LITA Internet Resources Interest Group Meeting

Sunday, June 25, 2006, 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Marriott New Orleans at the Convention Center, Fleur de lis

Introductions: Attending: Laura Cohen, Chair; Holly Yu, Vice-Chair; Joe Fisher, incoming Vice-Chair; and Mike Sainsbury, Greater Victoria Public Library. This was one of our smaller meetings in a few years, but membership numbers are less of a key to the success of this interest group than the activities of the core officers who continue to put out strong programs.

Annual Conference Program: The members were very pleased about the success of its program at the Annual Conference this year, “The Ultimate Debate: Who Controls the Future of Search?”

After the session, a number of people asked if the session had been recorded. The offer to make a recording has not been made to the IRIG by the LITA office since its Orlando program. When we meet with the Program Planning Commitee (PPC) on Monday, we will ask the group if the means to make recordings will be available again in the future. If so, we could then reformat the recording into a podcast.

Although no recording of the session was made, Chris Strauber posted a transcript-like program summary to the LITA blog. The IG expresses its appreciation to Chris for this major effort. The posting is available at This URL has been added to the IRIG’s page that lists Programs and Presentation Documents.

We have one correction: Chris estimated an audience size of approximately 170. When we counted chairs and rows, and included people sitting on the floor, we estimate an attendance of about 300.

An overview of the program evaluation forms revealed that the session got high marks from the audience. A few comments:

– “Run the same session again.”

– “Very inspiring.”

– “Fascinating.”

– “I’m grateful to be here to see it in person.”

– “It reminded me of why I became a librarian and how much I love being one.”

Name change: A decision was made at the Midwinter Meeting to change our name to the “Internet Resources and Services Interest Group” (IRSIG). The Bylaws and Organization Committee gave us a form to use for submitting our name change request. We will submit this form for a decision by the B&O Committee on Monday.

In conjunction with this change, we will add “and services” to our mission statement so that it will read: “To serve as a forum for sharing information on the development, use, presentation, and integration of resources and services on the Internet.

Next year’s program: The group came up with a tentative program topic for 2007. Draft title: “Draw Them In or Meet Them There: The Future of the Library Web Presence.” This will be presented to the PPC on Monday.

Post-meeting addendum: The PPC approved the topic.

LITA Program – The Ultimate Debate: Who Controls the Future of Search?

Date: Saturday, June 24
Time: 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Place: Morial Convention Center 388-390

Be it resolved that the future of search will occur without library influence. Will libraries continue their vital role in the evolution of search, or will we be left in the dust by Google and their ilk? You won’t want to miss this provocative debate on the future of library influence on search technology. Come and be a part of this Ultimate Debate, sponsored by the LITA Internet Resources Interest Group.

Moderator: Roy Tennant. The debaters: Stephen Abram and Joe Janes.

The debate will be guided by several questions, including:

  • Will search services offered by large commercial companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! replace the need for libraries?
  • Should libraries cooperate with commercial companies by giving them our metadata and/or content (Open WorldCat, Google Scholar, Google Book Search, etc.)?
  • What qualities would Google Scholar, Microsoft Live Academic, or similar free commercial search services need to have before libraries abandon the creation of their own metasearch services? Or has that point already been reached?
  • Will libraries incorporate some of the better dot-com search technologies into their own search products, such as their catalogs? For example: better interface design, relevance ranking, alternate spelling suggestions, faceted browsing, etc.
  • Will our users’ increasing familiarity and comfort with large central search services like Google and Open WorldCat render local library catalogs obsolete?
  • What is your worst nightmare and your finest vision for the future of library search services, and what is your level of confidence in achieving either?

In addition, audience members will be invited to pose their own debate questions.

Internet Resources Interest Group Meeting

Chair Laura Cohen summarized the purpose and mission of this interest group and reviewed the programs it has presented at ALA Annual Conferences in recent years.

Plans for the 2006 Annual Conference program were reviewed. This program will be in debate format. Program title: “The Ultimate Debate: Who Controls the Future of Search?” The roster of panelists is complete: Roy Tennant, moderator, with Stephen Abrams and Joe Janes, debaters.

The IG has coordinated its plans with the LITA Program Planning Committee (PPC), which has been very helpful in shaping the program. Holly Yu, Vice-Chair, will attend the PPC meeting at this conference to give the committee an update on our plans.

The debate will be guided by a series of questions posted to the panelists by the moderator. The panel will prepare the questions beforehand. It was suggested that these questions be posted on the LITA blog in advance of the conference program.

Given the potential appeal of this program to people outside of LITA, it was suggested that we promote the program to such ALA groups as RUSA and the Instruction Section of ACRL. It was also suggested that we distribute flyers publicizing this interest group at the program.

The attendees discussed possible program topics for the 2007 ALA Annual Conference. A number of potential topics were proposed. Should the interest group decide to sponsor a program in 2007, a topic must be identified at the 2006 Annual Conference.

The Chair and Vice-Chair asked the attendees to consider a possible name change for this interest group. The phrase “Internet Resources” has positive and negative aspects. On the positive side, it can encompass a wide range of program topics and might ensure longevity for this group. On the negative side, its general nature does not attract people interested in specific topics such as blogs, electronic resources management, etc.

After some discussion, it was decided to change the name of this group to the Internet Resources and Services Interest Group. The term “Services” can encompass Web services as well as a range of library services delivered over the Web. Matt Calsada, Interest Group Coordinator, was in attendance and agreed to bring this proposal forward to the LITA office. The group agreed that it would be a good idea to post this meeting summary on the LITA blog as well as the IG’s page on the LITA site. The Chair agreed to follow up.

The floor was opened to volunteers for the next Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of this interest group. Two individuals came forward. It was agreed that one individual will become chair if another LITA position for which he applied does not materialize. If the position does comes through, the other individual will step forward as chair.