A Palo Alto forum tonight on community libraries of the future has suffered from some old-fashioned scheduling problems: Two panelists could not make it at the last minute and scrambled for substitutes. A fourth panelist also has been added.
Two highly credentialed substitutes stepped in to replace the absent panelists for the "Forum on Technology and Community Libraries," scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. tonight in the Palo Alto Art Center auditorium, 1313 Newell Road (at Embarcadero Road). The free public forum is sponsored by the Library Advisory Commission and the Palo Alto City Library.
"Visionary leaders from the technology and library worlds will provide perspectives on current an imminent technology trends, offering insight into what these trends mean for public libraries," Library Director Diane Jennings said of the forum.
The one original panelist is Sandra Hirsh, a Palo Alto resident who once chaired the city's Library Advisory Commission but who now is the recently appointed director of School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. She earlier worked for Microsoft and Hewlett Packard. At Microsoft she led a team of designers and researchers focusing on user experiences with new technologies, especially in a mobile environment. At HP she directed the Information Research Program at HP Labs and managed a "Surveying the Digital Future" project.
The added panelist is Kathy Page of Page & Moris library building consultants of San Francisco. For the past 14 years, Page has worked on designing and redesigning libraries throughout California and in other states -- including the recent renovation and expansion of the Berkeley Public Library's four branches and a building program for Santa Clara's new Northside Library. She worked for 25 years as a public librarian prior to becoming a consultant. She received a B.A. degree from Stanford University in 1971 and a master's degree in library science from the University of California , Berkeley, in 1972.
One of the replacement panelists is Paula McKinnon, information systems manager and "virtual library" team manager for the Contra Costa County Library, has 17 years experience developing and managing "usable, content-rich websites, information portals and library systems." From 1993 to 2006 she was a regular contributor to Information Highways, Canada's leading magazine for e-content professionals, and has an upcoming article in Library HiTech News. In 1996 she was profiled in Information Today's "Secrets of the Super Net Searchers" article, in which author Reva Basch called her "one of 35 of the world's top Internet researchers." She replaces Cathy Sanford, also of Contra Costa Library.
The second replacement panelist is Don Clancy, engineering director for Google Book Search and a longtime technologist and computer scientist. He is former director of the Exploration Technologies Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. He joined Google in 2005. At Google, he played a leading role in a class-action settlement in October 2009 in a copyright lawsuit by authors and publishers. He has a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from the University of Texas at Austin. He received a B.A. in computer science and theater from Duke University in 1985.
The panel will be moderated by Weekly Editor Jay Thorwaldson, who has written about or participated in community library discussions in Palo Alto since the mid-1960s.
There will be time for questions and comments from the audience.