I am writing on behalf of the DLF Fall Forum planning committee, the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Chuck Henry regarding our upcoming Forum. I hope you noted last week that we are indeed holding the Forum on November 11th and 12th in Long Beach, CA. The theme for this forum is "Strategies for Innovation."
This Forum occurs at a critical time for individual libraries, the DLF community, and even our broader society. Given the uncertainty that we face during this time, I understand that there has been speculation about this Forum specifically and perhaps even DLF generally. Let me be clear that this Forum represents an affirmation of the continuity of DLF. Yet even with this affirmation, it is prudent for us to ask how we wish to continue. Particularly now when our community faces new challenges, we must reflect on the past and assess the present so that we move into the future strategically. As the theme indicates, this Forum will feature a particular focus on innovation, not as an end but rather as a means for libraries to support research and learning within our universities at a time of decreasing budgets and increasing competition for information resources and services.
To focus on this theme of "Strategies for Innovation" and to ensure a high degree of interactivity with the Forum participants, we felt it was important to organize this Forum differently from previous Forums. The program will feature invited speakers on the first day and breakout sessions, including the Project Managers Group meeting and the Developers' Forum, on the second day. Details of the program will be available shortly on the DLF website.
The invited speakers will include project directors or managers, funding agency representatives, senior library administrators, and developers. Each of the speakers will focus on lessons learned from innovative or collaborative activities within DLF libraries and, most importantly, offer specific strategies for innovation within our libraries and community. The participants of the breakout sessions on the second day will analyze these strategies and report on specific recommendations from the organizational, technical and financial perspectives. Throughout the Forum, we will use chat and Twitter to communicate with our colleagues who are unable to join us in person. During the afternoon of the second day of the Forum, we will synthesize the feedback.
With this approach, it is difficult to know precisely what will result from the conversations and reflections, but one desirable outcome would be a set of near-term community source software development needs, along with a clear understanding of the organizational and financial arrangements to meet those needs. Another important outcome would be a road map for subsequent Forums and perhaps even DLF itself.
This Forum will be an opportunity to share your thoughts about what has worked -- and what has not -- in terms of innovation within libraries and how to make changes in order to support innovation more effectively. It will be your chance to identify the most pressing technical needs that must be addressed if we are to make rapid progress for supporting new forms of learning and research. This Forum will be an assembly for open discussion where you can help shape the future of DLF.
On a personal note, I want to mention why I asked to lead the planning effort for this particular Forum. I gladly offer my service in this regard given what I have gained both professionally and personally from previous Forums. There is no doubt in my mind that the best aspect of DLF Forums has been the collective energy, talent and warmth of the people who gather together. I hope that you will join me at this important Forum to consider strategies for innovation.
Associate Dean for Library Digital Programs
Hodson Director of the Digital Research and Curation Center
Director of Operations, Institute for Data Intensive Engineering and Sciences (IDIES)
Johns Hopkins University
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Charles Henry, Ph.D.
Council on Library and Information Resources
1752 N Street NW Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20036-2909