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January 6, 2012

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Registration Opens for WebWise 2012; Le Var Burton Announced as a Keynote Speaker

Washington, DC—Registration is now open for the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) WebWise Conference, which will take place February 29th-March 2nd at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace in Baltimore, MD. Today conference organizers announced that actor and literacy champion LeVar Burton has been chosen as one of the keynote speakers. Burton will speak on the morning of March 1.

A signature initiative of IMLS, the WebWise Conference annually brings together representatives of museums, libraries, archives, systems science, education, and other fields to explore the many opportunities made possible by digital technologies. George Mason University’s Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM), partnering with the Balboa Park Online Collaborative (BPOC), is helping to organize the conference.

WebWise 2012 will take up the theme of "Tradition and Innovation," investigating how libraries and museums have used digital technologies to help scholars, students, educators, and the general public understand history and the humanities. Taking special note of the unique contributions that historical societies, public libraries, and other small and local organizations make to humanities scholarship and education, WebWise 2012 will illuminate the challenges these organizations have faced in doing digital work, highlight the often under-appreciated contributions they have made in this area, and bring them into more fruitful conversation with colleagues in larger organizations and in the arts and sciences. Some of the topics to be covered by the conference include mobile technologies, crowdsourcing, data visualizations, use of digital technologies in preserving and providing greater access to oral history, and multi-institutional collaboratives. The pre-conference includes two half-day explorations of gaming and 21st century learners, and one full-day "unconference," also known as "Wise Camp."

LeVar Burton, who first gained fame as Kunta Kinte in the acclaimed miniseries Roots and later appeared in and directed numerous incarnations of the Star Trek franchise, was the host and executive producer of the highly acclaimed PBS children’s television series Reading Rainbow for 25 years, earning 13 Emmy Awards and five NAACP Awards. He is also a former commissioner of the National Commission on Library and Information Sciences (NCLIS). While still acting, Burton is now primarily a successful film and television director. Last September he announced the 2012 return of Reading Rainbow as a multifaceted new media venture.

Those seeking more information about the conference should visit the WebWise 2012 Web site, which also provides a registration form. There is no charge for conference attendance.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit