It’s Friday, August 15, and the 2008 IFLA Congress is officially finished, but I have one more meeting, the Governing Board, tomorrow. On Wednesday, I attended the meeting hosted by Jay Jordan, President of OCLC, concerning OCLC’s new initiatives, and especially how it operates internationally. It’s clear that the organization will be making some changes in governance to allow for more participation by OCLC members outside the U.S. as those numbers are growing fast. OCLC’s Karen Calhoun spoke about metadata and how library catalogs need to be put in a larger context if they will continue to be relevant to information searchers. I had to leave the session early, but not before she quoted from both David Weinberger and David Lankes, both authors looking into the future of information and both speakers coming to the Smithsonian Libraries this fall. Earlier that day, the Acquisitions and Collection Development Section held a program about mass digitization, at which Robert Miller of the Internet Archive, and Jonathan Bengston of the University of Toronto more »
On the occasion of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries’ 40th anniversary, the Smithsonian Institution Libraries (SIL), Smithsonian Institution Archives (SIA) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) present a series of speakers who will address the Institution on the future of libraries, museums and archives in a digital world James Neal We Can’t Get There From Here: The Intersection of Research Library Aspirations and Copyright Challenges. September 8, 2008 2:00pm-4:00pm, Ripley Center, Room 3111 ____________________________________________ David Weinberger Knowledge, Noise, and the End of Information September 16, 2008 2:00pm-4:00pm, Ripley Center, Room 3111 ____________________________________________ Roy Tennant Libraries in a Networked World October 23, 2008 10:00am-noon, Ripley Center, Room 3111 ____________________________________________ R. David Lankes Not Done Yet: Charting a new Course for Librarianship November 3, 2008 10:00am – noon, Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium ____________________________________________ Clay Shirky Finding content as a social problem November 12, 2008 2:00pm-4:00pm, National Museum of Natural History, Kerby Room
It’s Tuesday, August 12, and I am in the middle of the week-long IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Quebec, Canada. All sessions are in the new and splendid conference center, which makes sure that meetings are easy to find, exhibits easy to visit, and friends easy to meet. The Opening Session on Sunday featured speeches from Michaelle Jean, the Governour General of Quebec ,and other dignitaries, interspersed with cultural entertainment. Actors represented characters from Canadian history, especially the battle that took place on the Field of Abraham (which we can see from our hotel window). A highlight was the singing and dancing by members of Canada’s First Nations, the country’s indigenous peoples. In particular were two young Inuit women who practice a special kind of duet, where they face each other and voice both melodic and rhythmic sounds — and sometimes finished with laughter! IFLA is the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and the Smithsonian Libraries is a member, which makes me a voting delegate. But more »
Please join us for the second in our series of lectures and programs in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Smithsonian Institution Libraries!Gregg Silvis Library 2023: a (provoked) discussion on the future of libraries and librarians (hip)When: July 28, 2008, 2:00-4:00 pmWhere: National Museum of Natural History, Kerby Room (CEG-313) Gregg Silvis has spoken widely about the future of libraries. He served as computer services/systems librarian at the law library at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles before joining the University of Delaware in 1994, where he now serves as Assistant Director for Library Computing Systems. In 2006 Gregg Silvis was elected to the executive committee of the Online Computer Library Center’s (OCLC) Members Council, the governing body of the world’s largest library cooperative.
SIL is involved in several renovation projects–at the Cooper-Hewitt where the library is moving to new space; at NMNH where the main Natural History is also moving to new space; and at NMAH, where the library has been in the middle of a construction zone for a year and a half. Consequently, I attended a meeting called "Tomorrow’s Library in Today’s Space." The most interesting presentation was from Jay Shaffer, Director at the U. of Massachusetts, who created a "Learning Commons." He distinguishes this from an Information Commons, which a number of academic libraries are creating. The latter, in his view, is just providing computer workstations anle to do searching on the library’s website or the Internet, but no other software. A "Learning Commons" is staffed by both librarians and computer staff and has workstations with Microsoft Office and other software needed by students to do their work. These spaces are open 24/7 and the library has also put in a coffee bar or other food service near by. Places more »
One of the advantages of attending such a large conference is the exposure that is possible to issues and programs outside one’s normal everyday interests. The extensive exhibits are one place where vendors and publishers of all kinds promote their wares. I’m on the exhibit floor now, watching a presentation in the Library of Congress booth about LC’s digital preservation program. The big news in print publishing continues to be children’s books and products; it’s hard to find adult books (my personal interest) here on the exhibit floor. Nevertheless, many publishers are giving away advance reading copies or uncorrected proofs, not to mention posters, catalogs, flyers and many other (heavy) items. No wonder there is a post office right here, ready with boxes available for shipping. The exhibit flloor is also a good place to catch trends. I was struck by the growing specialty areas of gaming and graphic novels and comics, as well as the increase in audiobook producers. These are geared toward public and school libraries more than more »
I’m attending the annual ALA conference in Anaheim, where we’re enjoying welcome relief from Washington’s hot, muggy air. ALA is so big that every attendee is going to have a highly individual view. I only arrived yesterday (Friday) afternoon, but already I have several meetings under my belt. My focus this time is largely on international activities, given my current role as a member of the Governing Board of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions and as chair of it’s Professional Committee. So yesterday I sat in on the meeting of ALA’s International Relations Committee, where there were numerous reports on how the association is reaching out to colleagues around the world. I joined Sjoerd Koopman, IFLA’s Coordinator of Professional Activities, in reporting on what IFLA was doing in many areas of the developing world to advocate for libraries and freedom of information. IFLA has just published a world report on the status of intellectual freedom in over 100 countries. IFLA is also helping to rebuild the library more »
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