Around the World: Libraries, Archives and Public Life


The Kule Institute for Advanced Study (KIAS) and the School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS) at the University of Alberta are helping bring together a conversation on Libraries, Archives, and Public Life from universities around the world, including speakers from Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Malta, Scotland and the United States:

Paul Arthur, Professor, Digital Humanities, School of Humanities & Comm Arts, Western Sydney University, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Guylaine Beaudry, University Librarian, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Michael Carroll, Director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, Washington College of Law, American University, Washington DC, USA

Richard J. Cox, Professor, School of Library and Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Alice Crawford, Digital Humanities Research Librarian, University of St. Andrews Library, St. Andrews, Scotland

Brendan Edwards, Head, Library & Archives, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Mario Hibert, Lecturer, Department of Comparative Literature and Librarianship, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marc Kosciejew, Head of Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, Regional Business Centre University of Malta, Malta

Konstantina Martzoukou, Course Leader, MSc Information & Library Studies, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland

Nigel A Raab, Associate Professor of History, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, California, USA

Seamus Ross, Interim Director, Coach House Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Frank Tough, Associate Dean (Academic) and Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Sam Trosow, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

and others, including graduate students from the MLIS program at the University of Alberta.

In the digital age libraries and archives, arguably more vital than ever, are contested entities and commodities. Technologies can be great boons or severe limitations. The world of information is enlarged or shrunk depending on the availability, scope and distribution of services. Just as influential are geo-political location and a funding climate. Not all sectors and, in fact, not all populations enjoy equal influence and benefits. Concerns about access, sustainability and preservation affect and often determine the content, media and technology housed within libraries and archives. The social construction of knowledge and information behaviour emerge as key ways of understanding the changing roles of libraries and archives as meeting, creating and thinking spaces. The internet conference will explore these suggestive themes by attending to a central question: what are the implications for public life?

Background: The Around the World forum, organized for the fourth time this year, is an experiment that brings together scholars from around the globe to talk about digital culture without the environmental cost of traditional conferences. Institutes and researchers are invited to participate either through presenting or by joining in the discussion. The conference is live-streamed world-wide and archived after the event.

For further information and the archived talks from previous years please see: