“CATALYSTS FOR CHANGE: Columbia Library Symposium in Honor of James Neal, Columbia University Librarian Emeritus”

Change is a constant in libraries, whether seen as an obstacle to surmount or an opportunity to evolve. In order to succeed in the 21st century, libraries (and librarians) must master the ability to adapt to a variety of changes: in the profession, in academia or university culture, in funding availability and requirements, and in publishing policies. Some of the most successful libraries have been led by catalysts who embraced change on numerous frontiers and confront the challenges associated with transformation head on.
The 12th Columbia Library Symposium will honor the work of one such catalyst, James G. Neal, University Librarian Emeritus, Columbia University. Neal’s opening talk is titled, Vision Without Action is a Daydream, and Action Without Vision is a Nightmare: Reflections on 42 Years Trying to Get It Right. Subsequent panel discussions will focus on several areas where Neal provided important leadership throughout his career, including:

  • the evolving workforce and new staffing models for academic and research libraries
  • leveraging external funding to fuel innovation and organizational change
  • the importance of and dangers inherent in strategic planning
  • deep engagement with information policy issues, including open access, copyright, and intellectual freedom.

Questions may be directed to culsymposium@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.


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