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Magazines > Information Today > September 2003
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Information Today
Vol. 20 No. 8 — September 2003
On the Road
A monthly look at upcoming ITI conferences
By Nancy Garman

It's September. Vacations are over, classes have begun, and the cooler weather is a great energizer. September's arrival also means that it's time to get serious about registering for Information Today, Inc.'s fall conferences. Internet Librarian and KMWorld & Intranets have both earned excellent reputations for "best of class." Should you attend this year?

You can study the preliminary programs to learn about the lineup, speakers, and schedule, but it's tough to get a feel for the flavor of a conference. Is it worthwhile? Does it meet your needs? Is it right in intangible ways? These are questions you need to ask before shelling out the bucks for registration and travel. The following are some inside insights about Internet Librarian 2003. They provide an honest overview that will help you read between the lines of the preliminary program.

Internet Librarian 2003

Monterey, Calif., is the hands-down favorite location for Internet Librarian. This popular venue lends an extra spark to the conference, which is back in Monterey for the first time since 2000. The good news is that Internet Librarian 2004 and 2005 will also be held there. But don't wait until then to attend!

It's easy to get around the Monterey Conference Center to listen, see, and be seen. Everything is close together, and you can move easily between sessions and the exhibit hall. There's no hiking required as at some conferences. The physical layout of the event, as well as its management and organization, creates a close, cohesive feel and a sense of community among the attendees.

Internet Librarian's hallmarks include genuine enthusiasm among attendees and the sharing of ideas about Internet tools and topics. Conference program chair Jane Dysart encourages community more than ever this year with special pre-conference Community of Interest discussion groups. Plan to arrive by Sunday evening to attend this casual new event.

"We're excited to be back in Monterey, with leading-edge Internet librarians sharing knowledge in fun and interactive ways," Dysart said. "New and cool tools are always important to Internet librarians and Internet content pros. And this year, the program is filled with new tools and techniques, applications, and opportunities to help us streamline operations and enhance customer relationships."

Standout conference sessions, topics, and speakers include the following:

• You can attend the Navigating & Searching and Searching & Search Engines tracks, which are led by several search gurus: Greg Notess, Mary Ellen Bates, Gary Price, Chris Sherman, and Ran Hock. For total immersion in Web searching, consider registering for the full-day Searcher Academy pre-conference workshop.

• The Medical Library Association is sponsoring Cool Tools for Health, a full-day track organized by Micki McIntyre. The Web has rewritten the book on how to find healthcare information, and terrorist threats have added urgency to our need to know. This timely track covers such topics as how ordinary people search for healthcare info, what's out there on the Web, and how healthcare professionals are using PDAs and wireless technology within the medical community.

• SLA will sponsor a daylong Tools & Practices for Information Professionals track. It will feature a presentation by Cindy Romaine from Nike's Design Library on branding, metrics, and performance excellence; one organization's work on dynamic content management for its intranet; and a session on managing e-journals in a corporate library.

• Blogging is hot, hot, hot. A full-day track on the blogging explosion and its availability, impact on information retrieval, and value as a communications tool is certain to be popular with all types of Internet librarians.

• Popular industry watchers and experts like Stephen Abram, Peter Morville, Darlene Fichter, Frank Cervone, Gail Dykstra, Donna Scheeder, Marylaine Block, Steven Cohen, Jenny Levine, Scott Brandt, Steve Coffman, Peter Scott, and Marshall Breeding—plus the Web search experts—
provide guaranteed quality and solid dependability to the conference program. New speakers contribute serendipity, contagious enthusiasm, and fresh perspectives that are equally valuable.

The heady days and exciting buzz of Web discovery are long past, but librarians have proved their staying power and ability to put the Internet and Internet tools to work in their organizations. "Librarian" is the key word. This conference concentrates on the Internet in libraries and the use of Internet tools and resources by librarians. If that's you and your job, you should be there.

KMWorld & Intranets 2003

In his InfoToday 2003 keynote address, Larry Prusak said that knowledge management has become so totally integrated into the workplace that it's no longer a "big, new idea" that needs its own special champions. Nevertheless, knowledge managers continue to grapple with putting KM ideas into practice in their organizations. KMWorld is where these professionals come to learn as KM grows and expands. In addition to fundamentals such as KM strategies, processes, models, and best practices, this year's conference will cover communities, e-learning, CRM, collaboration, expert knowledge bases, and social-network analysis.

The Intranets conference attracts managers and technology professionals whose major responsibilities are the deployment and implementation of intranets, extranets, and portals. The program features practical topics with a technology focus, such as Web design and usability, enterprise search, information architecture, and cutting-edge tools. A major part of the conference is devoted to portals, but other key elements include governance and strategy, tools and technology, and ROI.

Martin White, a well-known British intranet consultant, is the keynote speaker for Intranets 2003 and the special Content Management track that's shared with KMWorld. Content Management is actually a mini-conference, with 3 full days of sessions that totally concentrate on CM strategies and architecture, taxonomies,findability, and CMS systems and software. Content—and how to organize, manage, integrate, deploy, and then find it—is a primary challenge that faces organizations of all sizes. For many attendees, this track alone will be worth the conference registration price.

Spring Planning

It's almost fall, but we're already planning our spring conferences. Jane Dysart is working on the program for Computers in Libraries 2004 (March 10­12); the dates are set for our executive conference, Buying & Selling eContent (April 25­27); and big plans are in the works for the 25th anniversary of InfoToday (formerly, the National Online Meeting) in May. Watch the Web site, ITI's NewsLink e-newsletter, and your mail for more details.


Nancy Garman is Information Today, Inc.'s director of conference program planning. Her e-mail address is
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