Library Futures Institute

About the Futures Institute

As information providers to their communities, libraries are struggling to stay abreast of how to best serve their patrons in this changing world. Technological developments of the last few years are totally restructuring nearly every aspect of daily life. Libraries must continue to be in the forefront and anticipate trends in order to serve their patrons. Activities are becoming more complex and global community paradigm shifts suggest conditions will be very different from the last century. No longer can libraries merely play catch up as each technological innovation brings in waves of interested patrons requesting the most current information.

This Futures Institute will examine the technological, governmental, societal and educational trends in the world at large and discuss their implications on the future of library service. Although libraries are not in the business of forecasting the future, they need to assess the impact of future trends and how they will affect the information and library service delivery system. This institute is designed to promote discussion about how future trends will impact libraries and how librarians themselves may actively participate in mapping that future.

Sponsored by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and cosponsored by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Futures Institute will provide a forum for librarians to discuss the implications of these trends for their own future planning.

Among the distinguished speakers are Dr. Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist at City University of New York and author of the best-selling, Visions: How Science Will Revolutionize the 21st Century.

Helping participants to explore the question, what do we want the library experience of the future to be, will be James Gilmore, co-author of the best-selling book, The Experience Economy.

Other featured speakers are Stanley Strauss, assistant director of the newly constructed Cerritos California Public Library. Characterized by the Wall Street Journal as the latest 'library of the future', Cerritos has a titanium exterior, shark-filled aquarium, performance theater and circulation desk built to resemble a time machine!

As with previous MBLC institutes, an extremely limited number of hotel rooms will be made available without charge for participants coming from remote parts of the state. The Institute will accommodate only 150 applicants from public, academic, school and special libraries who work in Massachusetts libraries. There will also be a follow-up grant round for qualified participants to allow them to examine new approaches and services for their patrons.

648 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

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Last modified: Apr 24, 2002, 15:44 EDT