RLUK DSF - Digital poverty, inclusion, & the role of research libraries

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Digital poverty, inclusion, and the role of research libraries: a cross-sector international symposium

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Digital poverty, inclusion, and the role of research libraries: a cross-sector international symposium

This symposium will take a holistic, cross-sector, and international look at the issues of digital poverty and exclusion, and the role of society, higher-education, libraries, and research libraries in particular, in combating these challenges. It will include speakers from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and delegates are encouraged to share their own experiences and insights through a series of facilitated discussions.

This symposium comes alongside RLUK’s other activities to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the research library community, and the ways in which libraries can work collectively and collaboratively to mitigate these. It forms part of RLUK’s Digital Shift Forum, an open and inter-disciplinary forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences regarding the digital shift across the research and information landscapes.

Symposium speakers include:

The societal challenge and response:

  • Catherine Mills, Head of Digital Social Inclusion, The Good Things Foundation
  • Hannah Holmes, Research Associate, Centre for Planning and Housing Research, University of Cambridge
  • Christopher Hale, Director of Policy, Universities UK

Perspectives - The role of libraries in combating digital poverty:

  • Sue Williamson, Director of Libraries, Arts Council England
  • Trevor Dawes, Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums and May Morris University Librarian / University of Delaware, US
  • Joe Lucia, Dean of Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

Collective challenge and response: discussion

This symposium will be chaired and facilitated by:

  • Kirsty Lingstadt, Head of Digital Library and Deputy Director of Libraries and Archives, University of Edinburgh
  • Michelle Blake, Interim Director, Libraries and Archives, University of York

Delegates should come to the session prepared to join a cross-sector and international conversation regarding the role of libraries, and research libraries in particular, as key players in combating digital poverty amongst our users, audiences, and communities, and the institutional and collective actions we can take to do so.


This event will be held via Zoom. Attendees will be sent joining details the day before the event, and should check their junk folders if no email is received.

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