China Hosts Academic Library Leadership Conference
Several hundred participants in the “International Conference on Leadership and Innovative Management in Academic Libraries” gather on the steps of Tongji University in Shanghai, China, on day one of the meeting, beneath a banner proclaiming the conference title. Photo by Min Chou
During an area library tour, Michael Huang (left), Jim Rettig, Min Chou, and Marianne Gaunt visit the lotus-shaped Suzhou University Library.
Nearly 200 academic library leaders from five continents came together at Tongji University in Shanghai, China, for the International Conference on Leadership and Innovative Management in Academic Libraries in the Age of New Technology, held April 24–28, 2012. Attendees from Greater China traveled from the Mainland, Hong Kong, and Macao.
The conference was jointly organized by Tongji University in Shanghai, China, and the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, and cosponsored by ALA’s International Relations Committee and International Relations Round Table.
Gang Pei, president of Tongji University and member of the Science Board of China,and Jiang Wu, vice president for academic affairs, provided opening remarks. Conference keynotes featured Jim Rettig, ALA past president and library director and associate dean for information services at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland; Marianne Gaunt, vice president for information services and university librarian at Rutgers (N.J.) University; Qiang Zhu, professor and director of the Peking University Library in Beijing; and Xiaolin Zhang, professor and director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences National Science Library in Beijing.
The conference provided a lively forum for dynamic and thoughtful presentations and debate covering issues of leadership vision, management innovation, application of new technologies, digital resource building, the transformation of libraries in meeting the challenges of evolving technology, and the changing expectations of users and institutions. It inspired innovative thinking and approaches to addressing emerging issues and challenges that affect libraries today. Conference sessions proved interesting, inspiring and enlightening.
The success of this conference was also marked by the creation of a series of initiatives and plans for academic libraries in China and around the world to execute in order to meet and embrace the challenges in today’s digital age. Downloads of conference are available here.
MIN CHOU, 2011–2012 president of the Chinese American Librarians Association, is a librarian at New Jersey City University’s Frank J. Guarini Library in Jersey City.