Duane E. Webster, executive director of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), will be the guest speaker at the 2008 spring commencement ceremony of the School of Information and Library Science at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Webster leads the organization of 123 major research libraries whose mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations.
Duane was appointed executive director of ARL in 1988 and since then has helped launch a series of major initiatives, including the ARL Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC), the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the Shared Legal Capability, and the Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC). He was awarded the University of Michigan School of Library Science Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1982, the Association of College and Research Libraries Research Librarian of the Year Award in 1987, the Australian Information Management Association Certificate of Achievement in 1991, and the American Library Association Joseph W. Lippincott Award in 2008. He is an active contributor to the professional literature and has served on various committees of the American Library Association, the Council on Library Resources, the International Federation of Library Associations, and other library and education associations. He currently serves on the Boards of the National Humanities Alliance, CNI, and the Museum Digital Library Collection.