economics from Princeton University (1973); and a PhD in Economics from Princeton University (1974).

ALCTS is a division of the American Library Association.