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The 2009 Jeremiah Kaplan Institute on Libraries, the Information
Society, and Social Policy
“The Right to Information Access”
October 30, 2009
Penn State University, University Park Campus
State College, PA
The Hub Auditorium
* John Willinsky, (keynote speaker) Professor of Education,
Stanford University, Founder of the Public Knowledge Project and author
of The Access Principle: the Case for Open Access. (MIT, 2005).
* Marybeth Peters, Register of Copyright, US Copyright Office.
Author of The General Guide to the Copyright Act of 1976.
* John Palfrey, Henry N. Ess III Professor of Law and Vice Dean for
Library and Information Resources at Harvard Law School . Co-author of
Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives
(Basic Books, 2008) and Access Denied: The Practice and Politics of
Global Internet Filtering (MIT Press, 2008).
* Clifford Lynch, Director, Coalition of Networked Information, and
member of the National Digital Strategy Advisory Board of the Library of
Congress , Microsoft's Technical Computing Science Advisory Board , the
board of the New Media Consortium , and the Task Force on Sustainable
Digital Preservation and Access.
The United States Constitution codifies the right to free expression.
But what rights have we to access the results of free expression?
“Libraries,” states the American Library Association, “help ensure that
Americans can access the information they need – regardless of age,
education, ethnicity, language, income, physical limitations or
geographic barriers – as the digital world continues to evolve.” But
two decades of rapid developments in information technologies have
revealed a contradiction: it is easier than ever to disseminate
information and to receive it, but it is also easier to control and
monitor access to that information.
The first Jeremiah Kaplan Institute on Libraries, the Information
Society, and Social Policy will address the "right" to knowledge and
access to information, as well as the changing role that libraries and
publishers play in supporting access in a networked environment. How
must the missions of libraries and publishing adapt after the Internet?
Who should have access to information and knowledge and how can it best
be enabled? What economic, political, and regulatory factors impede
that access, and how might they be overcome?
Four experts, representing the fields of education, libraries,
information technology, and law and public policy, will explore these
issues in a day-long symposium held at Penn State University's
University Park campus on October 30, 2009.
About the Institute
The Jeremiah Kaplan Institute is sponsored by the Penn State University
Libraries and the Penn State Rock Ethics Institute with financial
support from the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy. The Institute
addresses the topic of information technologies and their impact on
libraries and associated professional ethics and social policies. The
Institute will hold one day conferences at Penn State University Park in
2009, 2010, and 2011 that will bring together recognized experts to
explore these topics.
The Institute is held in honor of Jeremiah Kaplan (1926-1993), a
co-founder of The Free Press (1947), an important publishing house
devoted to sociology and religion titles. Mr. Kaplan was later president
of Macmillan Publishing Company and Simon & Schuster Inc.
About the Co-Sponsors
The Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy was established in 1997 as a
not-for-profit organization to support the advancement of research and
understanding in the major fields of the social sciences. Specifically
the fields of psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, urban
affairs, area studies, political science, and other disciplines. The
Foundation was created by Irving L. Horowitz, the founder of Transaction
The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State promotes ethical awareness and
inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional
sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research, and outreach.
Assistant Dean for Scholarly Communications and
Co-Director, Office of Digital Scholarly Publishing
Penn State University Libraries
University Park, PA 16802