Library 2023, full-text

A Fun Discussion Moderated by Gregg Silvis

[There were two of these sessions and they both ran a bit differently. Gregg ran this as a discussion group and I captured as many of the comments as I could. Audience comments are marked “comments,” my comments are in brackets, and Gregg’s words are as is. I came in a bit late to this one. The group was discussing what will happen when books are all online. Surprisingly, not all the comments were negative. I think that many of us realize that this will be our reality in some fashion. I think there will still be paper books, but we will have more options for format type then we have now because so many things will be digital.]

Comment from the audience, Jason Griffey: [paraphrase] If we have that many things online, we can not traditionally catalog items. Self tagging works better and people like it. LibraryThing and have taught us this.

Comment: Originally libraries were created around the notion of a scarcity of resources and access to resources. Now we have an overload and people can find what they want. There are 30,000 things that might be what someone wants. We have trouble figuring out what people want.

Comment: Who is going to be using our catalogs in 20 years? Students are already expecting full text everything. We have to assume that everything will be electronic.

Comment: Books can fit on computers and phones. Libraries as a place for books is a vapor. [He says in a brilliant accent.]

The library is an ambient place. People still want a place to go.

Comment: Libraries can still provide access through technology. In some communities, it is the main place that people do access technology.

Lexis Nexis and West Law have the best indexing in the world. They use people to do their indexing.

In response to a comment from Jason saying that Japan and China have less of a digital divide because they use high power cell phones for everything.: You can fit all of Japan inside Wyoming. I don’t know; I just made that up. [hilarious]

Comment, Jonathan Blackburn: the library is a place for people. The catalog is more then just a representation of things; it is a meta representation that sits on top of the thing. [interesting]

Comment, from a guy who works on OCLC’s Content DM: Libraries can help publish content. There is a need to have a repository for different kinds of formats.

We need to help the users create information.

Comment: What drives people into the library?

Comment: If people are still accessing our information online, they are still using us, even if they never come into their building.

[Jonathan, who is sitting next to me, says I am an information toddler because I want what I want now and not later. He is right]

Comment: Libraries should disappear completely. Stop teaching me how to search more effectively. I do not know. I do not have time for that. Boolean this and Boolean that. I feel overwhelmed. There should just be a label that says information is here. [Well that would be lovely.]

Comment: Undergraduates work is junk. Not everything a student produces is for anything other then learning. We have come to worship any produced information and we need to balance that.

Comment, Jonathan Blackburn: The relevance of libraries relies on the relevance of librarians. If the library is a place for people and not for things, then what value to we add to the conversation? What assistance can we add? How can we facilitate conversations between our users and other users?

Comment: We have all been control freaks and saying we have the best information, but information is moving beyond us. If libraries are going to stay relevant we have to decide what role we are going to play.

Google is beating us at our own digitization game.

Copyright – something is going to have to happen to copyright. People are violating copyright all the time and copyright is so extreme.

Comment, Andrew Pace: Publishers make us look like laissez faire.

Comment: Public libraries are the gateway drug to violating copyright. [oh, that is brilliant!]

There are ads in magazines all the time but we react differently when they are online.

Share Your Technology Conference Experience with LITA

LITA wants to create a new kind of technology conference within ALA. I am chairing the committee charged with the task of coming up with a new “big” idea about technology conferences. We want the conference to be useful and we want it to reflect what you may find lacking in current ALA and non-ALA sponsored conferences.

Here is your chance to tell us how you feel. Please share this survey with others. If you have something you would like to tell us that is not reflected in the survey, email me at mboule at gmail dot com or leave a comment on this post.

Thank you for your time. We appreciate it and we hope to return your investment with a conference about which you can be excited.

Update: The link is updated and should be working. Thanks for your patience.

BIGWIG Business Meeting Notes, Annual 07

Jason Griffey, In-Coming Chair reports
What is BIGWIG? A working IG interested in social and emerging technologies. We do our work and discussions virtually using all tools possible. We are not a simple discussion group.

Our current structure is as follows:
We have an incoming chair, two co-chairs, and an outgoing chair. One chair is always in movement up and down. This will give the group continuity needed for projects as there will always be a chair with experience in office. We also have a Technical Coordinator who does back end work on the blog and a Volunteer Coordinator who organizes blogging efforts for conferences.

New positions possibly needed:

  • election interviews coordinator
  • podcast volunteer coordinator
  • Do we want to be a formal committee now that we are doing more committee-like work?
    Action: Michelle Boule will post committee requirements to the listserv for discussion

    Michelle Boule, Co-Chair, reports
    Blog Update

  • categories are now above the fold
  • archives are now in a drop down box
  • old pages are a level down so they are not visible in the navigational menu
  • their URLs are still the same
  • possible that we may do some subcategories and fly out menus in the future
  • Wiki Update
    Aaron Dobbs – Can we web committee pages on the wiki?
    Action item Michelle: bump up Aaron’s account
    Wiki Co-Coordinators needed: Aaron Dobbs and Michelle Boule agree to take this on

    Do we want a checklist for what goes on the blog and what goes on the wiki? Shelved for discussion on the listserv

    Social Software Showcase
    Was a success!
    A managed discussion space is the kind of physical space we want. We need to have a good description for the official ALA program. We will discuss speakers at Midwinter. Maybe we could have aMeebo Room wrangler during the f2f portion of the Showcase?

    Do we want to try to do back channels for TTT or other LITA Tracks? Forum? Action: Michelle Boule to post this to listserv for discussion at a later date.

    Karen Coombs, Co-Chair, reports
    Forum, Midwinter, Annual – plans for stuff
    The virtual piece to ALA conferences is missing. Karen would like to see us capturing things at Forum. Slides as a flash and with audio feed, audio, interviews, etc. What would the equipment needs be? If we only have audio then people would have to find the slides. Is it better to have both where people can choose either the audio or visual or both? At a minimum we can do the keynotes. Forum will be pilot for this type of reporting.
    Action: Karen Coombs start talk on listserv about logistics at Forum

    New Officers
    Michelle Boule stepping down to be Outgoing Chair
    Jason Griffey will step up to be Co-Chair
    Karen Coombs continues as Co-Chair
    Jonathan Blackburn was voted in as the new incoming chair and will be stepping down as Volunteer Coordinator.
    Tiffany Smith new Volunteer Coordinator
    Kevin Clarke will continue Technology Coordinator
    David Lee King – Podcast Coordinator (maybe with the podcasts we will need co-wranglers?)

    There will be opportunities for volunteering for all the BIGWIG projects as the dates for conferences get closer. If you would like to participate in the discussion or volunteer, join our listserv.

    Action: Michelle Boule send Tiffany Google doc for volunteer stuff and work with Jonathan to institutionalize our volunteer wrangling information

    Social Software Showcase, sponsored by BIGWIG

    LITA BIGWIG (Blogs, Wikis, and Social Software IG) is pleased to present the first ever online, unconference at ALA Annual 2007. The Social Software Showcase will be occuring around and during Annual. We have gathered eleven librarians and leaders in the field to present on cutting edge technology and social software. Regardless of where you are in the world, you will have the opportunity to view and discuss the presentations on the official Social Software Showcase Wiki.

    BIGWIG wanted to do something different. Something that could spark conversations between people and would not be limited to a finite time and space. Something fun. We also wanted to devise a program for ALA that could be responsive to new technology. Current ALA planning procedures are not responsive to emerging technologies. In fact, at least two of the technologies that will be discussed are less then 4 months old!

    Come and see what all the commotion is about. We have presentations by:

    Casey Bisson and Lichen Rancourt
    Michael Casey
    David Free
    Iris Jastram
    David Lee King
    Tom Peters
    Michael Porter
    Karen Schneider
    Tim Spalding
    Simon Spero
    Jessamyn West

    We will also be having a face to face roundtable discussion with some of our presenters at ALA Annual in Washington D.C. on Saturday, June 23rd, from 1:30-2:30 in the Renaissance Mayflower Cabinet Room. If you are in D.C. please come and join us for an hour of informal conversation.

    Not coming to ALA? That will in no way inhibit you from enjoying the presentations! We want people who are not able to attend ALA to be able to engage in the conversation. Our content will be open and available starting the week of ALA for everyone and anyone who wants to discuss emerging and changing technologies.

    We will have a Twitter feed, which you can follow here (once the presentations go up).

    Questions? Please contact the BIGWIG group at


    Michelle Boule
    Karen Coombs
    Jason Griffey

    The BIGWIG Team

    LITA Podcasts Presents: the LITA Candidates

    LITA podcast


    Welcome to the LITA Podcasts Election Series. For your listening pleasure, every few days a new group of LITA Officer hopefuls will be presented. Tune in here on LITABlog, via any RSS aggregator using our normal RSS feed, or now tune in via iTunes by clicking here or searching for LITA in the podcast area of the iTunes store.

    Each individual, regardless of office, was asked to answer the following questions:

    • Describe your professional experience as it related to holding LITA office.
    • What do you bring to this position?
    • How do you envision LITA being a technology leader in ALA?

    Each candidate was interviewed by David Free who knows a few things about podcasting and who has been instrumental in making this a success.

    The schedule for the release of each group of candidates is as follows:

    March 15 – Vice President/President Elect
    Diane Bisom and Andrew Pace

    March 19 – ALA Councilors
    Kay Flowers (did not respond to interview request) and Colby Riggs

    March 21-22 – Director at Large 3 year term
    Mary Alice Ball
    Susan Logue
    Dale Poulter
    Barbara Spivey

    Director at Large 1 year term
    Both candidates declined to be interviewed.
    Maribeth Manhoff and Karen Starr

    For more information about the LITA Elections, see the LITA Elections 2007 page, as well as the ALA Elections page.

    Town Meeting, always interesting


    Originally uploaded by Wandering Eyre.

    The LITA Town Meeting yesterday was action packed even at 8am. I know there were a couple of other people taking actual notes. These are just my thoughts.

    The activity that Mark Beatty had the packed room complete involved writing things we liked about LITA or things that LITA could do on pieces of paper. Groups then took their “tags” and made tag clouds out of them. It was fun, loud, and very productive.

    I was again reminded why I love LITA. People like being here. We like each other and the “people” aspect of LITA got more tags then anything else. Education, training, and technology were close follow-ups. Some very hopeful member also requested a new Mac, but I am not sure that is in budget.

    The picture here is one of the tags for the “Liki” as it has come to be known this conference.

    Over the next couple of weeks, Mark Beatty and I are going to be taking all the tags, which I transcribed yesterday, and creating a report that we will eventually place here and on the Liki. A report filled with the ideas of our fabulous members. Thanks to everyone who participated. It was great fun.

    To see more pictures of the LITA Town Meeting, feel free to browse here.

    LITA Board Meeting, Saturday

    This was a loooooong meeting with a lot of content. I tried to condense it has much as I could. There are three main sections to the meeting and I have bolded them for easier skimming.

    Present at the meeting: Bonnie Postlethwaite, Mary Taylor, Mark Beatty, Jonathan Rothman, Andrew Pace, Karen Starr, Barbara Higginbotham, David Bretthauer, Valerie Edmonds, Melissa Prentice, Debra Shapiro, Michelle Frisque, Amira Aaron, and Maribeth Manhoff

    Consent Agenda –Motion to accept the Consent Agenda is passed.

    Budget Report is Accepted.

    LITA Assessment and Research Task Force is here to report of their findings.

    Assessment is not something that LITA has been very good at doing in the past. The task force used the strategic plan to inform the report and decided that future assessments should be done consistently throughout the program. It should also be given a home so that the assessment can be carried out and continued over time; it should be a formal process and done on a regular schedule.

    The Board had many questions and concerns for the Task Force. To keep this post at a reasonable length, I will summarize.

    The kind of data that the Task Force envisioned LITA collecting were program assessments, members’ needs, demographics of membership, membership growth, and finding ways to collect data and encourage people who are not normally members of LITA. The Task Force also wants to identifying what LITA already collects and finding ways to use that data over time. The last member-wide assessment was done at least five years ago. Assessing people who are not currently LITA members was a topic that the Board and the Task Force strongly felt was imperative to understanding directions that LITA should take in the future.

    It was reiterated by many that the instruments we used should be simple and that we should not over survey our members. The Task Force proposes using a combination of many different tools, like focus groups. The Board was adamant that there be a variety of tools employed in the assessment.

    There was some discussion on who should head this endeavor, someone on the board or a committee. The Board wants to be sure that this project does not get disconnected from the work of LITA as a whole. It was decided that this could be worked out at a later date. Part of this discussion revolved around the need to have this project have good succession planning. There could be some large overlap between assessment leaders so that there would not be a gap in assessment over the years.

    The task force recommended that an outside group be hired to do some initial assessment for LITA.

    Motion to approve the recommendation is passed.

    Mary Taylor reported on Forum which was successful. There was better attendance in Nashville then in previous years. Program evaluations were good overall. Andrew Pace’s program was one of the most popular.

    Report from ALA ITTS: Rob Carlson, Sherry Vanyek, and Jenny Levine
    Part of the LITA’s strategic plan is to work with ALA ITTS. Their presence at this meeting is to open up the dialog and begin a good relationship and conversation with ITTS.

    Update of ITTS: They are currently in the middle of a new CMS implementation for the web site; American Libraries went first and LITA is next. They have new blogging software, b2evolution, and Media WIki software. Unofficially, there are about 30-40 blogs and wikis currently on the ALA server. You can view a list of all the different collaborative web stuff going on at ALA on the Read/Write/Connect Wiki.

    They are currently working on some best practices so that people will make good decisions about technology use and creation. ALA ITTS recently finished usability testing on the website and had a web planning retreat in December. They are currently working on a web redesign based on the usability assessment results. They should have some prototypes available at Annual for us to look at.

    Jenny: Online communities –The current software we have does not allow for true social networking so they have been focusing on trying to make it a viable working tool for ALA committees. All content will be migrated from the old system to the new. The hope is that we can enhance the tool we already have to be better and more usable.

    Mark Beaty brought up the fact that committees want some interoperability between tools because many people have different prefences to tools and thus use different things. Chairs want to be able to write a message once and then replicate it elsewhere. Jenny responded that there are RSS and aggregation tools that can accomplish this.

    There will not be a limit on the number of blogs and wikis a group, like LITA, could have.

    What educational online resources are available? Like instructional design etc.?
    ALA has WebCT but no instructional design support. They are currently testing Moodle to consider instead of WebCT.

    Report from Education Working Group

    Primary recommendation of the committee is the merger of the Regional Institutes Committee and the Education Committee and includes a charge for the new committee. The draft is accepted in principle – the merger is approved but refinements are needed on the charge and the number of people needed for the new committee will have to be defined.

    The other part of the discussion centered around the impact Forum and online learning opportunities are having on the Regional Institutes. Online learning is very worthwhile, but there was some concern among the people assembled about what people are willing to pay for online learning. The Board believes that people are willing to pay a larger sum of money for online learning if there is a certificate or credit hours attached to the class. It is also possible that we could charge per broadcast, like a library could pay X amount and they could have their whole staff watch a webcast at the same time.

    The board did recognize that LITA is competing with many other groups in the kinds of online training that we offer. They want to be able to identify unique things that LITA can offer its members.

    There was more of the meeting but I had to leave about 30 minutes early.

    LITA IG and ComChairs Meeting

    Mary Taylor
    Happy Hour was a success yesterday with new members, old members, and people checking us out. At Annual, Happy Hour will be after the open house on Friday or Saturday. She introduces Mary Prentice who is the new Programs and Marketing Specialist for LITA.

    Bonnie Postlethwaite
    Use the wiki. There are spaces for the committee’s to contribute and help the wiki to grow. Currently the standards watch is upon the wiki. The town meeting, which will be run by Mark Beatty, will offer an opportunity for member to raise their concerns.

    Gail Clement
    Podcasting preconference yesterday was a success with good attendance. The speakers were wonderful and were a combination of both library and other types. She is currently working on a better way of document management so that our forms and other information we gather from our sessions can be kept in one place. It allows us to upload PDFs and similar things. Gail is currently creating a document management system in the PPC (Project Planning Committee) space for us. She asks the group if they want to use this method of keeping our stuff. Enough people want to try the document system, so Gail decides to create accounts for us. This topic will be revisited at Annual.

    Question from the group: Are we supposed to be meting with the PPC? Answer: It is not required but individual chairs can use the PPC as a way to discuss new ideas. PPC acts as a check and balance system for chairs, so if you have not met with the PPC recently, in the past year, then you should plan to meet with them soon.

    Mark Beatty
    IGs (Interest Groups) need to think about doing programs. Sharing what you are doing is what makes LITA special to other people. After Midwinter, Mark will be assigning committee members. He will need Chair input and will be emailing us for suggestions on who should be continued. Please get back to him and tell him what your committee needs. The link for volunteering is hard to find on the LITA Website but make sure that you point out that link to other people on your committee and tell others interested in LITA. Mark is going to try to get that link moved to make it more obvious.

    David Altenhof

    The new CMS is almost ready, so the web group has been gearing up for that. The switch is official on the 25th of January. Training for everyone else will be sometime in February.

    The very last thing is Tom Wilson talking about OITP, but I miss most of thanks to a sneezing fit. Luckily for me, and you, he is giving a report for the LITA Board, which I am blogging next.

    Official Call for Volunteer Bloggers at Forum 06

    LITA Forum in wonderful Nashville is just around the corner. LITA Blog will be there to report the goings on and important conversations for those of us who will be stuck in less fun areas of the country. LITA Blog is successful because of the great volunteers we have for every conference.

    Looking for new ways to get involved? This is a great opportunity.

    You can see the entire schedule for Forum here. If you would like to volunteer, please email me, Michelle Boule, and let me know what sessions you would like to cover and if you are new to LITA Blog. I will be coordinating volunteers from afar this year and Jason Griffey will be the on-site blog coordinator.