The opening keynote will be from Michael Lesk, the recently-appointed Director of Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. Michael is on leave from Bellcore to NSF, and recently authored the book Practical Digital Libraries: Books, Bytes and Bucks. The ARPA/NASA/NSF digital libraries program, now in its final year, has played an important role in advancing our thinking about digital libraries and creating a digital libraries research community. Recently, NSF, in conjunction with ARPA and a number of other federal agencies, has announced Digital Libraries 2, the next phase of the Digital Libraries program, as well as the broad-based Knowledge and Distributed Intelligence (KDI) program; both of these will be major forces in shaping the direction of networked information in the coming years.
As well as giving the opening keynote, Michael has agreed to stay for a discussion breakout session, giving attendees an opportunity to discuss digital library issues in depth. There are also several other breakouts that are particularly relevant to the digital library area, including a session chaired by David Green of the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) on the role of Humanities in the digital library programs, and a session from the University of Michigan — one of the six original digital library projects — on how work on their project is transitioning into operational systems at Michigan.
Closing the meeting on Wednesday we are fortunate to be able to hear from Professor Janet Murray of MIT. Janet, who is the author of the recent delightful and important book Hamlet on the Holodeck (which I highly recommend), will speak about the future of narrative forms in digital media. Her work offers important insights on new genres for digital documents and the construction of instructional technology content, as well as a fresh understanding of how we read and learn in the digital culture. Janet has a long and distinguished career which includes an extensive involvement in digital media, including work with the MIT Athena project.