On October 4, Jim Neal, president-elect of the American Library Association, discussed academic libraries and their relevance in the 21st-century in a lecture called “Library Virtuality, Virtuosity, and Virtuousness: Do Students and Researchers Still Need Libraries?”
Neal’s lecture took place in the Formal Lounge of the Ann M. Olin Women’s Building. The talk was part of the Jack E. & Debbie T. Thomas Endowed Lecture Series honoring Shirley K. Baker, former Vice Chancellor for Scholarly Resources & Dean of University Libraries, who retired in 2012.
Jack Thomas serves as the chairman of WU Libraries’ National Council advisory group and as a member of WU’s Board of Trustees. The Thomas Lecture series brings notable speakers to campus each year to present on a library- or technology-related topic.
In his lecture, Neal talked about the shifting vision of academic libraries and how technology has influenced library services, collections, and outreach. He also stressed the importance of innovation, as libraries adapt to new models of research and learning.
Neal is University Librarian Emeritus at Columbia University. During 2001-2014, he served as vice president for Information Services and as University Librarian at Columbia. Neal has represented the American library community in testimony on copyright matters before congressional committees. A published author, consultant, and frequent speaker, he specializes in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, and library cooperation.