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Librarians learn about all aspects of library technology at this year’s Computers in Libraries conference and exhibition

April 6, 2001, Medford, NJ — Computers in Libraries 2001 (CIL 2001) took place March 14 – 16 at the Washington Hilton and Towers in downtown Washington, DC. Nearly 3,000 participants attended the comprehensive conference and exhibition that covered all aspects of library technology.

This year’s programming revolved around four simultaneous tracks—the IP Institute, the WebWizards’ Symposium, Systems, and iContent—and librarians came to learn all types of things, such as, how to get grants, how to improve their automation systems, how to manage content, how to perform better searches, how to design and manage Web pages, how to promote their services, and how to manage an intranet. However, while each track focused on something different during the three days of the conference, there were a few topics that came up again and again:

  • Multimedia/streaming video—More bandwidth will allow for better multimedia and easier distance-education projects.

  • Better/friendlier design—Librarians want interfaces that users will understand better and enjoy more, so that they will search through library sites instead of commercial search engines.

  • Computer/information literacy—Everyone agrees that the public needs more education in order to benefit from today’s electronic environment.

  • Digitalization/e-books—Digitizing projects are hot, and electronic books are being experimented with as part of a new wave of electronic information.

  • Peer-to-peer networking—Librarians are studying Napster as a possible model for information sharing.
CIL 2001 also included a variety of pre- and post-conference workshops. These half-day and full-day workshops allowed attendees to get a more in-depth look at certain topics than what was allowed in the 45-minute sessions that took place during the main conference. Some of the more popular workshops included “Advanced Web Searching”, “A Librarian’s Primer on XML”, “Teaching the Internet in 49 Minutes”, and “Designing Usable Library Sites”. 

Other conference highlights included a Wednesday evening technology and knowledge forum that took a look at dead and emerging technologies. A pithy panel, led by columnist D. Scott Brandt, played on the theme of the popular TV show Survivor. Each panelist gave his opinion of which “dead” technology should be “voted off the island.”

In the exhibit hall two companies introduced new products, Systems, Inc. and Interface Software, Inc.’s Visual Net for Libraries software creates large-scale data maps by combining a navigation system with information-rich visuals. By creating a visual map of a library’s catalog, researchers are able to find what they need more quickly and with far less guesswork. Also premiering at CIL 2001 was Interface’s PC Reservation, a software package that manages access, use, and scheduling of public PCs.

Computers in Libraries 2002 will be held March 13 – 15, 2002 at the Washington Hilton and Towers, Washington, DC. For more information, please contact ITI at 800-300-9868 (outside the U.S. call 609-654-6266), e-mail, or visit

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