A perspective by Cathy Wilt, Executive Director of PALINET
As we discussed ideas for a futures conference, it quickly became apparent that if we want to know the future of libraries then we need to look at the future of our world. What will that world look like? How will life as we know it change? How will we communicate? What tools will be available? What needs will our customers have?

We decided to seek out visionaries from all walks of life and bring them together with a small group of colleagues from our field to begin a discussion that will impact libraries well into the next decade. We imagined a morphing of information, inspiration, and imagination that will transform the way we look at our future. With such lofty aspirations, we recognized we also need to build a solid foundation that will serve as a concrete plan with which to move forward.

The result: The Mid-Atlantic Library Futures Conference – a groundbreaking partnership between the NJ, PA, MD, WV, and DE state libraries and PALINET, May 7 and 8, 2007, at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City.

An event where speakers will share their vision, small groups will explore ideas through conversations, and EVERYONE will walk away with their plan to navigate through our new possibilities.

I keep saying this is THE conference, because I suspect everything that happens in tomorrow’s libraries will somehow be connected back to an idea, a discussion, or an insight that came about from the combination of people who gather for this. You don’t want to miss this one.