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The Case for Mutability

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Uploaded on Nov 19, 2007

James Neal, University Librarian & Vice President for Information Services, Columbia University: "The Case for Mutability: Library 2.0 and Implications for Academic Library Staffing, Organization, and Leadership"" A Conference sponsored by the Librarians Association of the University of California, Berkeley Division
Once a symbolic bastion of traditional accumulations of specialized knowledge, today's academic library operates in an information landscape grown increasingly variegated and difficult to traverse.

Paradoxically, at the same time, data, information, knowledge, cultural production, and scholarship are far more accessible, appropriable, and manipulable than ever before. New media attract widespread attention, more pliable technologies emerge with increasing frequency, and--most importantly--young generations of students and faculty with aptitudes, skills, and expectations borne of a world massively defined by the Internet and its progeny are populating the halls of academe.

The convergence of the once distinct technological and social meanings of the term "network" is evident in the rise of communities of remote collaborations among friends, acquaintances, students, and researchers. These developments compel academic libraries to consider how best to apply new technologies to suit users' demands and to satisfy their institutional and educational missions.

The Academic Library 2.0 conference will address the phenomenon of academic libraries taking affirmative steps to deploy technologies and services that facilitate users' virtually instant connection to diverse sources of knowledge and information, as well as to help users directly contribute form and substance to those sources.

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