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Libraries conference to discuss tecnology

Libraries conference to discuss opportunities and challenges posed by technological changes

‘Winds of Change - Libraries in the 21st century’ is the theme of a high-profile library and information professionals’conference to be held in Wellington from 17-20 November.

The Library Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) conference is set to feature a high-powered line-up of speakers, from around the world, who will discuss and confront issues facing the library profession in the 21st century - mainly the breakneck speed at which technological changes are both benefiting and challenging libraries.

LIANZA President Lisa Tocker says the event will provide a forum to further debate the impact of technological changes on libraries - and will showcase initiatives in New Zealand and overseas that both anticipate and respond to the various challenges raised by technology.

The conference programme has been designed around the theme’s three linked strands: Electrical storms: Electronic information management issues and the impact on libraries; Sheltering from the storm: Providing library services in a digital world; and Under the umbrella: professional development for library and information professionals.

Ms Tocker says the theme of the conference is entirely appropriate. “Libraries are facing radical change - both in terms of the multidimensional services they can offer - and the demands of increasingly diverse library users. Many New Zealand libraries have taken up the challenge and are leading both here and internationally.

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“But the question is: are libraries around the world continuing to be central gathering points for the sharing of our collective knowledge among communities - or are they becoming marginalised by the march of technology?”

More than 700 librarians and information managers from New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands and points further afield are expected to gather at the conference - to be held at the Wellington Convention Centre.

Among the keynote speakers are:

Professor Whatarangi Winiata - who has been involved in the creation and management of Te Wananga o Raukawa in Otaki since its establishment in 1981. Prof. Winiata is Tumuaki (Chief Executive Officer) Policy and Development at the Wananga.

Derek Law - the Librarian and Head of the Information Resources Directorate at the University of Strathclyde. Derek has been described as the “father of the electronic library in the UK”. He is President of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland.

Larry Prusak - Executive Director of the Institute of Knowledge Management and a Managing Principal with IBM Global Services. His most recent book, In Good Company (co-authored with Don Cohen), was listed as one of 2001’s Best Business Books by Harvard Business School.

Susan Kent - City Librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library - serving a population of 3.8 million people. Susan has been named ‘Librarian of the Year 2002’ by Library Journal.

Conference participants will take part in sessions covering a wide range of topics relating to library management and information technology. Sessions include:

Government, people and information A word in your ear: library services for print disabled people in the digital age Maori, intellectual property and digitisation Clicking with kids: electronic resources for children and youth What a difference a Maori research librarian makes: building relationships with Maori clients in a digital world Blowing Hot and Cold - successful marketing and lobbying skills Online in real time? - deciding whether to offer a real-time virtual reference service The changing landscape for librarians - from monasteries to phone booths.

The conference will also feature an awards night on Monday 18 November - with the presentation of: The 3M Award to the librarian, information specialist or team who has applied an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to their business The LIANZA Childrens’ Book Awards, presented by the Minister of the National Library, Hon Marian Hobbs MP.

There will be a full schedule of after-hours dinners and functions - including a scheduled function in Wellington’s famous Hummingbird Café - because, according to the conference schedule, it has a Library Bar.

A series of short biographies of major conference speakers are below

Plenary Speaker Biographies
Whatarangi Winiata
To be refreshed and rejunvenated by the winds of Tâwhirimâtea.
Whatarangi Winiata will welcome delegates to the conference and start us on our journey in addressing the theme of the conference.

He is a member of the Ngâti Pareraukawa hapû of Ngâti Raukawa and has been involved in the creation and management of Te Wânanga-o-Raukawa since its establishment in 1981. Professor Winiata (B.Com, MBA, PhD) is currently Tumuaki (Chief Executive Officer), Policy and Development of Te Wânanga-o-Raukawa, and has played a vital role in fostering the success of this unique centre of higher learning devoted to the world of Mâori knowledge, (Mâtauranga Mâori). Professor Winiata has extensive research interests, with a focus on constitutional reform and the development of partnership structures and culture.

Larry Prusak

Executive Director of the Institute for Knowledge Management, Larry Prusak is a Managing Principal with IBM Global Services in Boston and is a visiting faculty member of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College. Larry coined the term ‘Knowledge Management’ so it is fitting that he will speak on ‘Knowledge and Information in the 21st Century’.

Larry has extensive consulting experience in helping firms optimise their information and knowledge resources. A highly respected authority in his field, Larry has lectured and been published widely.

His most recent book, In Good Company (co-authored with Don Cohen), was listed as one of the 2001 Best Business Books by Harvard Business School. Larry's professional background also includes work as a researcher and librarian at the Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. Work Frontiers International has named him as one of the ten most admired knowledge leaders in the world.

Susan Kent

Developing libraries that survive and thrive in the digital world will be one of the issues covered in this keynote address for the Sheltering from the Storm strand. Susan Kent, City Librarian for the Los Angeles Public Library, will draw on her recent Bertelsmann Foundation research to speak on this topic.

Susan is responsible for the overall administration of the Los Angeles Public Library system which serves the largest population of any public library in the United States (3.8 million people). She has been a member of the Bertelsmann Foundation's International Network of Public Libraries since 1999 and has been very involved in activities related to public libraries from an international perspective.

Susan has extensive library management experience and is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities and President of the Los Angeles City General Managers’ Association. She has also been an independent consultant for libraries and non-profit organizations in the areas of strategic planning, capital facilities planning, financial development and management. Susan has been named ‘Librarian of the Year 2002’ by Library Journal.

Derek Law

Derek Law will outline some of the key elements to ensuring that libraries ‘weather the storms’ of electronic information developments.

Derek Law is the Librarian and Head of Information Resources Directorate at the University of Strathclyde, as well as Professor in the Department of Computing and Head of the Centre for Digital Library Research.

Derek Law has been described as the ‘father of the electronic library in the UK’ and played a substantial role in developing new models and structures that shaped and transformed the management of information within universities. He is President of Scotland’s Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.

Chris Batt

At the eye of the storm: public libraries and climate change. Rather than sheltering from the storms Chris Batt would like to see libraries creating storms to ensure the right approaches are taken to the development of the information society. Librarians in public sector services have a responsibility to promote equality of access and quality of resources. On that basis it is important to see the storm blows in the right direction.

Chris Batt is the Director of Learning and Information Society at Re:source: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries UK, where he is responsible for strategic advice on the delivery of services to users of those information institutions and for the implementation of the Government's Peoples Network programme. This task involves connecting all 4300 public libraries to the information superhighway by the end of 2002. Chris Batt made a huge impression during his very brief visit to New Zealand late last year and we are looking forward to a progress report on the People’s Network.

Dr. Loriene Roy

Dr. Roy will present two concurrent sessions at conference, focusing on the use of information technology to support educational achievement for indigenous peoples and on new perspectives on tribal archives.

Dr Roy is Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Texas. She has twice received the Excellence in Advising Award, as well as receiving the Texas Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr Roy’s research interests centre on public libraries, measurement and evaluation of library services, reference services, public library services to children, services for Native Americans, collection management, and the history of public libraries and library education. She has published many articles and reports on reference evaluation and public-library use and services and is program director for the very successful ‘If I Can Read, I Can Do Anything’ national reading programme.

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