Emory Report

May 1, 2000

 Volume 52, No. 31

Symposium to focus on libraries, technology

By Michael Terrazas

Challenges facing not only Emory's libraries but those of research universities across the country will be on the agenda at symposium, "Scholarship in the Digital Age: The Future of Academic Libraries," to be held May 4 from 1­4 p.m. in Winship Ballroom.

The symposium is sponsored by the Digital Future Seminar and the provost's office, and it will feature three speakers from national organizations in this field: Dan Greenstein, director of the Digital Library Foundation; Brian Hawkins, president of EDUCAUSE; and Clifford Lynch, executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information.

A panel of Emory faculty and staff will prepare questions and respond to the speakers' remarks.

"There are few issues more important or perplexing right now than the impact of digital technology upon how we create, publish and disseminate, organize and provide access to scholarly information," said Chancellor Billy Frye, co-chair of the Digital Future Seminar. "We hope to have a good attendance from a cross-section of faculty, staff and administration."

Betsey Patterson, coordinator of the Virtual Library Project, said some of the issues that likely will come up are integrating digital initiatives into campus planning and budgeting processes, sustainable funding for digital initiatives, intellectual property and copyright in the digital age, and changes in scholarly communication because of new technology.

"Up until now, most of the [technology initiatives] that have been going on in libraries have been project-based," Patterson said. "It has to be something that's mainstreamed into the regular budget. It's really a campus position--not just the library or information technology."

Regarding intellectual property, Patterson said, "Academic institutions produce a lot of information, which is then published by publishers, who then claim the copyright and sell it back to the academic institutions in the form of print and electronic subscriptions. That's a big issue for the academy in general. [This information] has value, and they need to establish ownership."

Hawkins formerly served as acting president of Brown University, and before that he was senior vice president for academic planning and administrative affairs, with responsibility over instructional budget, campus computing, institutional research, summer programs, admissions and a range of other areas. EDUCAUSE is a professional association of more than 1,600 colleges and universities dedicated to transforming higher education through information technologies.

Greenstein has been president of the Digital Library Federation since December. He is the founding director of Britain's Arts and Humanities Data Service, which builds digital collections and encourages their use in educational, library and cultural heritage environments. He is also founding co-director of the Research Discovery Network.

Prior to joining the Coalition for Networked Information, Lynch spent 18 years in the president's office at the University of California, the last 10 as director of library automation. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from UC-Berkeley and is an adjunct professor in the university's School of Information Management and Systems.

Patterson said the symposium will serve as a "final public view" of the work the Digital Futures Seminar has been doing for the past year to explore how best to integrate technology into scholarship.

The group is due to issue its report to the provost soon, and she hopes faculty and staff attend the symposium to raise questions and concerns that the seminar might not have previously considered.

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