Assistant Professor Joyce M. Latham will be the opening keynote speaker for the eChicago symposium on Friday April 20 sponsored by the University of Illinois and hosted at UIC in the Student Center East on Halsted Avenue. eChicago is a forum for people to share what is and what could happen to make Chicago not only a digital city, but a more democratic one. The goal of the symposium is digital equality, and connecting people who don’t find each other easily in their daily lives: librarians with community workers and volunteers; students with professionals; social workers and resource workers; campus with community; and government employees with grassroots activists.
Latham’s invitation recognizes her experience as the first Director of Information Technology for the Chicago Public Library, as well as her academic research on the engagement of the public librarian with their library patrons, particularly in the city of Chicago.
The symposium will examine librarians as activists in both the historical and contemporary perspective, as well as ways in which libraries empower members of their communities. Echoing Norton Long, who said "The free access to ideas that the public library stands for is radically subversive” Latham will explore how libraries continue to serve as information switching stations for their communities.
Past and continuing organizers and contributors include: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Chicago/Jane Addams College of Social Work, the Daley Library, and the Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement, The Arturo Velasquez Institute Digital Workforce Education Society, The Benton Foundation, The Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Public Library, The Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Metropolitan Library System, Partnership for a Connected Illinois, and Skokie Public Library.
To register for the free symposium, see a list of other speakers and sessions, or to read about past events visit http://echicago.illinois.edu