Strategic Future of Print Collections: My ALA Gig

Seems like I should promote the session at ALA during which I’m speaking, since (a) it’s my only speech during ALA (and I don’t really speak all that often at ALA), (b) it’s my only speech for 2010, unless something happens…

Here’s the official description from the (30MB!) online program, modified only for correctness:

Sunday, June 27, 2010, 10:30 a.m.-Noon:

Strategic Future of Print Collections in Research Libraries


Washington Convention Center -206

Tracks: Collection Management & Technical Services; Preservation

Use of print library collections is shifting from physical circulation to digital reformatting and screen delivery. Does this shift suggest a continuing role for physical collections or does their screen delivery inherently suggest print disposal? Recent technologies of print-on-demand will be evaluated from a preservation perspective, interdependence of similar physical and digital collections discussed, and preservation service reassignment and preservation advocacy for the continuing role of print in the context of its digital delivery will be explored.

Moderator: Gary Frost, University of Iowa, Conservator; Debra Nolan, LBI The Original Hardcover Bookbinders, Executive Director

Speakers: Walt Crawford, Library Leadership Network, Editorial Directorsemi-retired writer & editor; Shannon Zachary, University of Michigan, Preservation Librarian; [Not in that description: The third speaker, Doug Nishimura, Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology.]

Quick note

That’s the description. You should expect three roughly 15-minute talks and lots of time for Q&A. I’m the leadoff speaker, and promise not to lull you to sleep with Powerpoint bullet lists. My title is “Inclusionary Reading: Screen and Paper” and posits what’s now being called a “multiplatform reading future”–one in which books and booklength digital resources continue to be important, with some notes on why that might be. I’m defining “research library” very broadly.

The other two speakers are both experts. I anticipate lively talks that provide some real insights. I know there’s an absurd amount of competition Sunday 10:30-noon (as in every other prime program slots, since there are really only six or seven prime slots in the ever-shorter conference schedule); I think this one’s worth considering. (I would, wouldn’t I? But I didn’t design the program; I was asked to speak, and decided it would be an interesting topic.)

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