Announced as a new initiative last summer, METRO’s inaugural Directors Round Table on November 14th was held as an opportunity for leadership in METRO’s membership to hear from key industry leaders and network with one another. The Round Table also served as the backdrop for METRO’s annual business meeting, originally scheduled for October 29, 2012.
An audience of more than fifty directors and leaders of the library, archive, and museum (LAM) communities joined METRO at the Kaufman Theater in the American Museum of Natural History. The business meeting featured reports by board president Norman Jacknis and executive director Jason Kucsma (text available here), as well as an introduction of newly appointed director of library services for New York City's Department of Education Richard Hasenyager. Throughout all of the comments at this meeting, one theme was consistent: libraries, like many other sectors, are facing periods of unprecedented change, and these changes present opportunities for those willing to seize them. In his remarks, Kucsma assured the audience that METRO will continue to provide the services members have come to expect while exploring new ways to help members thrive in this tumultuous environment. On a related note, Hasenyager discussed NYC School Libraries’ focus on Common Core Standards and the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum as the catalyst and tools, respectively, for reasserting the school library as a cornerstone of K-12 education.
Immediately following the business meeting, Stephen Abram, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Markets for Gale Cengage Learning, kicked off the Round Table with his address, “The Future: Digital/Print Library Hybrids.” Abram’s talk in turns inspired — and outright demanded — new modes of thinking about the digital terrain within traditional library structures. While reflecting on the ways in which the future of providing information can be both frightening and exhilarating, considering especially that the digital revolution is only in its infancy, Abrams encouraged his audience to embrace the opportunities that are embedded in a shifting technological landscape. These insights, among many others pertaining to service models in our libraries, can be viewed in Abram’s talk.
METRO is especially grateful to our hosts at the American Museum of Natural History research library. The reception in their reading room gave us all the chance to network and reflect on the challenges facing us — from Sandy survival stories to the changing landscape of library services.
The next Directors Round Table will be held in Spring 2013.