Future of the Library

Thursday, February 11, 2016 / 6:00–7:30pm
MIT Lecture Hall 10-250
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA

David Adjaye will be joined by Jeffrey Schnapp, Nader Tehrani, Ginnie Cooper and Chris Bourg, moderated by Ana Miljački, to discuss the changing role of libraries as spaces for collections, research, technology and public engagement. David Adjaye will discuss his innovative Idea Stores and the William O. Lockridge/Bellevue and Francis A. Gregory libraries in Washington, D.C. designed by Adjaye Associates during the tenure of library director Ginnie Cooper. Nader Tehrani will share the strategies, negotiations and challenges of renovating Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet Library. Professor Jeffrey Schnapp, founder and director of the metaLAB (at) Harvard, author of The Library Beyond the Book and writer and producer of Cold Storage, a documentary about the Harvard Depository, traces the historic role of libraries to speculate on what they will become in the future. Presentations by Adjaye, Tehrani, and Schnapp will be followed by insights from highly experienced librarians Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian of the District of Columbia Library, and Chris Bourg, Director of MIT Libraries, who chairs a Task Force to examine the evolution of research libraries. Moderated by MIT Associate Professor Ana Miljački.

Watch a video of the panel



David Adjaye, 2016 McDermott Award Recipient

Chris Bourg, Director of MIT Libraries and Chair of MIT’s Task Force on the Future of Libraries

Chris Bourg was appointed to Director of the MIT Libraries in February 2015. Prior to MIT, she served in a variety of leadership positions at Stanford University, where she is was most recently associate university librarian for public services. She managed the public service facets of physical and digital library services of the largest division of the Stanford University Libraries, with six branches and a collection of more than 4 million volumes.
Bourg’s career began with 10 years of service as an officer in the United States Army, including three years on the faculty of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she taught sociology and leadership.
Bourg received her BA from Duke University, her MA from the University of Maryland, and her MA and PhD in sociology from Stanford. She has written and spoken extensively on the topics of libraries, leadership, diversity and social justice. She is a strong advocate for gender equality, and was involved in creating and leading the first Women’s Voices and Influence group for Stanford staff.

Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian of the District of Columbia Library (retired)

Ginnie Cooper recently retired from the District of Columbia Public Library where she served as Chief Librarian for eight years. Previously, Cooper worked in libraries in five states and in New York City as Executive Director of the Brooklyn Public Library. A librarian since 1970, Cooper was awarded the 2013 Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture from The American Institute of Architects. Ms. Cooper is a past president of the Public Library Association, a division of the American Library Association and a recipient of the Charlie Robinson Award made by the Public Library Association to recognize a public library director who has been a risk-taker, an innovator and an agent for change. She believes in the power of public libraries to make a difference in the lives of individuals and in communities.

Jeffrey T. Schnapp, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, Harvard Graduate School of Design; Founder and Faculty Director metaLAB; and Faculty Director, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

Jeffrey T. Schnapp is Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and Comparative Literature, and on the teaching faculty in the Department of Architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. He is the founder/faculty director of metaLAB (at) Harvard and faculty co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
A cultural historian with research interests extending from Roman antiquity to the present, his most recent books are The Electric Information Age Book (a collaboration with the designer Adam Michaels (Princeton Architectural Press, 2012), Italiamerica II (Il Saggiatore, 2012) co-edited with Emanuela Scarpellini and Digital_Humanities (MIT Press) co-written with Anne Burdick, Johanna Drucker, Peter Lunenfeld and Todd Presner, and Modernitalia (Peter Lang).
His pioneering work in the domains of digital humanities and digitally augmented approaches to cultural programming includes curatorial collaborations with the Triennale di Milano, the Cantor Center for the Visual Arts, the Wolfsonian-FIU and the Canadian Center for Architecture. His Trento Tunnels project – a 6000 sq. meter pair of highway tunnels in Northern Italy repurposed as a history museum – was featured in the Italian pavilion of the 2010 Venice Biennale and at the MAXXI in Rome in RE-CYCLE – Strategie per la casa la città e il pianeta (fall-winter 2011).

Nader Tehrani, Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at The Cooper Union of the Advancement of Science and Art, Principal NADAAA

Nader Tehrani is the Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union. He is also a Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry.
Tehrani received a B.F.A. and a B.Arch from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1985 and 1986 respectively. He continued his studies at the Architectural Association, where he attended the Post-Graduate program in History and Theory. Upon his return to United States, Tehrani received M.A.U.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1991. Tehrani has taught at the MIT School of Architecture, where he served as the Head of the Department from 2010 to 2014. He has also taught at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design and Georgia Institute of Technology as the Thomas W. Ventulett III Distinguished Chair in Architectural Design and University of Toronto as the Frank O. Gehry International Visiting Chair.
As the principal and founder of Office dA, Tehrani’s work has been recognized with notable awards, including the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture (2007), the United States Artists Fellowship in Architecture and Design (2007), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture (2002). He has also received the Harleston Parker Award for the Northeastern University Inter-faith Spiritual Center (2002) and the Hobson Award for the Georgia Institute of Technology Hinman Research Building (2012). Throughout his career, Tehrani has received sixteen Progressive Architecture Awards as well as numerous AIA, Boston Society of Architects and ID awards. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 NADAAA was ranked number 1 in design for Architect Magazine’s Top 50 Firms in the United States.

Moderated by Ana Miljački, Associate Professor, MIT Department of Architecture

Ana Miljački is a critic, curator and Associate Professor of Architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she teaches history, theory and design. In the spring 2016, she coordinates Second Semester Core studio, which focuses on the program and architecture of libraries.
Her research interests range from the role of architecture and architects in the Cold War era Eastern Europe through the theories of postmodernism in late socialism to politics of contemporary architectural production. Miljački was part of the three member curatorial team, with Eva Frank i Gilabert and Ashley Schafer, of the US Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, where their Biennale project, titled OfficeUS, critically examined the last century of US architectural offices – their professionalization and their concomitant global contribution.
In addition to editing OfficeUS Agenda (June 2014) and OfficeUS Atlas (February 2015), Miljački has recently edited the proceedings of Under the Influence conference she organized at MIT in 2013, guest edited Praxis 14: True Stories, and curated and produced Fair Use, an exhibit on the role of copying and originality in architecture with her students at MIT. Its latest instantiation, UnFair Use, co-curated with Sarah Hirschman was on the view at the Center for Architecture in New York from September 2015 through January 2016. She is currently finishing her book The Optimum Aesthetic and preparing The Terms of Appropriation collection of historical essays with Amanda Reeser Lawrence.