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SYMPOSIUM: “The Future of the Liberal Arts College Library” October 10-12, 2011

October 10-12, 2011The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), in cooperation with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC), announces a symposium on “The Future of the Liberal Arts College Library,” to be held October 10-12, 2011, at Alverno College and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This event is part of the “Leadership through New Communities of Knowledge” project and is made possible through support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Symposium participants will consider how the evolving missions of private liberal arts colleges influence the ways in which their libraries plan and operate. Many of these colleges have added pre-professional, distance education, and adult education programs to the traditional liberal arts curriculum, but their library collections and services do not always evolve in tandem. This symposium will offer staff from small to mid-sized colleges and universities the chance to draw upon each other’s expertise for effecting change at the intersection of libraries and liberal arts colleges. Campus administrators and faculty, as well as librarians and paraprofessionals, are encouraged to attend.

Victor E. Ferrall, Jr., author of Liberal Arts on the Brink, will offer the symposium’s opening keynote. Jessamyn West, author of Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide, will present the symposium’s closing keynote. The general conference sessions will be participant-driven and interactive. A preliminary PDF version of the conference schedule is available here. General themes have been identified for each session; participants will be active contributors to each conversation during the symposium. Some sessions (noted on the schedule) will require advance sign-up and will offer participants the opportunity to begin conversations on specific topics before the symposium. Please visit to sign up for these sessions. If you do not already have a Google account, you will need to sign up for one.

Registration and Hotel Information:

Registration for the symposium is now open here.  The regular registration fee is $240, with discounts for early registrants and attendees employed by a CLIR sponsoring institution.  The discount for early registration will expire at 5 PM Eastern time on August 13. Regular registration will close by September 5, 2011.

A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center for symposium participants. The symposium room rate of $149 per night plus applicable taxes of 15.10% is available from October 10 through October 13.  The rate is available through September 19 for this room block. Click here to reserve a room online at the Hilton.

Support for Symposium Moderators and Note-Takers:

Financial support will be available to participants willing to:

  • moderate at least one discussion section, or
  • to record and compile notes for possible publication or dissemination for at least one session.

Participants selected as moderators or recorders will be provided with up to three nights’ lodging at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center for the duration of the symposium.  They will also receive a $150 stipend for each session they moderate or record, up to a limit of three stipends per participant.

Applicants for stipends should e-mail to indicate their interest in moderating or note-taking at the symposium, identifying their preferred role(s) and session(s), including up to three session titles from the preliminary symposium agenda.  [PDF] Applicants should include a brief (2-3 sentence) justification for their preferences. Slots are limited and subject to availability; CLIR reserves the right to assign participants to sessions as need dictates. For some sessions, moderators and/or note-takers will select and assign readings for session participants. Potential moderators and recorders must apply by August 13, 2011 and have a confirmed conference registration in order to be considered for these roles.

Questions about the symposium or other aspects of the Leadership through New Communities of Knowledge program may be directed to CLIR Program Associate Lori Miller at

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