National experts to discuss digital disruption in libraries, schools, businesses, Nov. 6

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Nov. 6 panel at URI free, open to public

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 29, 2013 — National experts will join Rhode Island librarians, educators and business professionals for a daylong examination of how digital media is creating disruptive change – and opportunity – for the state’s key institutions.

From Ranganathan to Read/Write: Managing Digital Disruption in Libraries, Schools and Workplaces, will take place Wednesday, Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy, 7 Greenhouse Road, Kingston Campus. The event is free and open to the public and includes lunch. Registration is required.

For information and registration, go to

“Thanks to the Internet and digital media, boundaries among readers and writers are dissolving not just in libraries, but in schools and the workplace as well,” says Renee Hobbs, founding director of URI’s Harrington School of Communication & Media, which has organized the symposium. “The work of educators, workplace media professionals, technologists and librarians encompasses new intersections and synergies. We have much to learn from (and with) each other.”

The symposium will include circle-round discussion, breakouts, a film and digital tools presentations. It kicks off the education component of a research project funded by a $50,000 planning grant from the Rhode Island Foundation called “Digital City Rhode Island.” The project seeks to establish the state within a decade as an East Coast hub for digital media design, production and education.

Why the name Raganathan? In 1931, Indian mathematician and librarian S.R. Ranganathan proposed five laws widely accepted as foundational to library science and practice: (1) Books are for use. (2) Every reader his [or her] book. (3) Every book its reader. (4) Save the time of the reader. (5) The library is a growing organism.

“All institutions – libraries, schools, workplaces – have legacy rules now being disrupted by Internet-spawned, digital-media driven, read-write culture or marketplaces,” says Bill Densmore, a consulting researcher to URI’s Harrington School of Communication & Media who is working on the Digital City Rhode Island effort. “We want to ask the question: How might we use the challenge of modernizing Ranganathan’s Laws to react to the blurring boundaries among readers, writers, librarians and creative media professionals in multiple environments?”

Digital-media researchers, students and concerned citizens are welcome to join the event by registering.

Key participants from the states of Washington, New York, Connecticut and Georgia, will include:

• Karen A. Perry, a principal, Clarion Digital, former senior program officer, Libraries, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

• Troy Hicks, assistant professor, Central Michigan University, National Writing Project and author, “Crafting Digital Writing” and “The Digital Writing Workshop”

• Sydnye Cohen, technology integrator, New Canaan [Conn.] High School and former library media specialist

• Rebecca Burnett, director, Georgia Tech Institute of Technology, Writing and Communication program.