UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

The world is flat? What about libraries…

UNCG’s third annual iDEAL (information, Diversity, Engagement, Access, and Libraries) conference is titled “Rethinking the Local: Reimagining Libraries in a Flattening World.”

It will be Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, noon-5 p.m., at Elliott University Center. This event is open to the public.

A panel of speakers addressing the topic will include:

  • Dr. Peter J. Lor, Author, Former Director of the National Library of South Africa
  • Dr. Ismail Abdullahi Associate Professor, North Carolina Central University, School of Library and Information Sciences, ALA Councilor-at-Large
  • Amanda Click, Formerly librarian at American University, Cairo, and doctoral student at UNC Chapel Hill, and UNCG alumna

Conference organizers explain that the Information Age has seen a tremendous surge in not only the amount but also the kind of information that is now almost instantaneously accessible through the internet and the Web, and this has promise not only for the “democratization” of information — that is to say, its “free flow” — but a realization of at least a rudimentary form of universal communication to which the main barriers are economic (access to the internet, computers and the electricity that powers them); legal and political (proprietary rights and national security concerns); and educational (basic literacy, technological literacy, and information literacy). At the same time, what used to be called international librarianship — the bridging of linguistic, cultural, and political differences across national borders ― has all but disappeared from LIS curricula as communications media has become more ubiquitous worldwide, they say. The assumption would seem to be that international diversity will be erased by a media-made monoculture, although world events contradict that outcome.

This conference will explore the following questions:

  1. Why do we need to re-think and re-imagine the local library in a world that is increasingly international?
  2. How can the LIS profession help ensure better communication as well to enhance understanding between and among cultures at the same time that it increases the free flow of information?
  3. What barriers to free flow and mutual understanding need to be addressed, and how?

Details are at http://lis.uncg.edu/news-and-events/ideal-summit/

Questions? Contact Touger Vang at t_vang@uncg.edu or 4-3477.