The library has always been a fundamental partner in the research process. But key changes in the information, technology, economic, and scholarly environments are challenging this relationship and raising critical questions about the value and impact of the library in scholarship and its working relationship with scholars in the social sciences.
Jim Neal is president-elect of the American Library Association (ALA) and university librarian emeritus at Columbia University. He served as the vice president for information services and university librarian at Columbia University from 2001 to 2014, providing leadership for university academic computing and a system of twenty-two libraries. Previously, he served as the dean of university libraries at Indiana University and Johns Hopkins University, and held administrative positions in the libraries at Penn State, Notre Dame, and the City University of New York. At ALA, Neal has served on the council and executive board, and was ALA treasurer during 2010–13. He is a member of the OCLC Board of Trustees. He has served on the board and as president of the Association of Research Libraries, on the board and as chair of the Research Libraries Group (RLG), on the board and as chair of the National Information Standards Organization (NISO), and on the board of the Digital Preservation Network. He is on the board and serves as treasurer of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and on the board and serves as treasurer of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). He has also participated on numerous international, national, and state professional committees, and is an active member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA). Neal is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences, consultant and published author, with focuses in the areas of scholarly communication, intellectual property, digital library programs, and library cooperation.