NYU Libraries will host a conversation about the changing role of the library in the 21st century

Bobst Interior. Copyright Olivo, Courtesy of NYU Photo Bureau

NYU Libraries will host a conversation about the changing role of the library in the 21st century with professor, cultural critic, and media scholar Siva Vaidyanathan; librarian for research data management and reproducibility, Vicky Steeves; and author and librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library, Melissa Morrone. The discussion will be moderated by Shannon Mattern, professor & author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities and will be held Wednesday, February 26 at NYU’s Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 8th floor, 70 Washington Square South.

This event is the second in a new series called "Think in Public: Libraries in the Life of Cities and Communities," which will explore the different roles that libraries can play in the lives of cities, individuals, and culture at large. This discussion will explore he role Facebook, Google and other web technologies play in shaping our civic discourse; the need for new literacies in digital information and data privacy; and issues related to copyright and scholarly communications.  

All events in the series will be a partnership between NYU Libraries, Public Books, and the Institute of Public Knowledge at NYU. The first event in the series was a conversation between Louise Bernard, Director of the Obama Presidential Center Museum, and Eric Klinenberg, Director of the Institute for Public Knowledge, the Helen Gould Shepard Professor in the Social Sciences at NYU, and author of Palaces for the People about the issues that arise around civic life and social infrastructure when libraries and cities intersect. Future events will explore the responsibility of libraries to serve as public spaces.

“Think in Public: Digital Praxis and the Role of Libraries in the Digital Age” will be held February 26 from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 8th floor, 70 Washington Square South. Please click here to RSVP. Reporters wishing to attend should contact Sarah Binney at 212.998.6829 or sarah.binney@nyu.edu.

Learn more about the speakers:
Siva Vaidhyanathan
is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy  (Oxford University Press, 2018). He also wrote Intellectual Property: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2017), and The Googlization of Everything -- and Why We Should Worry (University of California Press, 2011). He has written two previous books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn Thomas) the collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).

Vicky Steeves is the Librarian for Research Data Management and Reproducibility for NYU Libraries and the Center for Data Science. Her research centers on integrating reproducible practices into the research workflow, advocating openness in all facets of research (manuscripts, code, data, analysis tools, etc.), and building/contributing to open infrastructure.​ She is the co-founder of the LIS Scholarship Archive, a repository for library and information science scholarship.

Melissa Morrone is Supervising Librarian in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons at Brooklyn Public Library. She has worked on the Data Privacy Project and other initiatives to connect library staff with resources supporting digital privacy literacy. Melissa is also the editor of Informed Agitation: Library and Information Skills in Social Justice Movements and Beyond and Human Operators: A Critical Oral History on Technology in Libraries and Archives, both from Library Juice Press.

Shannon Mattern is a Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. Her writing and teaching focus on archives, libraries, and other media spaces; media infrastructures; spatial epistemologies; and mediated sensation and exhibition. She is the author of The New Downtown Library: Designing with Communities, Deep Mapping the Media City, and Code and Clay, Data and Dirt: Five Thousand Years of Urban Media, all published by University of Minnesota Press. In addition to writing dozens of articles and book chapters, she also contributes a regular long-form column about urban data and mediated infrastructures to Places, a journal focusing on architecture, urbanism, and landscape, and she collaborates on public design and interactive projects and exhibitions.  

About NYU Libraries
From the time of its founding in 1831 until 1973, New York University housed its library collections in various campus locations. A major gift from Elmer Holmes Bobst and his wife, Mamdouha, enabled the university to bring its various collections together in a new library on Washington Square in 1973. The striking, 12-story Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, designed by Philip Johnson and Richard Foster, is the flagship of a 10-library system that provides students and faculty members with access to the world’s scholarship. Located on Washington Square South, Bobst Library is at the center of the University community’s intellectual life. When school is in session, Bobst receives 10,500 visits per day; a total of 3 million visits annually.

Press Contact

Sarah Binney
Sarah Binney
(212) 998-6829