Digital Dilemmas Symposium

Digital Dilemmas was a day-long symposium addressing some of the key strategic issues facing libraries as they work through what we might understatedly refer to as a "digital transition period." Digital Dilemmas brought together nationally recognized experts who: outlined the primary challenges facing libraries in a digital world; provided an understanding of the digital information economy and its effect on scholarship; and suggested future opportunities for libraries. The symposium provided librarians and library administrators with the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field and network with colleagues from the region working to address these challenges and seize potential opportunities.

When: April 16, 2009, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30p.m. 

Where: William and Anita Newman Conference Center at Baruch College. (directions) . 

Cost: $125 (lunch will be provided)

Sponsored in part by OCLC and with additional support from Luna Imaging

Post-Symposium Resources:

Agenda (and links to slides):

Check-in and light breakfast

Welcome Remarks and Context-Setting
Tom Clareson
Senior Consultant for New Initiatives

Scholarship in the Digital Environment and the Implications for Library Strategies
Clifford Lynch
Coalition for Networked Information

This introductory keynote will survey changes in the practices of scholarship across the disciplines, ranging from developments in digital humanities to the growing national and international investments in e-science and cyberinfrastructure. After exploring some of the implications of these changes for scholarly communication, Lynch will conclude with a discussion of the potential implications for library strategic planning.


Creation, Management, and Preservation of Digital Content:
New Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions

[slides from this presentation]
Evan Owens
Chief Technology Officer

The move from print-based to electronic modes of scholarly communication has led libraries and publishers to redefine their traditional roles and take on new responsibilities in the creation, management, and preservation of digital content. These tasks present not insignificant technical, operational, and financial burdens. This talk will look at some fundamental issues in digital content creation, management, and preservation.  Out of these new challenges has come a need for clear organizational priorities and careful - often difficult - budget choices as well as new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation to secure maximum benefit from severely limited resources

The Strategic Implications of Faculty Attitudes on the Shift to an Electronic Environment
[slides from this presentation]
Roger Schonfeld
Research Manager

As scientists and certain social scientists find themselves accessing information resources without the intermediation of the library, how does this affect their perceptions of the library and future prospects for the library’s campus role? Ithaka’s 2006 surveys of US faculty members and librarians indicate that faculty members’ views of the library, and the value they place in library services, has changed significantly in recent years. This talk will examine the strategic implications to libraries and universities more broadly that emerge from faculty attitudes and perspectives on libraries and their value, including specific library functions, and how these perceptions are changing.


Copyright and Fair Use Policies for a Remix Culture:
Learning from the Best Practices Model

[slides from this presentation]
Patricia Aufderheide
Center for Social Media, American University

Fair use is a rapidly-expanding feature of copyright law, but still murkily understood. Essential to prevent copyright from devolving into private censorship, it has also been denigrated as "just a defense" and "too vague to be reliable." In some practice communities, though, fair use has become routinely used, because of the adoption of best practices codes. Features of these codes--particularly those developed by documentary filmmakers and by media literacy educators--have direct application to library work. Their example also provides a powerful model as librarians grapple with ever more common problems such as archiving of electronic dissertations, posting of digital records, open courseware and distance education.

Scholars and the Everywhere Library
[slides from this presentation]
Dan Cohen
Center for History and New Media, George Mason University

How can libraries best help researchers when the very conception of the "library" for most scholars has changed from a physical location to a wide variety of online resources? And does this transition to the digital realm open up new avenues of research and new services that libraries can provide to meet those research needs? This talk will discuss new possibilities for search, discovery, recommendations, and analysis that a modern library might be able to provide to the next generation of scholars.

Closing Remarks
Tom Clareson
[slides from this presentation]