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Future-Proofing the Research Library: Sarah Thomas Delivers Judith Nadler Vision Lecture

Sarah Thomas and Judith Nadler, image © American Library Association

On May 22, 2014, Sarah Thomas, vice president for the Harvard Library and Roy E. Larsen librarian for the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, presented the inaugural Judith Nadler Vision Lecture at the University of Chicago’s Joseph Regenstein Library. Thomas’s lecture, “Future-Proofing the Research Library,” explored the ways in which research libraries are adapting to change. As part of her presentation, she provided an overview of ARL”s strategic thinking and design work.

According to George M. Eberhart in a May 26 The Scoop blog post for American Libraries, Thomas observed that “ARL’s blueprint will serve as a primary document for future-proofing the research library, encouraging the development of such services as coordinated and collaborative management of collections, scholarly publishing at scale, data mining, innovation laboratories, and expanded staff skills.”

Eberhart noted that Thomas concluded her lecture with a tribute to Nadler, who is retiring June 30 as director and university librarian at the University of Chicago Library. Thomas said that, in order to remain relevant, academic libraries need to clone the “spirit that Judith Nadler has instilled in those around her to do better.”

Update as of June 16, 2014: Video of Sarah Thomas’s lecture is now available via the University of Chicago YouTube channel: