Keynote speakers

Alistair Black has been a full Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA since January 2009, having previously taught and researched for 19 years at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. He is author of the following books: A New History of the English Public Library (1996) and The Public Library in Britain 1914-2000 (2000). He is also co-author of Understanding Community Librarianship (1997); The Early Information Society in Britain, 1900-1960 (2007); and Books, Buildings and Social Engineering (2009), a socio-architectural history of early public libraries in Britain. With Peter Hoare, he edited Volume 3 (covering 1850-2000) of the Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland (2006). He was Chair of the Library History Group of the Library Association, 1992-9; and of the IFLA Section on Library History, 2003-7.  He was editor of the International Journal Library History, 2004-8; and is currently North American editor of Library and Information History. He is co-editor of the journal Library Trends. He has recently been researching the history of corporate libraries and staff magazines, and the design of public libraries in the 1960s

Adam R. Nelson is Professor of Educational Policy Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his Ph.D. in History from Brown University. His publications include Education and Democracy: The Meaning of Alexander Meiklejohn, 1872-1964 (2001); The Elusive Ideal: Equal Educational Opportunity and the Federal Role in Boston’s Public Schools (2005); Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America, co-edited with John L. Rudolph (2010); and The Global University: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives, co-edited with Ian P. Wei (forthcoming, 2012). He is currently writing a book titled Empire of Knowledge: Nationalism, Internationalism, and Scholarship in the Early United States. His research has been funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the Advanced Studies Fellowship Program at Brown, and the Vilas Associate Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a 2011-12 Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard.

Martyn Walker has been Head of Department for Post Compulsory Education and Training at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom since 2001. Martyn's research activities are concerned with historical developments and their links with twenty-first century education. His PhD traces the growth and development of the mechanics' institute movement, particularly those in Yorkshire, which became the bedrock on which further and higher education has been established.  Martyn’s on-going research is in relation to post school-age education and training.