Migrations in Society, Culture, and the Library

WESS European Conference, Paris, March 22-26 2004

WESS Newsletter

Fall 2002, Vol. 26, no. 1

Association of College & Research Libraries
© American Library Association

The WESS Migrations conference will set the course for Western European collection building in the new millennium and offer participating European and North American librarians outstanding opportunities for professional growth and encounter. In the space of just one week, participants will:

About the conference: Since the seismic transformations to the map of Europe of the late 1980s and early 90s, librarians on both sides of the Atlantic have become increasingly aware that traditional, nation-based collection strategies are inadequate to reflect and address the consequences of change. Canons in all fields of scholarly and cultural endeavor explode as monolithic cultures become multicultures. Borders become porous and disappear, while airports become the new borders of Europe. The impoverished and population-rich countries of Africa and Asia become the new, immediate neighbors of wealthy Western European countries, even as Eastern Europe and Western Europe co-mingle again, restoring a sense of community unknown since the 1930s.

"Migration" in its broadest sense also includes the transformation of the materials libraries must acquire and the tools they use to provide storage and access. Monomedia become multimedia. Film and video rival the printed word as carriers of meaning. And the Internet transforms even the most substantial and influential documents of our age into ephemera‹here today and lost forever tomorrow‹unless our libraries recognize, capture, and preserve them.

The WESS Migrations conference will address the opportunities and tensions all of these changes bring to Western Europe, its libraries'collections and services, and to North American libraries that support the study of Western Europe.

Come to Paris in March 2004! With an expected attendance of some 200 librarians and other professionals, the WESS Migrations conference will be a major event in Western European studies, attracting notable American and European participation‹as its famous predecessor did, the first WESS conference on European soil held in Florence, Italy, in 1988. Well-known cultural historian Roger Chartier has already agreed to be a speaker.

The Call for Papers will be published this fall. Please be on the lookout for it!

Tentative Schedule:

Monday, March 22: Registration
Tuesday, March 23 Visit and Sessions at the Salon du Livre
Wednesday, March 24 Sessions and Panels
Thursday, March 25 Sessions and Panels
Friday, March 26 Site Visits
Saturday, March 27 Site Visits

Potential Site Visits: These were suggested by the respondents to the survey we conducted last spring (the numbers refer to the number of people who suggested the same thing)

If you have additional suggestions or contacts, please contact Sarah Wenzel and Caroline Szylowicz. For more information and Planning Committee members, see http://www.library.jhu.edu/rsd/other/wess2004/wess2004.html

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