Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ALA 2009

I attended the annual ALA conference in Chicago. A full report on sessions I attended will follow. Here are some interesting facts I can share with you:

1. Tired of standing in line at your library circulation desk to borrow your favorite book. The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a new innovation for you. EBM is a print on demand (POD) machine that prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes, and can potentially allow readers to obtain any book title, even books that are out of print. A single machine can cost approximately $175,000 and seems like a great investment for libraries with high volume traffic.

2. For catalogers and others with an interest in information organization and access RDA (Resource Description and Access) is the new set of cataloging rules and will replace AACR. RDA is based on the FRBR conceptual model, and was created to fullfil the patron's task of finding, identifying, selecting and obtaining the resources they need. Testing of the new rules by select libraries is scheduled for October and publication date for this totally online product is early 2011.

3. Library of Congress has successfully embraced Web 2.0 technologies and has a prescence in high volume social networking sites like Flickr, Twitter, FaceBook, You Tube, The Library of Congress on iTunes U

4. OCLC has announced its intention to develop a web-scale library management system which will rival competing ILS vendors such as "Innovative, Sirsi Dynix, Aleph, and VTLS.

5. Libraries are continuing to provide innovative services despite a reduction in budget allocations.

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