Conference Inspires Success

Friday, May 8, 2009

The 2009 Atlanta Area Bibliographic Instruction Group or BIG Conference will be held at the University of West Georgia on Friday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom. The registration for “The Learning Commons:  New Frontiers in Instruction” is free with a deadline of Friday, May 22.

Atlanta Area BIG, an organization of instruction librarians, works to ensure that libraries play a role in advancing the educational, cultural and economic life of Georgia through the expansion of information literacy. BIG began in the 1980s as an informal way for instruction librarians from academic and school libraries in the greater Atlanta area to share ideas and discuss common issues.

Thirty years later, the organization is still striving to improve the library services necessary to enhance information literacy. Mary Jane Rootes, assistant professor and instructional services librarian at the university, is president of BIG.     

The Ingram Library’s annual Charles E. Beard Lecture will be the keynote address for the conference with Dr. Russell Bailey, director of Phillips Memorial Library at Providence College in Rhode Island, giving the address.

Bailey’s presentation on “The Evolving Commons—Information, Teaching, Learning, Research” will focus on the new learning commons model for today’s libraries. Bailey is the co-author of “Transforming Library Service Through Information Commons: Case Studies for the Digital Age and Information Commons Handbook.”

The Beard Lecture honors the late Charles Beard, who served as director of university libraries at UWG from 1978 to 2004 and worked in the library profession for almost four decades.

In the 26 years that Beard served at West Georgia, he led Ingram Library through a period of rapid technological change that altered the course of library services and programs.  His influence extended far beyond the library to the development of GALILEO, one of the first web-based initiatives of its kind.

Susan Smith, associate director of Ingram Library, described Beard as a champion for libraries.

“He was forward thinking,” Smith said, “He was always seeking funding, acting as an advocate, talking about freedom of speech and freedom of access to information.”

For more information on the conference sessions, go to

To obtain a required parking pass, send an e-mail to, and the pass will be sent to your e-mail address after May 15.

To register for the BIG Conference, go to

For further details, contact Rootes at 678-839-6363 or or Catherine Hendricks at 678-839-5337 or