Category Archives: 2011

Video: The World (and Jason Griffey) Interview Verner Vinge

The video for Saturday’s interview with noted science fiction author Verner Vinge is now available on the LITA Ustream Channel. The complete interview runs for about two hours and is available in part 1 and part 2.

The work of Vernor Vinge pushes information and technology to its incredible, but possible, conclusions. In A Fire UponThe Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, Vinge examines the concept of the technological singularity, a theoretical point where machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence, and does so in ways that play with information systems and processes. In Rainbows End, Vinge explores one potentially very real future for libraries in which we live in a world of complete information immersion. Jason Griffey interviews Vernor Vinge; futurist, author, thinker, and visionary. This program was recorded live on Saturday, January 8th 2011 at 1pm in the San Diego Convention Center. Sponsored by LITA’s Imagineering Interest Group.

Video: Top Tech Trends panel, Midwinter San Diego (2011)

The archived video of Top Tech Trends is now available on the LITA Ustream Channel.

The bi-annual gathering of library technology practitioners and thinkers, hosted by the Library Information Technology Association, gathers in San Diego to ponder topics ranging from WikiLeaks to Angry Birds, from cloud-based information systems to mobile services. The program was recorded live on January 9th, 2011 at 8am in the San Diego Convention Center Room 26 A/B.

The San Diego panelists include:

~Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
~Rachel Frick, Program Director, Digital Library Federation
~Erik Mitchell, Assistant Director for Technology Services, Wake Forest University
~Monique Sendze, Associate Director of Information Technology, Douglas County Libraries, Colorado
~Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian, McMaster University

The program is moderated by Jason Vaughn, Director of Library Technologies at University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Due to network difficulties beyond our control, the recorded program joins the panelists already in progress. Our apologies for the few minutes that are lost. Enjoy the show!

LITA 201 Midwinter 2011

Are you a new LITA member, or one who hasn’t quite found your place in the organization yet? Not quite sure what LITA is all about? LITA 201 is a session intended to introduce people to the organization and help them find a meaningful way to get involved and get connected. Don Lemke, chair of the Membership Development committee, headed this session and introduced the newbies to the organization, and to invited Committee chairs and Interest Group leaders.

LITA is a broad organization, encompassing librarians from all types of libraries, doing all kinds of work, involved with every type of information technology imaginable. The main goal of LITA is to help people make connections. It’s easy to get boxed in to your specific work, and to cut yourself off from people doing different things, but through LITA, you can stay current and aware of things going on throughout the field. LITA is about people, and according to Andrew Pace, head of IT at NCSU libraries and an active member of LITA, it’s one of the best professional networking organizations in ALA.

There are a lot of ways to get involved with LITA, and the best way to get started is to reach out and contact the chair of a committee or interest group that sounds compelling to you. Involvement is welcome and LITA members will do their best to help you find the right place in the organization. The first place to start is on lita.org, where you can find a list of Committees and Interest Groups. Interest Groups are an easy way to get involved: If you find something that sounds interesting, get in touch with the chair to find out more. You can start your own interest group if you don’t see your interest represented already.

Committees usually require a two year commitment, and while some do involve travel to conferences, virtual participation is becoming easier. Committee work revolves around outreach, education, scholarship, membership, and governance. It’s easy to get involved right away, and there is a volunteer application on the ALA website. The organization seeks balanced committee membership, with a good mix of established and new LITA members, and are always welcome to involvement from new members.

LITA sponsors the National Forum, Regional Institutes, and Pre-Conferences, which offer another way to get involved, and to learn interesting things that will make you a more effective librarian. The National Forum planning committee is a great way to get involved with LITA, and they are always looking for paper and presentation submissions.

Mentorship is a growing area in LITA: The organization is full of both digital natives and digital immigrants, and we both have things to teach each other. LITA is interested in connecting people who can provide each other mutual benefit. If you’re interested in being involved, contact Don Lemke with information about what you have to offer and what you are interested in learning in return.

If you are at ALA Midwinter this year and want to find out more, attend the Town Hall meeting, Monday morning from 8 am to 10 am. The meeting will be in the Convention Center room 01A, and breakfast will be provided (free food!). It’s a great chance to hear about what the organization is doing, and to contribute your ideas for the organization (I can personally attest that when I attended my first ALA Midwinter meeting as a young student who had no idea what she was doing, the people at the LITA town hall meeting were warm and welcoming, and really seemed to appreciate my input, so don’t be shy!).

LITA Happy Hour and LITA Eats are also important ways to get involved with LITA. These events offer less formal ways to get to know each other and make connections. We can let go and sit and talk with each other outside of a professional arena. This is where we really get to know each other, and it’s a great place to meet people and begin to find out how you can fit it in in the organization.

The most important thing to remember about LITA is that the people involved are what make it useful and fun. Your contributions will be welcome, however you can contribute. Because of it’s broadness, there is certain to be something you’re interested in. All you have to do is reach out and contact a committee chair or interest group head to find out the best way to be involved. LITA is happy to help you find your place, and will gladly welcome you into the fold.

The World (and Jason Griffey) Interviews Vernor Vinge

Jason Griffey kicked off the session by introducing Dr. Vernor Vinge and talking about his many accolades as a science fiction writer and futurist.

Dr. Vinge then talked about how humans are the best tool-creating animal and the only animal that has figured out how to outsource their cognition — how to spread their cognitive abilities into the outside world.  As an example, he talked about how  writing and speaking are an outsourcing of our thinking and money represents an outsourcing of our perceived value for things.

As humans continue to outsource cognition more effectively by harnessing powerful machines and complex networks, we move closer to a point of technological singularity.  At this point, where a superhuman intelligence can be achieved by machines or some combination of humans and machines, it will become too difficult for humans to fully grasp the present or to predict the future.  As an example, he talked about how someone might be able to explain the present time and the fundamental changes that had led up to today to Mark Twain in an afternoon.  But what if that same person was trying to explain all of this to a goldfish or a chimpanzee?

Next Dr. Vinge discussed the forces of change that he sees driving society toward this envisioned state of  ”technological singularity”.

He began by highlighting the power of humans together with computer networks.  He said that development and expansion of cell phone networks and computer networks and the billions of people on these networks has impacted the way we see the world. In the past, there was a “life boat earth” world view where population growth, lack of resources and environmental problems  would make competition among the populations of the world a negative sum game.  He compared that perspective on the world to the optimism that now stems from the use of networks for communication and crowdsourcing.   People can pursue their life interests with passion and enthusiasm and increasingly intelligent networks continue to get better at harnessing the power of intense creative energy for the benefit of  all.

Then he talked about the concept of intelligence amplification He indicated that users who start to develop an intimate enough interface with computers could potentially become superhuman.  The computer becomes sort of a “neo neo cortex”.   He offered some current examples of how computers are already creating an augmented reality such as Heads-Up Displays that enhance what is being viewed to offer the benefit of additional data and context.

He then explored the potential for fine grained distributed systems or Digital Gaia.  He underscored that while the computing power and potential of vast server farms is highly publicized as it relates to Google, Amazon, Microsoft, this is not the only way or the best way to capitalize on available technologies. For some tasks, he said that it is much more favorable to use embedded systems of microprocessors. As an example, there is potential that scientists might want to monitor the metabolism of the individual cells within the human body by placing a microprocessor in every cell and this type of approach would scale well with low power nodes.  The outcome of such a project would be quite strange– “where reality becomes its own database.”

Jason Griffey asked Dr. Vinge about his early experiences with libraries and he talked about how he used to visit relatives and take advantage of their library cards so that he could read books from other library’s science fiction collections.  He talked about the special role of librarians as enablers of the future and guardians of the past.

When asked about ereaders, he indicated that he did not have an ereader currently and that he typically relies on a laptop or desktop for most of his reading and research since he is consumed by finishing a book.  He also expressed concern about the need to better understand DRM and the “pyramid of standards and legalities” associated with ebook devices.

Dr. Vinge then addressed whether it was possible that technological singularity would not happen.  He said that some have made the argument that a single neuron is more powerful than most powerful super computer and if true that could delay technological singularity.  Over the next 10 to 30 years, he said, ”we will be getting answers that only great philosophers and college sophomores have talked about.”  He said that for a long time it had just been assumed that a machine could never play chess and then there was IBM’s Big Blue and things like this just keep gettting chipped away.

Top Tech Trends LiveBlog

Join us Sunday January 9, 2011 for the Top Technology Trends panel. The session will be live-blogged by TTT committee members; the live blog will also capture any messages posted to twitter with the hashtag #alamwttt.

You can also watch the video stream here.

The World (and Jason Griffey) interviews Vernor Vinge

On Saturday, January 8 at 1:30pm in Room 29 A-D of the San Diego Convention Center, I have the opportunity to interview an incredible author and thinker, Dr. Vernor Vinge. Dr. Vinge is most well known for being a multiple Hugo Award winning author, but he is also a Professor and technologist, famous for being a proponent of the idea of The Singularity. If you have time to pick up one of his works before ALA MidWinter 2011, I’d recommend Rainbows End…it has some of the most interesting discussions of libraries, digitization, augmented reality, and information immersion of any book in the last 50 years. He even name-checks the ALA in it. :-)

I am taking questions both now and live during the interview. We will be streaming the Interview here on LITABlog, as well as at the LITA UStream channel, taking questions via Facebook and Twitter, but if you have questions you’d like to ensure that I ask, please let me know at the form below.

Dr. Vinge will be speaking for the first 1/2 hour or so of the program, and then we’ll settle in to the questions. Come join us for what will surely be a great conversation.

LITA Top Tech Trends at Midwinter in San Diego

WHEN:
Sunday, January 9, 2011, 8 – 9:30am pacific time

WHERE:

  • San Diego Convention Center SDCC-Room 26 A/B
  • Here at litablog.org for live streaming and live blogging
  • Twitter #alamwttt

The illustrious panelists will be:

  • Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
  • Rachel Frick, Program Director, Digital Library Federation
  • Erik Mitchell, Assistant Director for Technology Services, Wake Forest University
  • Monique Sendze, Associate Director of Information Technology, Douglas County Libraries, Colorado
  • Jeffrey Trzeciak, University Librarian, McMaster University

Join us for a fun and casual discussion, moderated by Jason Vaughan, LITA Top Tech Trends Committee chair.

Call for Bloggers! Midwinter 2011 Schedule

Do you plan to attend ALA Midwinter in San Diego? Take this opportunity to become a LITA Blogger.

The LITA Blog (http://litablog.org) will again be on hand to report what is happening and share the terrific Midwinter experience with those who cannot attend this year.

If you like to write and are looking for new ways to get involved (or have blogged in the past and would like to blog again), please email me at thebrewinlibrarian@gmail.com and let me know what sessions you would like to cover. The blog schedule for Midwinter is below and will be updated as we receive volunteers. Names of bloggers appear in bold next to session. If there is no name after a session title, please feel free to sign up for it!

We will be taking volunteers up to and during the conference.

Thank you very much in advance!

Matt Hamilton, LITA Web Coordinating Committee

FRIDAY, JANUARY 7

Creating Library Web Services: Mashups and APIs
9:00 am- 4:30 pm
SDCC-Room 24 A
del.icio.us subject guides, Flickr library displays, YouTube library orientation; with mashups and APIs, it’s easier to bring pieces of the web together with library data. Learn what an API is and what it does, the components of web services, how to build a mashup, how to work with PHP, and how to create web services for your library. Participants should be comfortable with HTML markup and have an interest in learning about web scripting and programming and are encouraged to bring a laptop for hands-on participation.

Open Source CMS Playroom
9:00 am- 4:30 pm
SDCC-Room 24 B
Open source content management systems present an opportunity for libraries to distribute content creation and maintenance and add Web 2.0 features to library websites. This workshop will provide an overview of several content management systems, compare and contrast system functionality and features, and demonstrate how open source CMSs can be used to enhance library websites. Bring your laptop to explore and compare basic installations of WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal CMSs.

Executive Committee
10:30 am – 11:30 am
SDCC-Room 01 B

Membership Committee
1:30 pm -3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 19

LITA 201 Laura Krier
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
SDCC-Room 01 A
LITA 201 is a general orientation to involvement in LITA. Join us, and learn how active involvement in LITA can help you better meet the challenges of today and troubleshoot the challenges of tomorrow. Join us for LITA 201 at Midwinter 2011 to:-Learn more about LITA and where you fit-Become or find a mentor-Form your own interest group-Network with tech-savvy library colleagues.

Assessment and Research Committee
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
SDCC-Room 19

Electronic Resources Management Interest Group
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
SDCC-Room 25 C
Open Source electronic resources management solutions.

LITA Happy Hour Ryan Hess
5:30 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. Cash Bar.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 8

Joint Committees and Interest Groups Chairs Meeting
8:00 am – 9:00 am
SDCC-Room 32 A/B

Interest Group Chairs
9:00 am – 10:00 am
SDCC-Room 32 A/B

Committee Chairs Meeting
9:00 am – 10:00 am
SDCC-Room 32 A/B

Board of Directors
9:30 am – 12 noon
SDCC-Room 11 B

Digital Libraries Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Aqua 300

MARBI Committee
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
MAR-Marriott Hall 4
MARBI (Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information) is an interdivisional committee of ALA, encompassing ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA. Its mission is to encourage the creation of needed standards, review and evaluate proposed standards, recommend approval of standards in conformity with ALA policy, establish a mechanism for continuing review of standards, provide commentary on the content of various implementations of standards to concerned agencies, and maintain liaison with concerned units within ALA and relevant outside agencies.

Distance Learning Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Aqua 308
The Distance Learning Interest Group’s midwinter meeting will be an opportunity to discuss issues in distance learning librarianship, and also a chance to meet up with like-minded librarians. The meeting will wrap up with a discussion about what members want the interest group to be and accomplish in the next year.

The World (and Jason Griffey) Interviews Vernor Vinge – Mike Diaz
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 29 A-D
The work of Vernor Vinge pushes information and technology to its incredible, but possible, conclusions. In A Fire UponThe Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, Vinge examines the concept of the technological singularity, a theoretical point where machine intelligence overtakes human intelligence, and does so in ways that play with information systems and processes. In Rainbows End, Vinge explores one potentially very real future for libraries in which we live in a world of complete information immersion. Come and see Jason Griffey interview Vernor Vinge; futurist, author, thinker, and visionary. Sponsored by
LITA’s Imagineering Interest Group.

Bylaws and Organization Committee
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
HIL-Sapphire Boardrm

Publications Committee
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 31 B

JPEG2000 Interest Group
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
MAR-Warner Center
The JPEG2000 Interest Group will meet at the ALA Midwinter meeting to discuss upcoming programming options, discuss implementations of the standard, and provide a forum for those using or interested in the standard to share information. All are welcome.

Standards Interest Group
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
MAR-Encinitas
To provide a forum for leaders from libraries, vendors and standards organizations to discuss the development of standards relating to library and information technology.

National Forum Planning 2011 Committee
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
MAR-Balboa

MARC Formats Interest Group (ALCTS LITA)
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 26 A/B
Will RDA Mean the Death of MARC? The end of the MARC formats has been predicted for years, but no alternative format has risen up to challenge MARC. Will the introduction of the new RDA code precipitate the demise of MARC? Will RDA require the description of content and functionality that cannot be accommodated by the MARC formats, or that can be more easily accommodated by alternative content formats? If so, what format(s) will replace MARC? And if MARC does continue to thrive, how will it have to change to accommodate the new content descriptions in RDA?

Drupal Interest Group
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 04
The Drupal Interest Group provides a forum and support network for people who are currently using or who are planning to use the Drupal Content Management System. The meeting at Midwinter will be an open forum for all topics related to Drupal.

SUNDAY, JANUARY 9

Bylaws and Organization Committee
8:00 am – 10:00 am
HIL-Colbalt 520

International Relations Committee
8:00 am – 10:00 am
HIL-Aqua 305

Technology and Access Committee
8:00 am – 10:00 am
HIL-Aqua Boardrm

Public Libraries Technology Interest Group
8:00 am – 10:00 am
HIL-Sapphire 402
The Public Library Technology Interest Group meeting starts with a “Coffee with the Experts” session, which will be a peer networking even focusing on current hot technology topics. Share your experiences, and learn from others over a cup of coffee. A general business meeting will follow.

Top Technology Trends (Discussion Meeting)
8:00 am – 10:00 am
SDCC-Room 26 A/B
LITA Top Technology Trends Moderated Discussion

Top Tech Trends Business Meeting Nadaleen
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Colbalt 520

Heads of Library Techology Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
WEST-Santa Fe
HOLT provides a forum and support network for people with administrative responsibility for computing and technology in a library setting. The meeting will include introductions and announcements, discussion of LITA and HoLT business and an update on programming for Annual. Discussion will include solicitation for the upcoming Vice Chair position, followed by HoLTTalk, a round-table discussion of current IT issues facing attendees.

Library Consortia and Systems Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Indigo 202 B
The Library Consortia and Systems Interest Group is an open discussion of technologies, trends, and issues that face libraries and library systems within a consortial environment.

Program Planning Committee
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Indigo B

Next Generation Catalog Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
HIL-Sapphire M
David Lindahl, an executive director of eXtensible Catalog (XC), will discuss how XC transforms legacy metadata formats towards FRBR, RDA, and linked-data environments and integrates any ILS with any next generation catalog. Participants are encouraged to share local projects to incorporate linked data into their library catalogs and to relate the benefits of moving data into more web-friendly formats.

Emerging Technologies Interest Group Nadaleen
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 25 C
Discussion on Emerging Technologies libraries should be monitoring and discussion on program for ALA Annual 2011.

Internet Resources and Services Interest Group Ryan Hess
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 01 B
Discuss new and emerging Internet technologies. Discuss the planning for the 2011 ALA Annual Ultimate Debate: “Library Web Scale Discovery Services: Paradigm Shift or More of the Same?”

Cloud Computing and Virtualization Interest Group
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 27 B

Mobile Computing Interest Group
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 31 A
Mobile Computing Interest Group – the demonstration of 3-4 different mobile frameworks

Web Coordinating Committee
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 24 B

MARBI Committee
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
MAR-Marriott Hall 4
MARBI (Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information) is an interdivisional committee of ALA, encompassing ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA. Its mission is to encourage the creation of needed standards, review and evaluate proposed standards, recommend approval of standards in conformity with ALA policy, establish a mechanism for continuing review of standards, provide commentary on the content of various implementations of standards to concerned agencies, and maintain liaison with concerned units within ALA and relevant outside agencies.

Open Source Interest Group
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 31 C
The OSS IG will discuss trends in open source library systems and plan for Annual 2011, and will reserve some meeting time for IG members and visitors to share their news about open source implementations and other items of interest.

Blog and Wiki Interest Group (BIGWIG)
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 28 B
The business meeting for BIGWIG will focus on planning for the next Showcase at Annual. We’ll also talk about communication, getting involved in BIGWIG, and any other cool ideas people have for working with other groups in LITA or ALA.

Education Committee
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 10

Nominating 2012 Election
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
HIL-Aqua 311

Kilgour Award Committee
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
HIL-Aqua 309

MONDAY, JANUARY 10

LITA Town Meeting
8:00 am – 10:00 am
SDCC-Room 01 A
LITA President-Elect Colleen Cuddy will address how LITA is putting the new strategic plan into action. Committee chairs and fellow LITA board members will be on hand to update membership on initiatives underway to reach some of the goals outlined in the plan. Members will have an opportunity to respond to and suggest future directions and approaches for reaching LITA’s goals and objectives. Your input as a LITA member in the discussion about how LITA operates in today’s world is very important to the success of the organization.

RFID Interest Group
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
SDCC-Room 27 A
This will be an open dialog on the status of RFID in libraries. I will be soliciting feedback from libraries on additional topics.

Information Technology and Libraries Editorial Board
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
GASLAMP-Bayside

National Forum 2012 Planning Committee
10:30 am – 12:00 noon
SDCC-Room 24 C

MARBI Committee
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
MAR-Marriott Hall 4
MARBI (Machine-Readable Bibliographic Information) is an interdivisional committee of ALA, encompassing ALCTS, LITA, and RUSA. Its mission is to encourage the creation of needed standards, review and evaluate proposed standards, recommend approval of standards in conformity with ALA policy, establish a mechanism for continuing review of standards, provide commentary on the content of various implementations of standards to concerned agencies, and maintain liaison with concerned units within ALA and relevant outside agencies.

Transliteracy Interest Group
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 24 C
First meeting of transliteracy interest group will be a round-table style discussion of the future and goals of the group.

Imagineering Interest Group
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
SDCC-Room 24 B

Board of Directors Meeting
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
SDCC-Room 11 B

Hotel Abbreviations
San Diego Convention Center – SDCC
Embassy Suites – EMB
Hilton Bayfront – HIL
Hilton Gaslamp – GASLAMP
Horton Grand – HORTON
Manchester Grand Hyatt – GRAND
San Diego Marriott and Marina – MAR
Westin Gaslamp – WEST

Join LITA Tech Set authors for a conversation at ALA Midwinter

The LITA Publications Committee will be hosting a conversation and open discussion with three of the LITA Tech Set authors:

  • Marshall Breeding, author of Next Gen Library Catalogs and recognized expert on all things ILS and library technology. Marshall was the 2010 recipient of the prestigious LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication in Library and Information Technology.
  • Kelly Czarnecki, author of Gaming in Libraries. Kelly is a technology education librarian at ImaginOn, an innovative collaboration between Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Children’s Theater of Charlotte.
  • Lauren Pressley, author of Wikis for Libraries and So You Want To Be a Librarian? Lauren also writes one of the leading library blogs, http://laurenpressley.com/library/.

Please join Saturday, January 8, 2011, 1:30-2:30 pm SDCC 31B for a lively exchange with these top technology authors.