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Conference Builds Shared Vision of Libraries’ Future

Dean of Libraries, Danuta A. Nitecki, addresses attendees at the close of the conference.

Philadelphia, PA (July 25, 2011) – Drexel University Libraries concluded a milestone event towards shaping the future of the organization on Thursday, July 21, 2011. The event, a Future Search conference, brought together nearly 60 people, representing the diverse stakeholders of the Libraries, at the Queen Lane campus of the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Highly interactive, the process took a holistic look at the theme, The Future of Drexel’s Libraries: Advancing the University’s Strategic Transformation. Attendees reviewed shared past and present experiences to reach a common ground in identifying an exciting future for the Libraries.  This new future emphasizes collaboration, leadership, integration of technologies and curation of information resources, as well as the development of innovative spaces to advance teaching, learning and scholarship at Drexel and in the broader communities. This was accomplished through working exercises, small group discussions and creative reporting of insights.

The three-day conference concluded with dozens of strategies towards achieving the desired future for the Libraries and a high level of energy and enthusiasm among the participants. The room where the conference was held was papered with sheets documenting the process and ideas generated. These ideas will be transcribed and the results will lead to a major planning activity for the Libraries with direct implications towards the University strategic plan.

Participants, before leaving the conference on Thursday afternoon, were asked to sign up for strategies they felt most committed to support. These dedicated individuals, through their support of these initiatives, will have an opportunity to become key contributors and ambassadors for the future of the Libraries.

Trained future search consultants Gerry Gorelick and Suzanne Noll, Manager of Training and Development with Drexel University’s Human Resources department, facilitated the conference.

About Future Search
Future search is a unique planning meeting, used worldwide, by hundreds of communities and organizations. It meets two goals at the same time: helping large diverse groups discover values, purpose, and projects they hold in common, and enables people to create a desired future together and to start working toward it right away. The meeting design comes from theories and principles tested in many cultures for the past 50 years. It relies on mutual learning among stakeholders as a catalyst for voluntary action and follow-up. The conference is designed with principles that enable people to work together without having to defend or sell a particular agenda and this opens new opportunities for creating a shared future.

Images from the conference are available online at the Libraries' flickr page.

 

Article by: Jenny James Lee with contributions from Danuta A. Nitecki and Gerry Gorelick.
News Contacts: Jenny James Lee, Library Marketing & Events Associate at 215-571-4095 or jennyjames@drexel.edu

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