The role that libraries will play in an age where technology has given users diverse learning tools will be examined at a forum Tuesday (Oct. 10) evening in Palo Alto.
"Collaborators of the Future: Libraries, Communities and Information" will look at the future of libraries as they adapt to new resources and strive to maintain their stake as information hubs.
The city's library system has updated its branches over the past few years with robots that greet visitors and 3-D printers, which were paid for through a Pacific Library Partnership grant, city officials said.
The event will feature a presentation from Miguel Figueroa, director of the American Library Association's Center for the Future of Libraries, where he is responsible for looking at trends around demographics, education levels and other factors that can affect libraries. He formerly served as the Chicago-based association's director for Office for Diversity and Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.
"I'd like to get away from the idea that 'we' (anyone) is going to come up with the library of the future and instead help audience members understand that libraries have evolved through the development of the profession, the interests of communities, and the evolution of information," Figueroa said in a press release.
Other presenters include Sandra Hirsh, director and professor of the San Jose State University's School of Information, whose research is based on information-seeking behavior and information needs; and Dan Russell, a research scientist at Google.
Russell runs a blog called "SearchResearch," which examines how people learn how to research and manages a team at the Mountain View-based company that compiles materials with instructions on how to conduct online searches.
The Palo Alto Weekly's City Hall reporter Gennady Sheyner will moderate a question-and-answer session after the presentations.
The event was proposed by the city's Library Advisory Commission and is sponsored by Friends of the Palo Alto Library. The talk is scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Palo Alto Art Center auditorium, 1313 Newell Road.