With the onslaught of web sites, CD ROMs and other forms of electronic publication, the old-fashioned printed book may be in a real bind.
In a series of upcoming lectures, Donald Lamm, chair of the board of the W.W. Norton publishing company and 1998 Regents' Lecturer, will discuss the future of printed literature as it struggles to compete in our increasingly high-tech culture.
"We, as publishers and academicians, must ask ourselves several questions," said Lamm. "Is the information explosion making books obsolete, and if so, who will be the gatekeepers for our digitized society, who will distill knowledge and meaning from this mass of undigested data?"
His lecture, "Survival of the Book in an Age of Information Overload," at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3, in 110 South Hall, is sponsored by the School of Information Management and Systems.
On Wednesday, Feb. 4, Lamm will head a panel discussion on "The Future of Scholarly Communication: The Endangered Monograph and Beyond." The conversation will cover such issues as intellectual property and how electronic vs. print publication affects credentialing of professorial appointments.
The panel includes Catherine Gallagher, professor of English, University Librarian Peter Lyman, Geoffrey Nunberg of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center and Hal Varian, dean of the School of Information Management and Systems.
The symposium, which begins at 4 p.m. in 210 Stephens Hall, is sponsored by the Townsend Center for the Humanities.
Lamm will also present "New World of News: Are Sound Bytes and Sight Bytes Swallowing Up All the News Stories?" at the Graduate School of Journalism, Monday, Feb. 2, at noon in North Gate Hall's library.
In addition to his position at W.W. Norton, Lamm serves on the boards of Yale University Press and University of California Press and is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.