Changing Nature of Libraries in Digital Age To Be Discussed

The evolving form and function of libraries in the digital age will be considered at a symposium being hosted on Saturday, April 4, at the Yale Law School.

The “Library 2.0 Symposium” is hosted by the Yale Information Society Project (ISP), which studies the implications of the Internet and new information technologies for law and society.

According to the event organizers, the confluence of book digitization projects, user-generated content and social networking applications is transforming the role of libraries.

“The way we search for and interact with digital collections is in a state of transformation in every possible way,” says Laura DeNardis, executive director of ISP, who noted that Google recently negotiated a $125 million settlement with book publishers and authors over the use of copyrighted materials in its book search digital library project.

“The question of what counts as fair use exceptions to copyright for digital books is certainly in a state of flux, as the Google book settlement indicates, but so are issues of privacy and freedom of expression for library patrons and issues of interoperability and openness in technical architectures for digital collections,” she adds.

The symposium will bring together leading thinkers from libraries, academia and legal practice to lay out a vision for the future of the library in the digital age; the ethical implications of Library 2.0, including data retention and patron privacy; intellectual property rights in user-generated and traditional digital library content; and the future of book digitization.

Featured speakers will include Ann Wolpert, head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) libraries and the MIT press; John Palfrey, professor of law and dean for library and information resources at Harvard Law School; Josh Greenberg of the New York Public Library; and Jeff Cunard of Debevoise and Plimpton, among others.

The day-long event will take place in Rm. 127 of Yale Law School, 127 Wall St. It is free and open to the public; early registration is suggested to ensure seating. For more information, visit the ISP website, www.law.yale.edu/isp.

The “Library 2.0 Symposium” is supported by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School.

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