Computers in Libraries 2005, Day 1 (morning sessions)

Here’s a quick run-down on what I listened to this morning:

9am – Intro (I think it was Dick Kaser):

  • Best turnout in over 5 years.
  • Over 2100 registered.
  • From all 50 states and DC. 10 countries.
  • 139 speakers and moderators, 62 exhibitors

Clifford Lynch (keynote):
No Powerpoint. Cool – I need a cheatsheet.

Clifford spoke on the history of the Internet and then projected possible future stuff:

  • History of internet and web…
  • In 1985, what we have now (the web) would have seemed like science fiction.

Current Trends:

  • we’ll see a huge amount of historical content placed online.
  • Entire cumulative amount of literature on certain subjects will be available online.
  • We’ve been raised to think there’s a scarcity of content (limited amount of space on bookshelves, record stores, etc.). We’re now finding out that someone loves practically everything – it’s a move to abundance.
  • Move to digital representations that stand by themselves. move from bib records and description to a move to full text. This is a huge cultural shift. We need to rethink metadata because of this.
  • Images are plentiful – we can represent physical objects digitally. Physical things are much more accessible and preservable now. Like museums. (or local history/archives collections)
  • TV stations, radio stations, printing presses, etc – all belonged to big organizations. Now you can have a computer of your own with a fast internet connection, and the big organization trend is shrinking.
  • We can take networking ans wireless for granted – he hasn’t had to use a modem for a long time.

Future trends down the road:

  • Images are going to become much more common discourse in electronic communication.
  • Are we moving into an age of broader authorship? Tim Berners-Lee idea of the web was collaboration… we’ve seen the rise of blogs, photo blogs. It’s energized a large number of people.
  • Age of popular authorship… some authorship will turn into a type of conversation.
  • Large digital collections of historical content. For example – a photo of some confederate general usually has little to no descriptive content – Once you put it online, it becomes a conversation – hey, that’s my grandpa…. let me tell you about him. Content becomes conversation. That’s cool.
  • Content designed for humans, and content designed for machines to read – we’ll see this division. There aren’t really maps now – they’re databases that output a map.
  • Digital Preservation concerns are growing: larger interest in preservation for digital content.
  • Starting to see “digital shoeboxes” of content (like family photos) that people want to preserve.
  • Sensory integration. – Seeing this in the sciences. starting to see it in medicine. low end – surveillance cameras attached to the net

And his conclusion:
Embarrasing content is becoming an issue – 4th graders who put up a webpages – they’ll deal with that when they are adults, becuase their 4th grade info will still be out there.

Since then, I gave two presentations, so I haven’t really taken more notes… more to come fromt his afternoon’s sessions.

Computers in Libraries 2005, Day 0

11am:
I’m sitting in the Chicago O’Hare (thanks, Steve) Airport, waiting for my flight to Washington DC. I’m having an awesome trip so far!

Good stuff:

  • Good drive through the country this morning while headed to the airport
  • Seeing the Expedia.com Cafe at KCI – sorta funny!
  • Having Soul Coughing’s Is Chicago, Is Not Chicago start playing while landing at the Chicago airport – how cool is that?

5pm:
OK, I can add some bad stuff now…

  • Remember to print out a map of the hotel before you get off the Metro and start looking around, thinking “I wonder where my hotel is?” I did get a good workout, however – while walking around a huge mile or so with my luggage – the wrong way. And up hill.
  • A Kansas City International Airport parking ticket WILL NOT get you on the Metro. No matter how many times you try.

8pm:
Checked out the conference hotel – it takes me 35 minutes to get from the Iwo Jima Quality Inn to the Hilton. Some walking and a Metro transfer involved. But not bad at all. And hey – the Quality Inn has FREE wireless internet in each room. Dude.

More to come – I’m really looking forward to the conference – hanging out with friends, speaking about topics I care about, and learning lots of cool stuff… I can’t wait!

10 Things to do at Computers in Libraries 2005

Update 2 – even better list of things to do!

I’ll be presenting at Computers in Libraries 2005 next week, and thought I should give first-timers to the conference a run down of what to do while at the conference:

  1. Attend everything you can – there are so many good topics, presenters, and ideas being shared. You’re bound to find a time where you really want to attend two sessions at the same time.
  2. Participate – do you have a question for the speaker? Ask it! Don’t be shy. If there isn’t time to ask at the end of a session, find the speaker later in the day – we’re there to share!
  3. Network – Talk to the person sitting beside you before a session. Talk to someone milling about between sessions. Talk to speakers. Share your business card with people [reminder to David – pack some business cards].
  4. Bug the vendors – besides just getting a year’s supply of free pens and squishy toys for the kids, there’s some amazing vendors with awesome products! You don’t even have to buy stuff – you can have a literature gathering party, and take back a lot of good info to digest later.
  5. Get there early – More networking, and … well … what can I say: “Free breakfast.”
  6. Don’t eat alone – Those people you networked with? Go to lunch with them. Ask them questions. Go to a Dine Around – you’ll probably learn more than you bargained for.
  7. Lulls – Let’s be honest here. There comes a time at every conference where the afternoon session about Using Streaming Robo-Folksonomies for XML Tagging of College Freshmen really just doesn’t do it for you, and gee whiz – it’s a heck of a sunny day outside. Blow it off and go to the Mall – check out all the cool museums (or, if your boss read this, take an extra day before or after the conference to see the sights).
  8. Enjoy the area – The conference is in a cool part of DC, with neat loft apartments, some odd little stores, etc – take a walk around the block between sessions.
  9. Check your email – You can use the conference-provided PCs. Great setup, but long lines. Or take your laptop and visit one of the many Starbucks and other similar coffee shops and cafes in the area with wireless access. Update 1: I’m told that the Hilton’s lobby area had free wireless access last year. Here’s hoping for this year, too! Or, 9 1/2 – Don’t check your email. It might be nice to be away from your email for a few days.
  10. Share when you get back to work – most important. Don’t let your time at CIL be wasted. Share your new knowledge with library staff. You might just start a new initiative out of your notes from a session.

And – see you there!

Blogging as a promotion tool

I was just thinking about the topic of this post last night, and then read Michael Stephens post today – he mentions something extremely similar. Bloggers must have a group mentality sometimes.

He apparently spoke with Stephen Abrams, who said “a blogger can have a voice in the LIS blogosphere from the smallest, most remote library in the world and still reach a huge audience…” And this was exactly what I was thinking about last night (ok, I’m a techie. So sue me).

I was mulling over a few things, actually. Meredith at the Information Wants to Be Free blog posted that someone she met with read her blog. I have had that same experience, and have realized that I don’t really have to write articles, speak at conferences, etc – I can do the exact same thing using my blog. I can write whole articles and post them. I can do a Powerpoint and talk over it using something like Camtasia Studio, and aggregate them. And if those ideas are good ones (and I make sure my posts can be found in search engines), other information professionals will read them.

That said, I still plan on writing articles and speaking at conferences – I’m really getting a kick out of the interaction that comes face to face. But still, it makes you wonder…

Someone sent me a press release

I must have “arrived” somewhere, because an information company sent me a press release last week, and asked if I could post it on my blog. How cool is that? I can see their contact list now: Library Journal, InfoToday, Journal of Academic Librarianship, and [ahem] Dave’s Blog. Hee!

But it also made me think – bloggers, especially “niche” bloggers like I am (librarian/techie/web blogger) really need to have some sort of “goal” or guidelines for his/her blog. I think my general techie-focus works for now, but maybe in some future time, as my blog grows, I’ll need to create some sort of “blogger’s press release policy” for my blog? Not sure.

By the way, I’m not posting this particular press release. It doesn’t really match the fuzzy goals for my blog. But continue to send ’em! I might just post one yet.