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."