George Needham: December 2010 Archives

If you're going to ALA Midwinter this year in San Diego, you owe it to yourself to check out the OCLC Symposium that we regularly host in conjunction with that event. Twice a year, at Annual and Midwinter, we invite experts from outside the library community to focus on 'big picture' topics that help us look broadly at trends and issues affecting the profession, and especially their impact on the community. Previous participants have included David Weinberger, author of "Everything is Miscellaneous," social media researcher danah boyd, cultural historian Siva Vaidhyanathan and others. The theme of this year's symposium is, "Transformational literacy: life stages and libraries:"

Every day, libraries help people transform their lives. But nowhere is that role more apparent--and important--as when people move from one life stage to another. Whether the transition is from high-school to college, student to worker, adult to parent or any other important life change, the need for information and preparation during these "between" states is more acute than at any other time in our users' lives.
I'm very excited to announce that Mimi Ito will be our keynote speaker for the event. Mimi is a cultural anthropologist who studies the use of new media, particularly among young people. She'll speak about the role technology plays in young people's information seeking behavior, and how early education and training can set students up to be lifelong learners.

After Mimi's talk, Michael Stephens from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University (and author of "Web 2.0 & Libraries") will moderate a discussion with Mimi, James LaRue, Director of Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock Colorado, and Joanie Chavis, Dean of the Learning Resource Center for the Baton Rouge Community College Magnolia Library. They'll discuss the ways in which public, academic and community college librarians can help users better navigate informational challenges during the transitional times in their lives.

You can register for the event here, as well as for other OCLC activities, including the Americas Regional Council Member Meeting, which is open to all, regardless of your affiliation with OCLC.

I hope to see you there!

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