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OITP Announces Appointment of Subcommittee on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century

ALA’s Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is pleased to announce the appointment of the new Subcommittee on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century, to provide advice to OITP’s new Program of the same name. This Subcommittee met for the first time at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA, at which it sponsored a panel session, “The Future of Libraries.” The Subcommittee is chaired by Vivian Pisano, Chief of Information Technology, San Francisco Public Library.

The current Subcommittee membership and draft program description follow.

Subcommittee on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century

Vivian Pisano, Chair (2010)
Chief of Information Technology, San Francisco Public Library, CA

Marc Gartler (2010)
Director of Library Services, Harrington College of Design, IL

Christine Lind Hage (2009)
Director, Rochester Hills Public Library, MI

Dottie Hiebing (2010)
Executive Director, Metropolitan New York Library Council, NY

Wallace Koehler (2010)
Professor and Program Director, Valdosta State University, GA

Mark Smith (2009)
Library Administrator, Riverside County Library System, CA

Gary E. Strong (2010)
University Librarian, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Liaison to the Association of College & Research Libraries

Janice Tsai (2010)
Ph.D. Candidate, Carnegie Mellon University, PA

Betty Turock (2009)
Professor and Dean Emerita, Rutgers University, NJ

Joyce Kasman Valenza (2010)
Library Information Specialist, Springfield Township High School, Erdenheim, PA

R. David Lankes, OITP Fellow
Associate Professor and Director, Syracuse University, NY

Roger Levien, OITP Fellow
Principal, Strategy & Innovation Consulting, Stamford, CT

Alan Inouye, Staff Liaison
Director, OITP, Washington, DC

Program on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century
Draft, July 2008


The fundamental changes in how information is now created, modified, disseminated, and accessed enable many opportunities and challenges for libraries and public access to information. The Program on America’s Libraries in the 21st Century focuses on monitoring and evaluating trends in technology and society to assist the library community in shaping its future to the greatest benefit of the nation.

In which roles may libraries be most useful in serving the nation? Physical library spaces continue to have value for communities, though their roles are evolving. The explosion in online information enables users to access many non-library information sources readily, but the online environment also affords tremendous opportunity for libraries to serve existing clients in new ways and to reach out to new clients. How should the library community’s core principles of ready, equal, and equitable access; intellectual freedom; and objective stewardship of information be represented in the future online environment?

Major Areas of Focus

  • Monitor technological and societal trends that are relevant to libraries and public access to information and encourage and contribute to discussions about these trends in forums inside and outside of ALA.
  • Identify relevant data sources for these relevant trends and strive to improve the usefulness and visibility of these data.
  • Advocate for appropriate policies and practices based on those trends that have identifiable, direct implications for the library community.
  • Identify scenarios, models, and specific directions in technology and society that have the most promise for advancing the interests of the LIS community. Engage the LIS community to develop appropriate visions, strategies, positions, and messages.
  • Assist the LIS community in taking a greater leadership role in shaping its future in the digital world.
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Jacob Roberts is the communications specialist for the ALA Washington Office.

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