Conference Summary: Internet Librarian 2013

[Ed. note: Below is my write-up for MPOW on attending Internet Librarian that was submitted to my colleagues upon my return. I’ve updated it here to include links and slightly more detail.]

This October I had an opportunity to present at Internet Librarian as part of a panel to discuss “Tech Librarianship & Gender.” This was my first time at IL and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s a fairly compact, intense three days with of lots of learning. I would highly recommend this conference for its intimacy, content. The location doesn’t hurt either.

There is a lot more great stuff at #IL2013 and #InternetLibrarian

Below is a rundown of most of the sessions that I either participated in as a panelist or attended.

Opening Keynote: Information Inspiration Architecture: The Future of Libraries by Peter Morville
At the very last moment, Morville changed the title of his talk to Inspiration Architecture from Information Architecture (hence the strikeout) because he realized that the foundation of what brings people to and changes their perception about libraries is the inspiration they give. That perception is becoming more fluid every day.

Community Engagement & MakerSpace
This wasn’t quite what it built itself to be and for that I’m kind of disappointed. I didn’t find the presenters were “telling stories” so much as they just laid out this is what they did and this is what happened. I was hoping for something more about WHY doing these things (community engagement and MakerSpaces) are important over the flashy programs this library was doing. I do however appreciate the breath of libraries, especially academic, are doing with the maker ethos.

Tech Librarianship & Gender
My panel! This was super awesome but we only had 45 minutes and the time was way too short for the topic. What we ended up doing was the panel introduced itself and gave our personal perspective on the topic and then we opened it up to the floor for conversation.

Transforming Services: iPads, Ebooks, & Tablets
This was particularly interesting because the first half of the presentation was about using and creating iPad book apps, which are interactive eBooks. The second half was about using iPads as service points around the library, both stationary and roaming. There were a lot of good ideas in the presentation on how to make this not only more efficient but also information rich.

Open Educational Resources and the Open Web
This was a pretty incredible session filled with lots and lots of info of OER tools easily available, with the listing available here The session concentrated on some of the tools, what they were good for (mainly reference) and other uses.

Breaking Down Library Walls with Augmented Reality
AR has become the new push in library services and I’m not entirely sold on it just yet – look at what happened with QR codes. This session showed how Emporia State uses AR to interact with its community and to get them engaged. There is a lot of neat ways AR is being used but the cost, use, and community participation seems to still be incredibly low. The presenters also did not give breakdown of community participation with using the services.

Building Google’s Power-Searching MOOCs
The presenter, an employee at Google, gave a breakdown on how Google went about building a MOOC for their Power Searching class and what the pitfalls, learning experiences, and eventual finalization of the MOOC came to be. It was super interesting because it also touches in User Experience and expectations, which seems to be pushed to the side when we’re building classes.