Increasing impact with a reduced budget

This year's MMIT National Conference will focus on the use of new technologies to help defer the impact of reduced budgets. Olivia Greenstreet previews the programme.

The latest library technologies

The Multimedia Information and Technology Group of Cilip (MMIT) is holding this year's National Conference in Sheffield (17 April). The programme sets out to show the potential for educational return when implementing some of the library world's latest technologies.

Entitled 'Reduced budgets? Increased impact! Increasing LIS impact with new technologies' the event will explore the current trends that are having an effect on the libraries of today and tomorrow, including the future of library management systems and the impact technologies are having on user behaviours. The conference includes presentations from two industry experts, interactive discussions and workshops and networking opportunities.

New automation platforms

The 2010 recipient of the LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Outstanding Communication for Continuing Education in Library and Information Science, Marshall Breeding, will be one of two keynote speakers at the conference.  Marshall is Director for Innovative Technologies and Research at Vanderbilt University, and Executive Director for the Vanderbilt Television News Archive. In addition to this, he has led an annual survey titled Perceptions 2011: An International Survey of Library Automation since 2007, in which he has assessed library management tools across 77 different countries. This survey, amongst other research conducted by Marshall, will be the backbone of his keynote address at the conference.  His presentation will discuss new library automation platforms. 

Separate library management tools for print and electronic content is a dated concept in a fast progressing world and new library services platforms aim toward a more unified approach to resource management. Breeding's presentation will focus on the potential of these new platforms in an age where digital content is increasingly monopolising the library catalogue and he will consider the economic reality faced by libraries.  The session will also include demonstrations of new products currently emerging on the market and will assess their long term impact in libraries.

Generation Z, educational apps and new library users

The second keynote speaker is Google's Ross Mahon. Having worked with universities, colleges and schools, Mahon's collaboration with the education sector has given him great insight into the impact that consumer technologies are having on the next generation of university students. The 'Apps Edu Evangelist' will be talking about their response to the new ways people are communicating and sharing information and the possibilities of cloud-based computing.

In a changing landscape libraries are constantly competing with themselves and each other to stay on top of new technologies whilst managing a new generation of learners with new skills and multitasking abilities! The next generation of library users are known as Generation Z and come September they will be knocking on the doors of our universities, with an adaptive attitude to the future of the digital revolution. Looking at the impact of this and the influence that consumer technologies have had on this ‘digital native', Ross Mahon will talk about how educational establishments can prepare for Generation Z and this new breed of library users. He will also look at the ways that tools like Google Apps for Education can help universities to leverage powerful consumer cloud based technologies to engage students and foster creativity in the use of technology for teaching and learning.

Real world solutions

The conference will be drawn to a close by a series of short presentations and workshops looking at the ways in which new technologies can solve real world problems. With talks on digital literacy, web toolkits and mobile technologies this is your opportunity to give your opinion!

For information on the conference visit the MMIT webpage

Olivia Greenstreet is Information Projects Assistant at BSRIA and a member of the MMIT Committee

Image courtesy of kenteegardin via Flickr.