De Lange Conference VI

Emerging Libraries

Date: March 5-7, 2007
Host: Rice University via the Fondren Library and Computer and
Information Technology Institute (CITI)
Site: Alice Pratt Brown Auditorium, Shepherd School, Rice University,
6100 Main St., Houston, Texas

Rice University's 2007 De Lange Conference Aims to Describe How
Knowledge Will Be Accessed, Discovered, and Disseminated in the Age of
Digital Information

Speakers will include John Seely Brown, Harold Varmus, James Duderstadt,
Paul Ginsparg, and Donald Kennedy.


The traditional concept of a library has been rendered obsolescent by
the unprecedented confluence of the Internet, changes in scholarly
publication models, increasing alliances between the humanities and the
sciences, and the rise of large-scale digital library projects. The old
ways of organizing and preserving knowledge to transmit our cultural and
intellectual heritage have converged with the most advanced technologies
of science and engineering and research methodologies. Such rapid and
overwhelming changes to a millennia-old tradition pose significant
challenges not only to university research libraries but to every
citizen. If the traditional library is undergoing a profound
metamorphosis, it is not clear what new model will take its place. More
information has been produced in the last several years than in the
entire previous history of humanity, and most of this has been in
digital format. Libraries are not storage places any more; they are less
and less a place. The critical issues now include: How can that
information be efficiently accessed and used? How do we extract
knowledge from such an abundance of often poorly organized information?
How might these enormous digital resources affect our concept of
identity, our privacy, and the way we conduct business in the new
century? Insight from many disciplines and perspectives is requisite to
begin to understand this phenomenon to identify ways to help chart a
future course.

The De Lange 2007 Conference will examine the transformational
influences these astonishing emerging libraries may entail. A planning
committee, led by Rice University's Fondren Library and Computer and
Information Technology Institute (CITI), now seeks a rich mix of subject
specialists with unique perspectives who will enliven and enrich this
exploration. The De Lange Conference will also have a historical
perspective as well as be forward-looking and self-reflective; the
conference will reveal that the emerging library is of enormous
consequence and relevant to the rethinking of fundamental assumptions
that structure our understanding of the world and facilitate new

The following topics will be addressed by some of the world's foremost

1.	The history of knowledge organization; major periods during
which the organization of knowledge substantially changed, and the
implications of those changes 
2.	The rise and evolution of academic disciplines and their
structure during the last 150 years: Why does the university look like
it does today? Why is the library organized like it is today? 
3.	Current disciplinary changes in method and practice: how
knowledge is acquired, transmitted, and used in fields such as genomics,
proteomics and computational biology 
4.	The emergence of genuinely hybrid disciplines (archaerometrics;
archaeogenetics; music informatics; 3-D laser capture/analysis of art
history objects) 
5.	Large-scale (global) collaborative research (Sloan Digital Sky
Survey; Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO);
Fermilab particle research; Large Hadron project) 
6.	Large-scale digital library projects (US, Australia, UK, EU,
China): goals and implications 
7.	Does the current organization of departments and programs
inhibit progress? 
8.	Copyright and intellectual property in the digital age 
9.	The emerging library as the new (virtual) campus 
10.	The rise of undergraduate research and its effects on libraries
and curricula 
11.	Exemplary innovation: digital libraries and teaching
12.	What the future might hold (wide-open possibilities, pro and
13.	The end of traditional scholarly publishing 
14.	The economics of information: Who will pay for these major
changes in tradition?


For more detailed information about the speakers and program, see


Charles Henry,Ph.D.

Vice Provost and University Librarian

Rice University

P.O. 1892

Houston, Texas 77251-1892

voice: 713.348-4022

fax: 713.348-5258