Thursday, July 17, 2008

SEFLIN Future of Libraries Conference

Southeast Florida Library Information Network (SEFLIN) Future Of Libraries Conference held on July 16 in Davie, Florida provided topics of interest for everyone. Here is a summary of two of the sessions I attended:

Keynote speaker Meredith Farkas (author of the blog Information Wants to be Free) focused on Riding the Shift: Organization 2.0 and the Future of Libraries, giving instructional advice to libraries wishing to ride the web 2.0 wave and build a 2.0 organization:

  • Know your users

  • Develop a learning culture

  • Question everything

  • Develop a risk-tolerant culture

  • Be agile

  • Give staff time for creative endeavors

  • Collect knowledge internally

  • Be transparent

  • Build networks

  • Acknowledge that good ideas can come from anyone and anywhere

  • Involve staff from all levels in planning

  • Nurture talent

George Pearson (Librarian, Florida International University) gave an insightful presentation on the future of the OPAC or as he noted in his introduction the alternate title: The OPAC Sucks. In a web 2.0 environment which allows Users Interaction, Collaboration, and Content Creation a revamped OPAC, readily attracting constant usage by a tech savvy clientele should have all of the following elements:

  • easy to use

  • interactive and fun

  • a place for one stop shopping for all of the libraries' resources (print, AV, electronic, digital)

Some ILS vendors have responded positively to the pressure to create these so called next generation OPACs with integrated web 2.0 functionalities. Pearson highlighted the implementation of the Endeca-driven OPAC prototype at the State University Libraries of Florida which has the following features:

  • Book Reviews and Summaries

  • Advisory pages or Readers also liked

  • Spell check

  • User Forums

  • RSS feeds

  • Relevancy ranking of search results

  • Faceted browse capability

  • Citation (APA, Chicago, MLA Turabian, Harvard) formatting options

  • Download title and location of a resource to your mobile phone

  • Links to OCLC WorldCat and Google Book Search

All of the conference presentations are available on the conference wiki

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