'The library is everywhere'

Some key themes emerged at Internet Librarian International 2011.

<< back Page 2 of 2

We understand technology

We have proved over and again that we understand new technologies.  We 'get' them and the ways in which their use can benefit our customers.  There is no shortage of new tools and great ideas.   The key to success is applying them appropriately.

Knowing ourselves

Ulla de Stricker recommended that we all thought about what presentations and conversations really resonated with us at the conference.  This response gives us clues as to what really matters to us and can give us some possible new directions for our careers.  Think about what makes you proud to be in your profession.  Don't worry too much about your weaknesses - focus on your strengths and remember why you came into the profession. 

Opportunities at the boundary

Many presentations showed new ways for infopros to add value.  The presentation by Dean Frey about TedX was an opportunity to show another side of librarians.  Being a part of something new and innovative for the community.  A case study about knowledge agents in the defence industry showed the key role professionals can have in ensuring that invaluable expertise is not lost to an organisation.  We can catalyse people and behaviour - and sometimes we must challenge our users and open their eyes to what they don't know exists. 

The library is everywhere

The library is no longer ‘simply' a physical space.  The image of geo-located books hanging in trees - (one of the innovations detailed by Dr Klaus Tochtermann, German National Library for Economics) resonated with the audience.  Feda Kulinovic (Peace Support Operations Training Centre, Bosnia Herzegovina) spoke about being a librarian everywhere, always looking for opportunities to make a difference. 

New publishing models have big implications

Open data is of course already with us.  Doctor Tochterman spoke about new type of information objects which we need to understand and grapple with.  Executablepapers.com (Elsevier) is an example of a non-static information object, where interactivity is built in.  The challenge of cataloguing and curating such items will need to be addressed.  Brian Kelly also spoke about new learning objects and the challenges they bring with them.  Similarly, new datasets and new ways of analysing and mashing up data mean that we need to be on top of information law and helping our users work appropriately.

We really are special!

Librarians can make a difference to individuals and organisations.  We can change lives, contribute to cross population dialogue, support innovation and help organisations and communities to develop and grow.  The people at ILI are special too.  They engage with each other, and share openly and generously.  And they really do just get things done.  Thanks, for example, to Ake Nygren for setting up the ILI Lanyrd page and to Brian Kelly for setting up a TwapperKeeper account and advising on the appropriate use of hashtags within sessions.  Thanks too to Emma and Sara, our video bloggers and to everyone who took the time to speak to them.  We will bring you highlights soon. 

And thanks, of course, to the speakers, moderators, programmers, conference chairs, support staff and to everyone who shared ideas, thoughts and suggestions.  I look forward to reading blog posts and reflections from others who attended.

Image by RambergMediaImages via Flickr.

<< back Page 2 of 2