Surprised to go through the program and not find any sessions specifically on ebooks. I predict that will not be the case next year!
The opening keynote was an interview with Vint Cerf, who does not like to be called the Father of the Internet. Very bright guy (no surprise there); I didn't know he was a VP at Google. Paul Holdengraber, Director of Public Programs at NYPL conducted the interview, and did a fantastic job. A random quote from Vint I jotted down, "Our culture is trending towards abstraction and brevity." (Books I have to read: Born Digital by by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser and Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man by Marshall McLuhan (I know, I know).
The first session I attended was Roy Tennant's Digital Library Landscape. He delivered a real wake-up call to libraries. "We're in serious trouble if we do nothing, and serious trouble if we keep doing what we've traditionally done." "Libraries are in imminent danger" because surveys (OCLC) have shown that people think only of BOOKS when they're asked to think of libraries, but "Google and Amazon are eating our lunch" when it comes to books. Most of our OPACS are no more advanced than a card catalogue on wheels. He described a process where he went from a blog post, through Worldcat, then to his local public library to learn that a recommended book was on the shelf. But he wants to go that last step and have the library deliver to his door - that would make libraries more relevant to their users. (note to self, this might be pretty darn easy for the majority of our university users - profs for sure to their office, and students in residence). He talked a little about ONIX, which he described as MARC for the rest of the world (publishers and booksellers use it to trade metadata about books). OCLC is working with publishers on enriched ONIX records, and Roy wonders if next-gen catalogues won't have this same enriched metadata (it looks a lot more useful to me!).
Roy then told us that libraries need to focus on where we add value. Continuing to do what we've traditionally done is NOT going to cut it. He talked about how http://escholarship.org is turning the idea of an institutional repository around by focusing on the research and publication process at the University. Make the fact that papers are deposited in the repository an incidental action, but help the faculty with the problem they have by providing them with tools to help them get published. (DSpace doesn't solve a problem THEY have). "Take away their pain and you will be valued."
Another role for libraries is to make sure local parts of the Web are preserved (Internet Archive can't do it all). He talked about the Web Archiving Service from the California Digital Library. Syndicate content to where people are found (Flickr, YouTube) - showed an Alexa graph showing the difference in traffic between Flickr and the Library of Congress website - why not be where all the people are?
Next session was Super Search Tips with Mary Ellen Bates. Random tips and tools I jotted down:
- Google Squared results can be exported to Excel, and further modified.
- OneRiot indexes pages linked to by people on social networks, and thus is very current.
- Search Cloudlet is a Firefox addon that generates tag clouds of works retrieved by a search (Google Yahoo or Twitter)
- A twitter search filter: use filter:links in your search query to return results that include hyperlinks.
- http://uc.princeton.edu - University Channel for educational videos
- http://bing.com/visualsearch (I remember being unable to access this URL from Canada the last time I tried it...)
- Great a twitter alert through Google Alerts by including this in your query (Tara Calishain): site:twitter.com inurl:favorites YOUR-KEYWORD -- this will let you know anytime someone favorites a tweet that includes the word(s) you're interested in.
- http://newstimeline.googlelabs.com - alternative interface to Google News
- http://google.com/finance/domestic_trends - only works in US (or only useful in the US?)
- reQall.com - leave a voicemail, or send IM, email or text to this company and receive a transcribed message in any medium, possibly at the time you request as a reminder.
- Create tabs in MS Office applications http://bit.ly/2saSe (Windows only)
Next up was John Law from Serials Solutions talking about attracting the next-gen researcher (of course a commercial for Summon, but one based in interesting research). He used a great analogy in that library websites are currently analogous to trying to search the web before there were any search engines. You'd have to know about the content on a given site, navigate to that site, then search the content of that site FROM that site. Rinse and repeat. See "Academic Libraries and the struggle to remain relevant: Why research is conducted elsewhere" (9-pg PDF) for more info.
Last session I took notes on was Susan Senese from UT Mississauga talking on "From Library Website to the Learning Commons". Most innovative thing I noted was that librarians are in the catalogue with barcodes so that they can swipe their library (ID?) card when they go on the desk, and that information (John Doe is now on the Reference Desk) is automatically updated on the homepage - provides a good point of contact with the students, especially those who have favourite librarians. See also http://www.slx.com