It’s been a couple of days, and while I’m maybe a bit jet-lagged and definitely a bit behind on my homework, clearly it’s time to get this blog post written! Without further adieu, a brief sharing of my thoughts on the remainder of the sessions I attended:
Confronting eShock: Electronic Resource Management and Organizational Change – I was kind of hoping this talk would be about convincing one’s organization that electronic resources are important, as are workflows to manage them. But that wasn’t really the focus. It turns out, the UNM Libraries have had a rough time of things, with fire and floods and three new manager-level librarians coming in all at the same time, and the talk was about how they coped. There was some good information there, for sure, and I hope to hear that they are successful in meeting their goals in the near future–things aren’t stacked up in their favor, but they seem to be a great team.
Just in Time in Difficult Times – Lessons for Librarians – I thought this might be a talk about collection development policies, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was really about [at its core] digital preservation. I was equally pleased to hear that the presenter was Vicky Reich, the head of the LOCKSS program. (I kept picking talks by their titles and, when I was in doubt about what to attend, their descriptions. So who was presenting any given talk was always a surprise to me.) She painted a pretty scary picture of what we stand to lose–something we all need to hear–but showed that all is not yet lost; there are people working on these problems.
The Problem of Where to Start – This was another surprise talk, for me; I don’t recall what I was expecting, but I came out of the talk happy, for sure. It turns out, Serials Solutions has come up with an enterprise search, hosted [largely?] on their servers, built [largely?] with open source products, that will search all the holdings of a given library from one search box. It’s like Google, populated only with approved content! Like Google Scholar, but books are included, and you can [optionally] turn off links that won’t resolve due to licensing restrictions. I just can’t even tell you how psyched I am about this. … I hope it’s affordable.
Electronic Resources To Go – I’ve gotta admit, I don’t pay mobile devices the attention they deserve. My website and blog are probably terrible on an iPhone, and when NY Public Library came out with the iPhone app to search their catalog, I thought “well, that’s neat, but don’t they have better things to do?” I’m seeing the light, though, and I think we’ll find that a greater percentage of patrons are trying to use library resources with mobile devices, as time goes on. I really liked the idea of a “text me the call number” feature in an OPAC, as well.
Managing freely available e-resource collections with today’s vendor provided OpenURL knowledgebases: A challenge in quality control – So, it turns out that the open access (ish) offerings thrown in with paid-for offerings from vendors are a little spotty. The vendors do some quality control, but there are still problems. And libraries tend to turn these offerings on without any real thought as to whether they fit into their collections or anything else, because, well, they’re free. (Even having heard the talk, I’d make the same decision.) Broken links aren’t so good, though, because there’s a real risk of decreasing patrons’ trust in the library.
Anyway, that’s all of them! If you were at one of these talks and think my summary missed an important point–or even if you thought it was spectacular–feel free to discuss in the comments!
I may do a summary with my thoughts about the conference as a whole, as I finish digesting all of the information and poke at a couple of the powerpoints for talks I missed. … Also, you know, when I get my head above water, homework-wise. It was a great conference, and I am really pleased and grateful that I got to go.