Internet Librarian – Epilogue

I’ve been back for a little over a week and I’m still doing the catchup thing. Overall, Internet Librarian (IL) was a great experience. Got to do a little bit of everything: teaching, learning, networking…. you get the idea. One of the great things about IL is the small scale of it all. Enrollment tops at a little more than a grand which makes it easier to connect with all of the attendees. I had some extended conversations about libraries, code and workplace scenarios with a whole range of people. I’ve blogged most of the sessions I attended in earlier posts, so I won’t bore you again with the details. Here are a couple of quotes from the conference:

Favorite Library Quote from the week: “Libraries are a collection of services, not books”

Favorite Non-Library Quote from the week: “I just checked the il2006 tag on Flickr. Who is that brunette you were talking to?” (from my wife jokingly…)

One of the major themes from IL 2006 was libraries using social software – Flickr, MySpace, Facebook, Wikis… It’s a rich topic and most of the tech is easily implemented. But there are other parts of the conference where I struggle to understand the “where does the rubber meet the road” code questions. Most of the IL sessions offer the broad ideas and have little time for explaining how to do it. (I’m including myself here…) That’s not a criticism; that’s just the structure of the event. There are some ways to get at the “how’d they do that?” code questions.

  1. Attend conference workshops to answer some of the in-depth code questions.
  2. Ask for code examples from presenters (I had a number of people stop me after the presentation and over the course of the conference to talk a bit more about code questions.)
  3. Network and talk to librarians with some programming chops. Talk shop with those who are building apps in your field of interest.

As I said earlier, it was a great conference and I haven’t even mentioned Monterey, CA which is just a beautiful setting. I would suggest Internet Librarian for any public services librarian looking to understand what’s on the horizon for libraries. The smaller scale of the conference and the forward-looking nature of the presenters makes for a great mix. If you have the means and the time, check it out.


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