James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian at Columbia, will receive the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta at convocation ceremonies on the Edmonton campus on June 8, 2010.
The announcement notes the following: "Columbia University librarian James Neal has spent 35 years at the vanguard of the analog to digital transformation of modern libraries. He has contributed to important advances in electronic teaching and learning, copyright policy, preservation and archiving. Leading the debate on intellectual property policy and open access to scholarly research, he continues to promote an expanding role for libraries in the 21st century."
In announcing the honorary degrees, Linda Hughes, chancellor of the University of Alberta stated, "it gives me great pleasure to announce an outstanding slate of leading minds and talented people whose service to society inspires our community." Others receiving honorary degrees will be Brewster Kahle, co-founder and director of the Internet Archive, and Kay Raseroka, library director at the University of Botswana and the first African president of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.
In addition to speaking at the convocation, Neal will also be the keynote speaker at the gala campus dinner on the evening of June 8 on the theme "Celebrating the Research Library."
Columbia University Libraries/Information Services is one of the top five academic research library systems in North America. The collections include over 10 million volumes, over 100,000 journals and serials, as well as extensive electronic resources, manuscripts, rare books, microforms, maps, graphic and audio-visual materials. The services and collections are organized into 22 libraries and various academic technology centers. The Libraries employs more than 550 professional and support staff. The website of the Libraries is the gateway to its services and resources: library.columbia.edu.