Calgary Law Library Group

2015 Internet Librarian Conference: Reflections

17 Nov 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous

At the end of October, I was given the opportunity (with funding from the CLLG Education Grant) to attend the Internet Librarian (IL) conference in the beautiful ocean-side City of Monterey, California.  IL offers practical workshops, conference sessions, and keynotes, sharing the latest trends in technology, innovation & of course the Internet. Here are some of my random thoughts on the conference:

  • 16 of the 19 IL conferences have been held in Monterey (CALL take note)
  • 700 attendees & 17 countries were represented at this year’s conference
  • event organization is focused on good content & excellent speakers ( there’s no free food expect for  breakfast & attendees make their own social fun) (CALL take note)
  • lots of content to choose from (4 tracks of 45 minutes sessions from 9am to 5pm) sometimes making it difficult to decide which sessions to attend
  • exhibit hall/vendors is small & not flashy
  • not too much talk about “libraries or librarians” as many libraries and librarians have been transformed into 21st century marketers; talk is about Information professionals wanting to offer their clients what the Internet cannot, to show their worth over the Internet
  • the language information professionals are using has changed; they use business phrases like ROI (return on investment), think and behave like business startups, know their client’s psyche or way of learning and find new ways to show their worth/value to management & anyone else who holds the budgetary purse strings
  • reliable information is out there in great quantities but so is information overload; librarians the “original search engine” have the necessary skills and know how to cull that information, separating the wheat from the chaff to create valuable, focused & meaningful deliverables to clients
  • heard at the conference: “don’t provide a service you can’t sustain”; “provide information, even if your client is not asking”; “failure is just feedback” and “perfect is the enemy of good”
  • information specialists working in small firms/organizations can create great opportunities to collaborate with their IT departments to drive projects but you better learn to speak their language and by the way social media is not IT (don’t ask IT how to set up your Twitter or Instagram account)
  • information specialists need to “raise their hand” & say “I can do that” even if at the moment you cannot, learn how, teach yourself, read a lot, invest in your education even if your employer does not
  • test your students after instruction with the fun app Kahoot! where trainees/students answer multiple choice questions in real time with all of their classmates.  Its a free online quiz type game that will have your students wanting to answer those Canadian Abridgement questions!
  • when writing for the web, write like you talk, and simplify; use “to” instead of “in order to”, “for” instead of “to ensure”; read anything you write out loud, its amazing how many errors you catch when you read what you have written out loud. Try it!
  • create deliverables that support business decisions (be proactive, don’t wait for requests, find the right topics (eg. frequent questions) to deliver; don’t create deliverables that are not being read or used even though you might think they are great (check usage)
  • your databases are expensive! make sure they are being used and discovered/found; deep linking of books to QL in your catalog for example may help to expose your users to your QL database
  • make your library website Google-ish ;  keep it simple, don’t give your users too much stuff, give value for free (add free things to your catalog, such as Google Scholar); make your catalog good enough for users to find what they want, but not perfect; advertising your library could be as simple as including a short feedback form in your email & other communication formats; protect your market (make sure you are the place to go for everything!)
  • Librarian in the Cloud also attended IL 2015 and provides her notes from the sessions she attended
  • many of these presentations talk about public libraries or academic libraries services, don’t ignore them, much of what goes on there can be applied in your firm/organization
  • If you’d like to view what was presented at IL 2015 you can access all available presentations at this URL: 

Thanks again, CLLG!


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