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Nominations for Strategic Conversations Working Group

Dear All

I am pleased to invite nominations for the Strategic Conversations Working Group. The Strategic Conversations series is designed to inform the strategic direction of the Library and foster a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration among staff, faculty, and others in our community. It aims to engage members of the Library Board and Faculty Advisory Council with issues that are facing libraries in general and the Harvard Library in particular in the emerging digital age. 

During 2011-2012 the Library planned and hosted a number of events badged under Strategic Conversations. Now, with the Harvard Library in its second year of existence, the series will enter a new phase. We will organize a number of activities in 2014  centered around three inter-related topics: the future of libraries; architecture for libraries that fosters creativity and collaboration; and advances in digital information management and services.

The Strategic Conversations series will serve as professional development opportunities for staff and they will also increase understanding of faculty and administrators of the issues confronting libraries today. They should reinforce our strategic priorities and assist us in communicating them to our stakeholders and users. One of the measures of success of the series will be the impact these sessions have on our environment. To maximize the impact the talks, workshops, or symposia should be publicized widely, and to ensure attendance by key individuals, we should seek to involve them in planning, in moderating, and in participating in our activities. The events will be followed by a reception where the audience can continue discussion and interact with each other. 

We already have two talks scheduled for this year:

Nancy Fried Foster will speak on Ethnography & Academic Libraries: Assessment and Design (February 24, 2014, 10:30 am, Askwith Hall, first floor, Longfellow Hall, GSE.

Michael Cotta-Schoenberg will speak on The History of the World Library from the year 2040 to 2090 on June 17.  Place and time to be determined.

In addition, Mary Clare Altenhofen, Ann Whiteside, and Susan Fliss have already begun to explore speakers for the architecture subseries, and we hope to have some names to announce shortly.

If you or someone you recommend is interested in serving on this working group, please let me know by March 1.  I’ll look forward to working with you.

With best wishes,



Sarah E. Thomas
Vice President for the Harvard Library
Roy E. Larsen Librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences