On the Road
November in Monterey
By Nancy Garman
If you are a librarian and use the Internet, then Internet Librarian is your conference.
Held in Monterey Nov. 15—17, it's slightly later this year, so you have
until late October to register at the low "early bird" price. After digesting
the program that Jane Dysart and her planning committee have put together for
this conference, you won't need to have Thanksgiving dinnerand perhaps
it's a good thing that words and ideas don't have any calories!
Librarians and the Internet
Think about it. It's difficult to imagine a librarian whose job description
and daily routine have not been changed by the Internet and related technologies.
Whether it's e-mail, virtual reference or Web searching, or managing an intranet
or designing a Web site, Internet technologies are primary tools for information
managers and librarians. The conference tracks at Internet Librarian 2004 span
the full scale of a librarian's responsibilities, from core Web search topics
like Information Discovery & Search and Search Engines to Web Design & Development,
Web Systems & Operations, and E-Resources & Digital Libraries.
Our constant challenge (and a primary reason to attend a conference like
Internet Librarian) is to stretch our minds and envision how to use new technologies
to improve our job performance. We need to constantly think about how to offer
better services and products to our clients, how to enhance the performance
of our organizations, and, ultimately, how to contribute to the bottom line,
whether in terms of profits or patron satisfaction.
It's exciting to be at the leading edge, discovering real uses for blogs,
wikis, and collaborative technologies and tools as well as designing digital
libraries, implementing e-learning, identifying new trends and technologies,
and putting them to work in the context of our library communities. Attend
Internet Librarian and you'll leave invigorated and ready to head back to your
library or information center with a new zest for exploring how to use Internet
technologies to do your job better.
Start with a Workshopor Two
Book a cheaper plane fare by flying into Monterey on Saturday, and then justify
the extra day by attending one or more of the half-day workshops offered on
Saturday afternoon and Sunday, Nov. 13 and 14. You could even spend a full
day immersed in Searchers Academy, Web Managers Academy, or Weblogs/RSS 101
and 102. Or put together your own half-day combinations and attend workshops
such as Finding Business Information Online, Current Awareness Delivery Options,
Power Browser Tips and Tools, or CMS Basics.
Spending 3 hours or more exploring a topic with an expert adds depth to your
conference experience and gives you the opportunity to learn enough to really
use a new technology. Handouts, small groups, informal settings, and lots of
Q&A with the instructors and other attendees all add to the value you will
get from a pre-conference workshop.
Highlights and Hot Spots
Speaking of hot spots, you're likely to find some Wi-Fi hotspots in the conference
rooms at Internet Librarian. At last year's conference I sat behind Jenny Levine
(The Shifted Librarian; http://www.theshiftedlibrarian.com) and watched her
blog a session about blogging. Levine and others are sure to be blogging again,
so if you can't be there, check out blogs like hers or Steven Cohen's (LibraryStuff;
http://www.librarystuff.net) to find out what you're missing.
Blogs are one of the Internet Librarian conference highlights, with an all-day
track on blogging scheduled for Tuesday. Levine and Greg Schwartz will tell
you how to make the most of the blogosphere, followed by speakers discussing
blogs in both corporate and academic settings. Then find out how to get the
rest of your team started on blogs and, of course, how to use RSS to deliver
content to your users.
Sessions about search and search engines are always jampacked at Internet
Librarian, and once again you can hear super searchers like Mary Ellen Bates,
Greg Notess, Gary Price, Ran Hock, and others in these popular sessions. (For
the total immersion treatment, check out the all-day Searcher Academy on Sunday's
workshop schedule.) Search has also gone corporate in a big way, and Steve
Arnold talks about enterprise search and the role of the information professional
in selecting, organizing, and managing an internal search functionality.
Internet librarians will have a chance to participate in the great open access
debate by attending the special Open Access Forum on Wednesday morning. The
Open Access Forum actually begins in London in October at Internet Librarian
International. You are invited to view streaming video of the London forum
on the Information Today, Inc. (ITI) Web site and then attend the debate in
person in Monterey. Dick Kaser, ITI's vice president of content, will interview
Stevan Harnad, the well-known and opinionated OA advocate, followed by a discussion
featuring experts in digital collection management and search as they debate
how to make materials in institutional repositories and library catalogs openly
available on the Web.
Keynote speakers, always a hit at IL, include the annual search engine update
from Search Engine Watch, key Internet trends from research by Pew Internet & American
Life Project, and some tips from Patricia Martin on making deals to enhance
our abilities to collaborate and partner for success in the information world.
In fact, there is a whole track of sessions dedicated to partnerships and collaborations
sponsored by the Medical Library Association. Check it out along with the sessions
focused on collaboration tools and techniques for community building and improving
The evening session at Internet Librarian is always about something that
doesn't quite fit the traditional conference format. The panel that well-known
searchers' advocate Barbara Quint has organized this year, Dancing with the
Devil, definitely breaks the mold. Traditional library vendors are nervously
exploring opening their content up to Yahoo!, Google, and other Web-based search
engines. A panel of wise and witty representatives from all sides of the debate
will help Internet librarians decide "who's the real devil here," and whether
we're likely to find nirvana on our search screens in the near future.
Mark Your Spring Calendar
Information Today, Inc. has announced the following dates for its spring
Computers in Libraries celebrates its 20th anniversary March
1618 in Washington, D.C.
WebSearch University will be back in New York May 1718.
Last year's highly successful Enterprise Search Summit is scheduled
for May 1718, also in New York.
StreamingMedia East (May 1618) is the third of the ITI
events that will be held in New York.
Buying & Selling eContent will be held April 1012
in Scottsdale at the Camelback Inn Resort.
Go to the ITI Web site at http://www.infotoday.com and click on the conference
sites for these and other ITI events. A call for speakers has been posted for
Enterprise Search Summit, and early announcements, sponsor information, and
inquiry forms are available for other conferences.
Watch this space for more exciting announcements coming soon! In the meantime,
I look forward to seeing you at Internet Librarianand hearing your ideas,
comments, and suggestions for future conference programs.
Garman is Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference
program planning. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.