Sidebar        The Future of Libraries in the Digital Age

Because people so often identify libraries with physical books, new digital information and communication technologies have spawned speculation whether these institutions are obsolete. Libraries, however, predate books, and, in their modern form, libraries of all kinds – public libraries, research libraries, school libraries, professional libraries – still typically stand at the informational heart of the communities they serve. Join I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy For the Information Society March 24-25, 2016, on The Ohio State University campus for “The Future of Libraries in the Digital Age,” an interdisciplinary exploration of the emerging roles of libraries, as well as the roles of law and public policy in shaping libraries’ missions.

On Thursday night a panel of local librarians will discuss the challenges their institutions face, in conversation with Jeffrey T. Schnapp, professor of romance languages and literature and comparative literature at Harvard University, and a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Professor Schnapp has been deeply involved in researching the history of libraries and in imagining the implications of libraries’ new roles for the design of libraries as physical space.

On Friday, expert panelists will discuss the roles of libraries, the possible consequences of digitization for privacy and copyright, and the overall question of whether or not there is a future for bricks-and-mortar libraries. Professor Schnapp will offer keynote remarks, as well as present two short films: Alain Resnais’s famous portrait of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, “Toute la mémoire du monde” (1956), and “Cold Storage,” a web documentary Professor Schnapp helped to create, which offers a rumination on the state of libraries a half century after Resnais.

Click here to register.