Committee Chairs Meeting 1/12/08 9:30am

Unfortunately for Committee Chairs, the meeting room posted in the schedule was filled with another group. The Chairs met in the hall of the Marriot and discussed issues such as getting new committee members onto the committee electronic discussion lists and getting new chairs onto the ComChairs list. The nagging problem of meeting no-shows was discussed – these members should be removed by the committee so that the committee work can carry on without over burdening members that do attend.

Aaron Dobbs is the Committee Web Coordinator and he will put Committee reports up o the web site in a timely fashion, so make sure Aaron gets reports.

Chairs should also recommend committee members and let Andrew Pace know of suggestions.

LITA Joint IG and Committee Chairs Meeting 1/12/08 8am

The IG and Committee Chairs meeting is held at each conference in order to discuss issues that Chairs have, and also to provide time and space for all the LITA leadership to interact face to face. Pres.

President Mark Beatty encouraged all Chairs to report out about what we’re doing. He asked all Chairs to complete reports so that the LITA Board can be updated and so that all LITA members can have a clear up to date picture of organization activities.

Vice President/President Elect Andrew Pace asked Chairs to encourage people to volunteer for Committee positions by completing the online forms available. For those rotating off committees: it would be very helpful if you can mention a potential successor Once people are “in the system”, they can be tapped for all kinds of LITA activities. He also asked Chairs to attend the Town Meeting 8am Monday morning.

Executive Director Mary Taylor introduced Melissa Prentice, who pointed out resources listing incoming chairs and deadlines that will be vital for all Chairs. Mary also introduced Valerie Edmonds, Program Coordinator, who can provide information for those planning programs.

Upcoming deadlines: completed descriptions of programs are due January 15 and there’s a workstation with printer and net connection in the LITA office to help with this process. January 21 is the date for 2008 official program text, and Program Planning Committee will pass along what they have to Valerie.

Lorre Smith, of Membership Development Committee asked the group to discuss the aspect of MDC charge having to do with leadership development, and a discussion developed with possible programming and other activities to be pursued by MDC.

Bonnie Postlethwaite discusse the Assessment and Research Committee workshop and their efforts to help LITA be more reliant on data for analysis of issues and decision making.

Pat Mullins of the Nominations Committee is looking for volunteers to run for LITA Board and for Vice President, so please contact Pat with nomination ideas!

Barbara Spivey, the Education Committee Chair, is also looking for those who are able to offer online courses, so please contact the Committee with suggestions.

Membership Development Committee 1/13/08 8am – 10am

Membership Development discussed the Research and Assessment Committee workshop and implications for forthcoming activities.

The membership has increased slightly and is slowly reaching former pre-dues-increase levels. The student category is the fastest growing category. The Committee had a brief discussion of “what next?” in terms of target groups and mention public libraries and technologists who are not in libraries at this time.

The Happy Hour on Friday comprised about 90 interesting people, with Don Lemke and Lorre Smith greeting members at the door and distributing “glowy things”. Planning for Anaheim Happy Hour got underway and it will be on Friday at 4:30, just before the LITA 101 Open House at 5:30.

Al Kornish took over the duties of scheduling members into the LITA booth, so all of you who are dying to spread the word about LITA can talk to Al about doing so in the booth at the annual conference!

Future MDC efforts will be in LIS schools, Second Life, at the Forum in the fall and at the Spectrum Professional Options Fair and the New Members Round Table orientation. Watch for interesting interactive events, audio and video!

Standards Interest Group Meeting

The Standards Interest Group meeting on January 12th from 4-6 was very informative. Todd Carpenter, the managing director of NISO, began by giving the group a very thorough report on current NISO activities. Mr. Carpenter described 2007 as a very busy and fruitful year for NISO. NISO received a quarter of a million dollars in grants in 2007. It also passed one standard (SUSHI; Z39.93), two recommended practices and three initiatives. Among many other activities, NISO also finished the third edition of its popular “Framework for Building Good Digital Collections.”

According to Todd Carpenter, 2008 will also be a busy year for NISO. For example, a working group to explore issues surrounding institutional identification has recently been formed. This working group will propose an identifier that will both uniquely identify institutions and describe relationships between entities within institutions. One of its first tasks is to review the existing institutional identifiers, such as those found in the MARC Code List for Organizations.

NISO will also hold four “Thought Leader” meetings in 2008 that will bring experts together to discuss topics currently of interest to the standards community. Possible topics for future Thought Leader meetings include preservation issues, cataloging and information exchange and the Semantic Web.

Another important activity that NISO hopes to accomplish in 2008 is to begin to develop partnerships with other standards bodies, such as OASIS. It is also pursuing secretariat responsibilities for ISO TC 46/SC9. The ISO TC 46/SC9 is responsible for such standards as ISBN and ISSN.

After Mr. Carpenter presented, Holly Eggleston of the University of California, San Diego spoke about Shibboleth and electronic resources. “Shibboleth is standards-based, open source middleware software which provides Web Single SignOn (SSO) across or within organizational boundaries. It allows sites to make informed authorization decisions for individual access of protected online resources in a privacy-preserving manner” (From the Shibboleth web page at: Two goals of Shibboleth is to improve access to licensed electronic resources, regardless of user location and to create a consistent user experience. Ms. Eggleston presented several scenarios of how to use Shibboleth to meet these goals. One scenario showed how Shibboleth may be used with EZproxy, an inexpensive server side proxy system. Holly Eggleston also described how Shibboleth is being used by the University of California, San Diego libraries.

IG Chair meeting, Saturday 9 a.m.

IG Chairs that were represented at the meeting:
Authority & Control
Distance Learning
Open Source Systems
Internet Resources

Remember to renew your Interest Group.
Everyone should have gotten an email about the renewal … if you are the chair, you need to be so listed on the website. Check the ComChair list.
Many groups are up for renewal and should really contact Mary Ellen Tyckoson.
Renewal is streamlined now and please take care of it at midwinter … print off the form from the website or get it from the ALA-LITA office. Review the description of the group, submit 3 reports from the last 3 Annual Meetings, and sign.
Question: have renewals ever been denied? Sometimes, the renewal is postponed if the information isn’t complete. Actually, there is no official mechanism for an IG to be disbanded, but Mary Ellen will look into it. To change a description, petition to change the name. The IG part of the LITA manual has been revised and will be posted by end of Midwinter.

Program proposals… it’s really not clear what the exact deadlines are for annual. For instance, what are the dates for Annual 2009? Right now, the 2008 cycle is up. It was recommended that we check the PPC web page for the latest dates…. And hopefully the 2009 cycle will be up there soon. It’s really important to have a direct contact with PPC to get your group and idea on the PPC radar.

Remember, managed discussions at Midwinter do not need to be “approved” by PPC… but they will not be marketed either. It will only be listed as a meeting by your Interest Group.

How do you market things for your IG events?

  • Usually, near the sign up area, there are pigeon hole boxes
  • give out the flyer at other meetings
  • get it out on the listservs
  • put it at the LITA table
  • get your speakers to post on their blogs
  • word of mouth
  • Open House at Annual (usually it’s early in the Annual conference, for Anaheim, it’s Saturday 4-5 and Happy Hour is 5-6)
  • Really need catchy titles
  • Co-sponsoring across divisions can really work because you are marketing to a bigger group more easily.

Don’t write off Midwinter as a good venue since the attendance is often better because you’re not competing with other programs.

Conflicts continue to be a problem at Annual, and often, programs are on the same topic. PPC does not see the other division programs until too late. But, we need to make sure that LITA programs aren’t creating conflicts as well. IG chairs should consider sharing their “ideas” early on, perhaps at meetings like this. PPC would need to be part of this process. Sunday afternoon already has LITA president’s program and Top Trends. You might consider getting a Sunday morning slot to try to create a LITA day.

Why aren’t we using Technology to share our ideas? Why aren’t we using technology to shorten the process? Again, as we all know, we are facing the problem of technology moving faster than the planning process allows. BIGWIG just uses “showcase” in their description which allows last minute additions that are very trendy and relevant. BIGWIG checked the rules… and it is allowed!!! PPC is sympathetic to this situation. Again, “managed discussion” may be the way to go. In the end, many of the IG’s at the table said that the program descriptions may have to be vague … but realize your marketing has be viral prior to the conference because your program description may not be much of draw in the conference book. For the ALA Agenda planner, it is important to be sure your titles match up … don’t change those … and check on your location.

Remember that ALA blocks out slots and no-conflict time are sacrosanct.

If you are an IG chair, you should be on the ComChair email distribution list. Holly Yu ( is new IG coordinator. She asked if there are things we want her to do. Mostly the group agreed that it’s information dissemination and posting to the web. Also, it would be good if Holly could help orient new chairs.

Be sure to check at the LITA table for hand-outs, sign up sheets, all forms, and message box. ALA “desk” also has the needed forms.

Evaluations are only done for programs. You may want to do an evaluation for a “managed discussion” if that evaluation would be worthwhile information.

See you at Annual.

New ALA website design concept – request for feedback

Per the Web Advisory Committee (WAC)

The design concept for the ALA website is now available for review. It’s up in Philadelphia on kiosks in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, but anyone can get to the site from anywhere. The URL is

Please visit when you get a chance. , Feel free to publicize the URL.

There is a link to a survey at the end of the mockups; please be sure to complete the survey to let us know what you think. Also, please remember this step in the process is just about the graphic design. Interactivity and site architecture and other features will be coming in future iterations of the design.

{URL corrected to}

LITA Happy Hour

Friday, January 11, 2008, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Please join the LITA Membership Development Committee and members from around the country for networking, good cheer, and great fun! Expect lively conversation and excellent drinks.
Cebu Restaurant and Bar123 Chestnut Street, Old City, Philadelphia (215) 629-1100

The hosts at Cebu have offered LITA the following:

Drink Specials:
$3 House Mixed Drinks
$2.50 Domestic Beer
$5 Long Island Iced Tea
$5 House Apple Martini’s and Cosmopolitans
$5 House Red or White Wine
15% discount (Limited to food bill only, must be seated in Main dining area)
Sampler of various Hors d’ oeuvres stationed at the Main Bar

Be sure to print out this flier [pdf] and bring it to Cebu; it is your discount card for the evening (copies will also be available at the LITA table)

Top technology trends: ALA Mid-Winter 2008

Here, listed in no priority order, is a set of top technology trends/predictions for fellow librarians to chew on during the ALA Mid-Winter Meeting, 2008.

  • The use of Linux as a server platform as well as a desktop platform will increase – The latest version of Windows seems to have gone over like a lead balloon. Institutions still have server-class needs. Add these two things together, and you will see more IT shops considering and adopting Linux for their operating system. At a much slower pace, Linux will increasingly appear on user desktops because retailers are selling dirt-cheap computers with Linux pre-installed. Ubuntu, a particular Linux distribution, gets rave reviews for its user interface. Clean. Easy to use, and easy to learn. As Linux becomes more predominant, so will the concept of open source software, and that is an additional ball of wax that has already been mentioned numerous times.
  • Open access will grow, I hope – H.R. 2764 was put into law this past month. In it was a provision mandating recipients of NIH grants to submit their articles to PubMed 12 months after publication. This ought to bring a flood of content to bare. We can only hope that a precedent will be set and more content will become open access from publicly funded sources. If this comes to fruition, then this will be a boon to acquisitions departments. “How can we collect, archive, and preserve this content for the long haul?” Remember, “lots of copies keep stuff safe”, and it is foolish and antiquated to think it is more efficient to keep digital things in only one place; it behooves libraries to collect and index this content. The stuff that will last for decades (if not centuries) will be the stuff that is duplicated over and over again.

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  • Social networking spaces will mature a bit more – For the most part, humans are social beings. We seek out groups of others, not just individuals but entire societies. If this is true, then it is natural for social networking communities to exist. Ironically, they are nothing new. How many of you remember Usenet or even dial-up bulletin board systems? The difference now-a-days is the proliferation of the Web browsers instead of modems. There are may social network places: MySpace, Linked-In, Facebook, etc. Each of these function but Facebook, with its ability to allow people to create programs for it through its application programmer interface (API), will probably grow faster than the others. Yes, the addition of the API provides more functionality, but more importantly, it harnesses the power of networked people the same way the development of Linux harnessed networked people. Centralized authorities may be ideal (more or less) when there is not a lot of communication between large groups of people. Consider the governments of the Middle Ages. When communication and accessibility channels are flattened the work of the whole group comes to bear more effectively. For these reasons, social networking spaces will continue to grow. The environment is ripe.
  • Blogging will continue to effect the way we communicate – Blogging most certainly was cutting edge two years ago. The blog-o-matic such as was in vogue. The technological infrastructure to make a blog happen was cheap, if not free. It was cool to have a blog. While it is still cool, I see many blogs going by the wayside and not getting updated. I believe this is true because people realized the time commitment a truly successful blog requires, namely, having something to say on regular basis and knowing how to say it in writing. Yet, the good (and prolific) writers who blog will exert an influence in the way we think and share ideas. I have been told that the following sounds very librarianish but I still think it is true. One of the powers of writing is that it transcends both space and time. Something can be written in the here and now but communicated with somebody across the globe three years from now. Very powerful. Blogs amplify this power.

Finally, the entity that has made all of these things possible has been our network of globally accessible computers. Each one of those words (“network”, “globally”, “accessible” and “computers”) packs a wollup, and combined into a single thing represent a huge change in the way we live and work. Let’s call that the understatment of the decade.

Eric Lease Morgan
University Libraries of Notre Dame

January 7, 2008