Keynote Spotlight

As my colleagues and I discussed themes and speakers for ACL’s upcoming 2024 Annual Conference, a common idea emerged: though technology often makes physical presence optional, we still want and need embodied community. If nothing else, the pandemic was quite effective at revealing our need for physical presence. Technology can simulate it, but I don’t think it will ever replace it—nor should it. In Minnesota, no other event signals our desire and need to gather better than the Minnesota State Fair, also known as The Great Minnesota Get Together! And there it was… 2024’s conference theme: The Great ACL Get Together!

Our next task was to find a keynote speaker who could address the importance of physical presence in a world of digital surrogates. And we are delighted to introduce you to Samuel James! He is the associate acquisitions editor at Crossway Books, and the author of Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age (Crossway, 2023). We asked James to draw on the ideas in his book to help us understand how digital technology shapes the way we think. Check out his abstract here. After his address, James will sit down with us for a conversation on what the implications might be for libraries as physical and digital environments, a timely conversation for both in-person and virtual attendees. I trust that this session will encourage you both personally and professionally as we navigate our online age together.

Registration is now open! (ACL members, be sure to log into the MY ACCOUNT area before registering to take advantage of your $90 membership discount.) When you register, you’ll have the option of adding Samuel James’s book, Digital Liturgies: Rediscovering Christian Wisdom in an Online Age, to your conference package. At only $12, it’s a great price, and it will be shipped to you prior to the conference. (If you are located outside the US, you can collect your copy at the conference in June.)

We hope to see you in Saint Paul!

Greg Rosauser

Greg is Associate Professor and Archivist at Berntsen Library at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul and on the 2024 ACL Conference hosting team. He has been an ACL member since 2011.