I attended Computers in Libraries for the first time this week. It was a much larger conference than I expected (2600+), and had a lot more celebrity librarians (yes, there are several) than I expected. I was privileged to meet a number of people whose blogs, papers and tweets I have been following for a while.
The lessons are still sinking in. I came away feeling we have done a good job keeping ahead of the curve here at Slaw in our understanding of new social networking media. The focus at this conference was very much Web 2.0/Library 2.0 (for lack of better terms). There was not quite so much on non-web applications such as content management systems or library catalogues (a.ka. OPACs for you libheads). Mind you, these things are becoming increasingly webby in their own right, so it is all starting to meld together.
It was also good to see so many libraries working with the technologies to improve service and make things more efficient without losing that focus on clients/patrons. The sessions were not about “who we are” but about how we can get the job done better. I like that.
We saw a lot about Libraries of the Future, including Darien Library which was very much part of the buzz at the conference. Darien is a public library housed in a new building, completely built with a new focus on service and technologies in all its aspects. For example, reference desks have been redesigned as collaborative spaces where librarians and members of the public can work together on a computer to come up with answers. The teen area is a “hang out” space where teenagers can take in their own computers and games. It is a library to keep our eye on for innovation, among many others.
I could inundate you with lists of applications I haven’t tried yet but which sound cool, or I could repost my blog posts. But let’s not do that. If you would like to explore this further, I suggest looking through the various search results:
There was a LOT of blog coverage and presentations re-posted. Hmmm…perhaps some librarian will index them. Everything, though, should be tagged CIL2007 if you are looking with other search tools.
Links courtesy of the CIL wiki.