The Gryphon Lecture series is hosted every spring semester by the Center for Children's Books and features a leading scholar in the field of youth and literature, media, and culture. Gryphon Lectures are free and open to students and the public. A reception to discuss issues raised, network across departments, and meet with the speaker follows each lecture. Illinois educators are eligible to receive CPDU recognition for participation.
This biannual lecture series honors the career of Paul Otlet (1868-1944), a Belgian lawyer, bibliographer, internationalist, and pacifist. It brings to the iSchool select lecturers who are leaders in the field of library and information science to discuss the historical context and the present and future impacts of cutting-edge developments in the general field of information science and the information society. The lecture series is endowed jointly by Emeritus Professor W. Boyd Rayward and Eugene Garfield.
About Paul Otlet: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) became concerned as a young man about the increasing volume and fragmentation of the literature of science and scholarship. With his colleague, Henri la Fontaine, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1913, he spent his life in building experimental “knowledge” institutions that he hoped might facilitate global access to information in a range of new formats. His analyses of what he called documentation, of multimedia substitutes for the book, of encyclopedias, museums and libraries led him to explore the possible use of the new technologies of his days such as x-rays, radio, telegraphy, cinema, sound recording, and eventually television for disseminating information through a universal information network. And he proposed special organizational arrangements for the network’s management and use by means of what he called Mundaneums. He also envisaged the development of a range of new kinds of intellectual machines and instruments that, suggested by what was already available, would create new functionalities in information access and use. In these ideas we find foreshadowings of the digital and other technologies that have created such phenomena as the Internet, the World Wide Web, Google and even—and perhaps especially—Wikipedia, that are fundamental to what we now regard as a new kind of information society.
Phineas L. Windsor Lecture
The Windsor Lecture honors the career of Dr. Phineas L. Windsor, who served as director of the University of Illinois Library and the Library School from 1909 to 1940. The initial lecture was presented in 1949 by John T. Winterich and titled, "Three Lantern Slides: Books, The Book Trade, and Some Related Phenomena in America, 1876, 1901 and 1926." Gifts from alumni and friends established the Windsor Lecture fund when Dr. Windsor retired. Marian (BA Science and Letters '50) and Arnold (BS Architectural Studies '50) Thompson continue to generously support the ongoing lecture series. Marian is a Windsor granddaughter.
Taylor Willingham Lecture in Change Management
The Taylor Willingham Lecture in Change Management was established by a gift to the School from Susan Kumar (MS ’05) and her husband, Parameswaran Kumar. The lecture honors their friend and former adjunct lecturer Taylor Willingham (1957-2011), who inspired students and faculty alike through her innovative teaching and civic commitment. Willingham spent a decade as an adjunct lecturer and regularly taught online courses on change management, community engagement, and civic entrepreneurship and public institutions—topics that were very important in her professional life. She worked closely with the National Issues Forum and served as director of the National Issues Forums Institute. Willingham led Texas Forums, an initiative of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library with the goal of engaging Texas residents in discussion about current issues. In 2007-2008 she was named a faculty fellow in the University of Illinois Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership.