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De Lange Conference on Emerging Libraries: Notes, Part 2

11:30 a.m. “Born Digital: Egypt’s New Bibliotheca Alexandrina”
Noha Adly, Director of Information and Communication Technology Department and International School of Information Science, research center, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Doing an incredible amount of creation of digital libraries, especially on Egyptian topics. Web site is

2:00 p.m. “Transforming the National Library for 21st Century Service”
Deanna B. Marcum, associate librarian for library services, Library of Congress

Examining the myths versus the realities about the Library of Congress. Is it a library of last resort or first stop? What obligations does it have related to national bibliographic control? What is the role of the space and how much does it define the LoC? What is their preservation role? Do they focus on heavily used materials or more rare and specialized ones? Found that American Memory Project wasn’t reaching the audience they hoped for – i.e., K-12 sector. Too hard to use. Also, is LoC a national library or Congress’ library? Not defined officially as a national library.

Admitted that she didn’t handle the recent statement that LoC wouldn’t do series authority work any more well enough – that she failed to consult people and consider the perceived role in bibliographic control. Has created a group that will be working through this year, with reps from library associations, Google, and Microsoft. Having public hearings, also have Web site where people can speak up.

Now looking at how LoC can get to its strategic goals. Be more user-oriented, continue preservation, manage for results, lead library field. Having to work extensively with staff training; many are not prepared for 21st century library.

3:30 p.m. “The Incredible Journey – Building Great Libraries for the Digital Age”
Lynne J. Brindley, Chief Executive, British Library

Have major legacy of dealing with print materials. They are statutorily involved in collecting British publications, now including digital. How do they change so they can combine both? Government has difficulty accepting that new functionalities can’t substitute for old, both needed. However, do we really need to continue to do everything or are we just not wanting to let go of some things?

Working with JISC on archival sound recordings. London: a Life in Maps is something they’re working on with Google Maps. Opening biggest new display soon – “Sacred” about Christian, Islam, and Judaic sacred texts, of which they have the greatest collections in the world. Also Magna Carta interactive display, theater display. Experimenting with wiki technology, encourage growth of communities of knowledge around the Catalog.

Are working on some projects to accommodate the long tail of collection access. For example, have digitized 3 million pages of historic British newspapers. However, they have 750 million pages; very hard to find the resources to seriously expand. Sustainability is one of the biggest challenges.