Seas of Change: Navigating the Cultural and Institutional Contexts of Special Collections
The 50th Annual Preconference of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the
Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association
Wednesday June 17 through Saturday June 20, 2009
As the 50th anniversary of the RBMS preconference, this year represents an important moment in the history of RBMS and its affiliated professions. In addition to celebrating our achievements, we will also look broadly at how special collections librarianship has evolved over the past half century with respect to changes in social, cultural, technological, economic, and academic environments, and – more importantly – how we will need to respond to such changes in the future. The main preconference program will explore the various cultural and institutional contexts in which we work, including academic research universities and research communities, professional organizations and library education, collecting and the book trade, publishing and the popular consumption of print materials, and domestic and international library systems.
For this we return to Charlottesville and the University of Virginia, where the first RBMS preconference was held during the same dates in June, 1959.
Selected digital content now available on the RBMS Website.
News and Highlights
Registration opened on February 20. As of June 4, 368 people have registered for the entire preconference and another 24 have registered for selected days. Including speakers and bookseller exhibitors there will be around 450 people at the event. This marks a new RBMS record for preconference attendance!
Full preconference registrations for the past five years:
2009 - 368
2008 - 348
2007 - 330
2006 - 339
2005 - 248
Downloadable maps of the conference facilities and local bus routes have been added to the Travel section. A downloadable restaurant guide has been added to the Events section as well as listing of Friday "Restaurant Night" group outings.
In keeping with the 50th anniversary theme, RBMS members and ACRL are partnering to offer a special "Golden Leaders" initiative to bring retired section leaders to the preconference in addition to offering scholarships to first-time attendees. As of March 27, we have met and exceeded our scholarship fundraising goal, qualifying us for full matching funds from our challenge partnership with ACRL and bringing our total scholarship award pool to $16,285! See our "50 for 50" fundraising campaign section for details. Donations above our 2009 goal are now being added to our challenge match for 2010 scholarships. As of May 21, we have already raised $1,230 toward next year's campaign.
Congratulations to our 21 scholarship attendees!
A booksellers' showcase featuring 30 members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) will be held on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. though 8:00 p.m. at the main preconference venue, the Omni Charlottesville Hotel.
Workshops, tours, receptions and other events are scheduled throughout the three and half day preconference, offering attendees opportunities to enhance their professional skills, network with one another, and visit local attractions.
Attendees will have an opportunity to join one of five discussion sessions on a variety of issues. Wikis for these sessions have been established in order to generate some discussion prior to the Preconference to help gather current perspectives and questions and to encourage participation by those who will not be attending.
A variety of Rare Book School courses will be offered the week before and the week after the preconference. See also the announcement about the farewell reception for RBS founding director Terry Belanger that will be held on Saturday afternoon, June 20.
Facebook and Twitter / Internet Access
Free wireless Internet access will be available in the Omni Hotel guest rooms and meeting rooms (access code will be: RBMS), but will not be available to audience members in the UVa meeting rooms; nevertheless you may be able to pick up subscription wireless and broadband services in these locations. Several area coffee shops also offer free wireless (see the restaurant guide in the printed program you will receive at registration). In addition, with the recent completion of the renovation of Charlottesville's Downtown Pedestrian Mall, free wifi service has been activated throughout the public areas of the entire Mall.