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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The future of the past

Today, I attended the following professional talk organised by NLB Professional & International Relations (PIR):

Topic : ‘The future of the past’: how the Bodleian is facing the changing role of libraries as storehouses and knowledge and engines for scholarship

Speaker : Mr Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian, Bodleian Libraries
Date  : 13 June 2012 Wednesday
Time : 10.30am – 11.45am (Please be seated by 10.15am.)
Venue : Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library Building

I enjoyed the talk and find it very inspiring as Mr Richard Ovenden gave a detailed account of the current challenges and future development of the Bodleian libraries. 

The way the libraries managed the changing role of libraries as storehouses and knowledge and engines for scholarship, moving a collection of 8 million books to a salt mine 100 miles away is something I cannot forget.  With the relocation of physical collection, the Bodleian Libraries is able to keep the libraries in Oxford University for readers who enjoyed studying, accessing e-resources and working in the library.

On the topic on "space and place", the question and answer is insightful for me to take note and share with readers here:

* Given the abundance of digital, does library space continue to be important?

* Yes! 

As statistics from around the world continue to demonstrate library space continue to be important as readers like to read or study in the library as the physical library give the following positive input:

- ablilty to concentrate
- social aspect of collective concentration
- atmosphere of "study" very important to learners
- library as safe place to study
- libraries "inspire" learning  through archtecture and design

Even accessing e-resources or databases which is available online anywhere, the "collective concontration" the physical library provide to hard to gain elsewhere!

Speaker’s Profile

Richard Ovenden was educated at Durham University and University College London, and has worked as a professional librarian since 1985. 

He has served on the staff of Durham University Library, the House of Lords Library, the National Library of Scotland (as Deputy Head of the Rare Books Section), at the University of Edinburgh (as Director of Collections), and since 2003 at the Bodleian Libraries Oxford (first as Keeper of Special Collections and since 2011 as Deputy Librarian, the Bodleian Libraries).

Richard sits on the Panel of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, is a Trustee of the Krazsna Kraus  Foundation and of the Victoria County History for Oxfordshire, serves on the Council of the Bibliographical Society and is currently Chair of the Digital Preservation Coalition. 

He has published widely on the history of collecting, the history of photography and on professional concerns of the library, archive, and information world. 

Recently Richard headed Oxford’s involvement with the Google mass digitization project. He holds a Professorial Fellowship at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.

LAS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points: 46

Source of information:
email from dated 8 June 2012

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