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The Conference on the Future of Academic Libraries Held in PKU

Peking University, Apr. 29, 2015: During April 23-24, 2015, the Conference on the Future of Academic Libraries in China and North America----Discussions Among Library Directors was held in Peking University (PKU) Library. PKU Library and Harvard University Library jointly organized this conference. Present at the conference are library directors from universities in China and North America, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of California-Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell University, University of Washington, University of Toronto, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Wuhan University, Nanjing University, Xiamen University and Zhongshan University.

The Conference

Sarah Thomas, Director of Harvard University Library, gave a speech entitled “The Disrupted Dinosaur or Rising Phoenix: the Future of Academic Libraries”. After putting forward this thought-provoking question, she then introduced the cooperation projects conducted in academic libraries in America. These libraries adopted a series of strategies in the process of transformation, spatial change for instance. The future library will be a set of knowledge, cultural and social center, whose sources will be more abundant and universal. Despite the changes of certain circumstances, the three keys of library, readers, space and book collection, will remain. She believed that future academic libraries would be a rising Phoenix after transformation.

Zhu Qiang, Director of PKU Library, introduced the future strategies of PKU library in two aspects. One is the budget, and the other is the collection. As for the budget, budget planning and fund use in a comprehensive way will be of great significance. Zhu also hoped that the fund for library’s construction could increase by 5% on a yearly basis. The book collection is an important aspect needing to be transformed. The transformation of book collection includes digitization, integration and the construction of technical platform.

During this two-day conference, libraries directors discussed the efforts and explorations of their libraries, involving core value, mission, collection construction, collection sharing, service, readers’ data, space change and digital approaches of academic libraries. In the free discussion session, libraries directors talked about the possibilities of future cooperation.

Background info:
The Conference on the Future of Academic Libraries in China and North America is hosted alternatively in Peking University and Harvard University every year. The purpose of this conference is to enhance the understanding of each other and, with joint efforts, clarify the future direction of academic libraries.


Written by: Meng Yiran
Edited by: Xiao Chunliang
Source: PKU News