This week Australian librarians have received notice of the keynote speakers for the VALA 2010 which is being held in Melbourne in February 2010. I'm biased, but with speakers of this calibre, VALA2010 is shaping up to be the best Library IT conference in this part of the world.
As well as these six international keynote speakers, VALA2010 will feature a number of new and practical programmes sessions, so watch the VALA2010 web site for details. And yes, the very popular VALA L-Plate series of introductory presentations (free for VALA delegates) is coming back in 2010. The Conference will also feature quality papers from the Australian, US, New Zealand, and South East Asian library and information sectors.
Here is a list of the VALA2010 keynote speakers. Even though these people are internationally recognised and respected, I think more detailed blog postings on each may be in order.
Karen Calhoun is Vice President, OCLC WorldCat and Metadata Services. In this role, she is charged with charting a course for the future of cataloging and metadata services and extending WorldCat’s global reach. With a background at OCLC and at Cornell University, Ms. Calhoun is active professionally in research and as a speaker. Recently Ms. Calhoun was principal investigator for The Changing Nature of the Catalog and its Integration with Other Discovery Tools, a Library of Congress-commissioned study that proposed new directions for the library catalog in the digital era. See also http://www.oclc.org/reports/onlinecatalogs/summary.htm.
Xiaolin Zhang is Executive Director of the National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences, one of the largest research libraries in China. He has also been active at the national level for coordinated and collaborative development of digital libraries, for strategic planning of the National Scientific Information Platform, for promotion and experimentation of knowledge-oriented services, and for leading the national effort in digital library standards. He led the large scale study of copyright issues and policies for the Chinese Science Digital Library, was one of the first to be involved in the Open Access movement, and was instrumental in organising Chinese studies on digital preservation policies and infrastructure. He has been a Governing Board Member of IFLA and is a Standing Committee Member of Asia and Oceania Section on 2005. See http://www.las.ac.cn/zxl.
Stephanie Orlic is head of the Unit "Projects and Partnerships outside the museum", in the Multimedia division of the Cultural Production Department at the Musée du Louvre. Stephanie is in charge of the joint Louvre - DNP Museum Lab project (
http://www.museumlab.jp/english), which is using geospatial tagging, mobile devices, and multilingual systems to engage with patrons. A graduate in Art History and in Information and Communication Sciences, she worked in multimedia companies with the audiovisual group CANAL+ before arriving at the Louvre in 2005, where she has been working on the issues of multimedia mediation for art museums.
Marshall Breeding is the Director for Innovative Technologies and Research from Vanderbilt University (http://staffweb.library.vanderbilt.edu/breeding). Marshall is also the person behind http://www.librarytechnology.org, as well as being the author of the annual survey into library automated systems, and of a number of important ALA Library Technology reports on open source ILS and next generation catalogues.
Lee Rainie is the Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a non-profit, non–partisan "fact tank" that studies the social impact of the internet. Lee is a co-author of Up for Grabs: The Future of the Internet, Hopes and Fears, and the forthcoming Ubiquity, Mobility, Security, a series of books about the future of the internet published by Cambria Press and based on Project surveys. Lee is also co-authoring a book for MIT Press about the social impact of technology with sociologist Barry Wellman that will be published in 2010. The working title is Connected Lives: The New Social Network Operating System. An internationally respected speaker, Lee gave the opening keynote address at the recent 2009 US Computers in Libraries conference. For further details on Lee, see http://www.pewinternet.org/Experts/Lee-Rainie.aspx.
McKenzie (Ken) Wark is the Associate Professor of Media Studies, Eugene Lang College and the New School for Social Research (http://www.newschool.edu/lang/faculty.aspx?id=23748). Ken is a theorist of media and new media with interests in new media technology, intellectual property, computer games, and new media art and culture. He is the author of A Hacker Manifesto (2004), Gamer Theory (2007), and other works. Ken was a member of the Nettime network of new media artists, theorists, and activists for many years and served as co-editor of their anthology Readme! (1999). He has also worked with the Institute for the Future of the Book http://www.futureofthebook.org/mckenziewark.
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The Main Announcement and Registration Brochure will be available in August 2009 - contact the VALA Conference Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the list to receive a copy.