ILI2007 — report

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Internet Librarian International 2007, the ninth time that this conference has been arranged, and my first time attending it. This is the report for the impatient (probably the only report, since the Wiki idea stumbled at the first hurdle…more on this below).

Information on what is included here: I didn’t attend everything, this wasn’t possible since there were two or three tracks per day; what I tried to do was attend a selection of the different things, at the same time as trying to see presentations in the key areas I personally am interested in. As a result, there are some gaps.

Opening keynote: Next-generation libraries: the 2.0 phenomenon

Stephen Abram

Abram provided a highly entertaining perspective on the forces behind and processes involved in shaping the 2.0 pehonomenon; while the talk title seems general, it related specifically to the library 2.0 phenomenon.

Key concepts:

  • Create the future, or be shaped by it
  • The changing behaviour, changing perspectives of young people
  • Experimental learning arenas (like Second Life)
  • Localized, personalized, mobile future: “…in 13 years, all the information ever created will fit in your pocket” (!)
  • The centrality of XML in our present and future
  • Don’t compete with Google
    • We don’t compete on the same ground
    • Libraries add value, Google is commercial
  • Make things accessible, format independent
  • Make things simultaneously searchable; federated search is the way forward
  • Be ubiquitous: put content out there, make it mash-upable
  • Be social: social networks work (don’t just think of Facebook, but also ISI citation as a social network), we use our First life social networks…
  • Trends
    • Google monopoly
    • Mergers creating super-companies
    • More and better technology
    • More reactionary thinking

In order to accommodate this, libraries need to:

  • Stop fearing change, embrace it
  • Change everything
  • Create environments for asking questions, not specialized systems
  • Interact with their users
  • Share and create arenas for sharing

In sum, libraries need to change, but still respect the past, they need to get with the users, and have the users’ focus as the focus of the library.

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The wiki idea: get together and write the report that many of us have to write (at least in Norway), get better coverage, get better quality in the report. Sounds easy, try getting wiki-hosting approved at a university! Actually, I have done now, only a few hundred days after it was news.


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