Recently, Rice University held its 2007 De Lange Conference which considered the "traditional concept of a library" with the advent of the internet. A diverse array of topics from the conference now appear online in the form of webcast.
Rice University's 2007 De Lange Conference Aims to Describe How Knowledge Will Be Accessed, Discovered, and Disseminated in the Age of Digital Information
The traditional concept of a library has been rendered obsolescent by the unprecedented confluence of the Internet, changes in scholarly publication models, increasing alliances between the humanities and the sciences, and the rise of large-scale digital library projects. The old ways of organizing and preserving knowledge to transmit our cultural and intellectual heritage have converged with the most advanced technologies of science and engineering and research methodologies. Such rapid and overwhelming changes to a millennia-old tradition pose significant challenges not only to university research libraries but to every citizen. If the traditional library is undergoing a profound metamorphosis, it is not clear what new model will take its place. More information has been produced in the last several years than in the entire previous history of humanity, and most of this has been in digital format. Libraries are not storage places any more; they are less and less a place. The critical issues now include: How can that information be efficiently accessed and used? How do we extract knowledge from such an abundance of often poorly organized information? How might these enormous digital resources affect our concept of identity, our privacy, and the way we conduct business in the new century? Insight from many disciplines and perspectives is requisite to begin to understand this phenomenon to identify ways to help chart a future course.
The De Lange 2007 Conference will examine the transformational influences these astonishing emerging libraries may entail. A planning committee, led by Rice University's Fondren Library and Computer and Information Technology Institute (CITI), now seeks a rich mix of subject specialists with unique perspectives who will enliven and enrich this exploration. The De Lange Conference will also have a historical perspective as well as be forward-looking and self-reflective; the conference will reveal that the emerging library is of enormous consequence and relevant to the rethinking of fundamental assumptions that structure our understanding of the world and facilitate new discovery.
The following topics will be addressed by some of the world's foremost thinkers:
1. The history of knowledge organization; major periods during which the organization of knowledge substantially changed, and the implications of those changes
2. The rise and evolution of academic disciplines and their structure during the last 150 years: Why does the university look like it does today? Why is the library organized like it is today?
3. Current disciplinary changes in method and practice: how knowledge is acquired, transmitted, and used in fields such as genomics, proteomics and computational biology
4.The emergence of genuinely hybrid disciplines (archaerometrics; archaeogenetics; music informatics; 3-D laser capture/analysis of art history objects)
5. Large-scale (global) collaborative research (Sloan Digital Sky Survey; Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO); Fermilab particle research; Large Hadron project)
6. Large-scale digital library projects (US, Australia, UK, EU, China): goals and implications
7. Does the current organization of departments and programs inhibit progress?
8. Copyright and intellectual property in the digital age
9. The emerging library as the new (virtual) campus
10. The rise of undergraduate research and its effects on libraries and curricula
11. Exemplary innovation: digital libraries and teaching (Connexions)
12. What the future might hold (wide-open possibilities, pro and con)
13. The end of traditional scholarly publishing
14. The economics of information: Who will pay for these major changes in tradition?
It is expected that this conference will appeal to an audience representing a very broad range of background and interests.
more info: DeLange Conference Homepage