Taiga is the land between the tundra and deciduous forests and grasslands. Taiga is about a changing environment, a place of shifting boundaries. Likewise in libraries, advances in information technology and user expectations demand that AULs and Assistant Directors move beyond the borders and transcend the traditional library organization. The Taiga Forum was formed to give librarians working at the Assistant/Associate University Librarian (AUL) and Assistant/Associate Director (AD) levels an opportunity to share ideas about our changing library environment.


The Taiga Forum hosts an annual conference, usually around ALA Midwinter. Due to the format of the conference, as well as limited space, the event is by invitation only.

An online social network is maintained by the Taiga Forum to faciliate continuing discussion of pertinent issues throughout the year. Membership in the online social network is open to all AULs and ADs who wish to participate. To receive an invitation to join the network, please fill out the contact form on this web page.


1. Taiga4: Provocative Statements (before the forum draft)
2. Taiga4: Forum Schedule
3. What Are Our Future Library Leaders Thinking? (video viewed at Taiga4)
4. Taiga4:Lightning Round Slides
5. Seth Godin at Gel 2006 (video viewed at Taiga4)
6. Taiga4: Provocative Statements (final)


The Taiga Steering Committee is pleased to announce that conversations begun at previous Taiga Forums were energetically continued at Taiga4, which took place on Thursday, January 22, 2009, in Denver, Colorado at the Hotel Monaco. Please refer to the Files section of this site (lower left), for various follow-up documents and details of the day.TAIGA Forum – Provocative Statements – February 25, 2009 – Press Release

The Inaugural Taiga Forum (“Shifting Boundaries”) was held in Chicago in March 2006, and brought together Associate/Assistant University Librarians from large institutions across the country for the first time in a way that allowed leaders from across the spectrum of professional library work to share ideas about using cross-functional vision in making internal organizational structures more flexible, agile, and effective. They were challenged to move beyond the borders and transcend the traditional library organization.

Fifteen Provocative Statements inspired the participants of this first TAIGA forum and were subsequently disseminated throughout the industry. These statements stimulated meaningful dialogue in scores of organizations and energized the strategic planning process for many.

Taiga 2 was held in Seattle in January 2007, and made use of the “Open Space” model to facilitate the creation of a user-driven agenda that came together around shared visions of the challenges and opportunities facing Associate/Assistant University Librarians in the contemporary academic library environment. From Taiga 2 came the call to expand the Taiga discussion in ways that take advantage of information technology, social computing, and opportunities for creating greater network effects for change leadership in libraries.

Taiga 3 was held in Philadelphia in January 2008 and featured David Weinberger, author of the controversial and intriguing book “Everything is Miscellaneous” as the keynote speaker. Afternoon discussions again used a modified form of “Open Space” an exciting and challenging technique for structuring group dialogue.

Taiga 4 was held on January 22, 2009 in Denver, Colorado and sought to address themes related to Human Resources, including organizational change, professional identity, and personal commitment. The morning featured a series of 10 “Lightning Rounds” on provocative statements related to this theme. One goal of the meeting was to update and adapt TAIGA 2006 Provocative Statements to better represent the challenges we face in 2009. Updated statements would be published to the broader academic library world following the forum. To this end, attendees engaged in meaningful discussions throughout the day-long event.

TAIGA 2009 Provocative Statements (draft)

TAIGA 2009 Provocative Statements (final)

Special thanks go to Robert McDonald, Rick Lugg, Steven Bell, and Kristin Antelman for moderating the various sessions. Thanks also to R2 Consulting, LLC and Innovative Interfaces for their generous support of the event.

The Taiga Steering Committee

  • Katharine Farrell,  Princeton University (Chair)
  • Steve Bosch, University of Arizona
  • Brad Eden,  University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Ann Frenkel, University of California, Riverside
  • Kristin Antelman, North Carolina State University
  • Roberta Winjum, Vanderbilt University
  • Tom Wilson, University of Alabama
  • Robert McDonald, Indiana University
  • Thomas Teper, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Marc Truitt, University of Alberta
  • Mike Furlough, Pennsylvania State University