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Updated 10:00 AM February 20, 2006




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Symposium slated to delve into digitization

The Google partnership with U-M to digitize the entire University Library collection and other such projects will affect the nature of all academic work, and could reshape views of libraries, research, education, publishing, information policy and the economy.

More then 20 panelists will discuss these topics when the University Library and the U.S. National Commission on Libraries host the "Scholarship and Libraries in Transition: A Dialogue about the Impacts of Mass Digitization" symposium March 10-11 at Rackham Auditorium.

Speakers will explore how mass digitization initiatives will transform the way information is exchanged and the role these types of projects play in supporting scholarly communication.

"Our hope is that this symposium will provide a forum to think about the changing environment and to identify the challenges and opportunities shaping future directions for scholarly communication," Associate University Librarian John Wilkin says.

President Mary Sue Coleman will deliver the opening address at 8:40 a.m. March 10 in Rackham Auditorium. Additional speakers will include: Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, a firm that chronicles leading-edge development; Adam Smith, senior business-product manager for Google Inc.; and Clifford Lynch, director of the Coalition of Networked Information, an organization dedicated to supporting networked information technology for the advancement of scholarly communication and enrichment of intellectual productivity.

Additional topics will focus on libraries, research, teaching and learning, publishing economics and public policy.

"People from all walks of life have embraced Google as an indispensable tool for managing their personal lives. This has led to the development of new patterns of intellectual interaction and scholarly communication," says Laurie Alexander, chair of the symposium planning task force.

"The question remains, however, as to whether Google has approached the degree of ubiquity as a scholarly research tool that it has as a tool for general discovery and organization."

The event is free and open to the public; however, all attendees must register at

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