The Charleston Conference (as expected!) brought out very interesting ideas and opinions about the state of libraries, publishing, and vendors. Below I address some highlights:
1. R. David Lankes (Keynote)
Lankes asked us to reassess some core assumptions about librarianship. He gave a spirited and hopeful presentation indicating that librarians have an increasingly important role in the information age and that we should reassess what it means to be librarians. He focused on themes of strategic assessment of our services and his ever-present theme of "library as conversation."
Several Charleston regulars indicated to the attendees that this was the best keynote that they had heard in 29 years. -- DEFINITELY worth a watch.
2. Michael Stephens (Tame the Web)
Stephens appealed to the audience to bring a human face back to library services and for libraries to "get out of the way" of patrons. His presentation is a call to librarians to open up (or maybe give way?) to social technologies which build community, help make information portable and relevant, and create opportunities to do our work better.
Presentation linked here: http://tametheweb.com/2009/11/07/thanks-charleston-conference-2009/
3. Jane Burke (Serials Solutions)
Burke presented on web scale searching solutions for libraries. The presentation was founded on some firsthand research by Serials Solutions into the research habits of students. This research basically showed that library pages were essentially impenetrable and unusable with their siloed databases and indexes, lingo, and high learning curve for users. The web scale solutions Burke proposed generally include full content indexing of library holdings (catalog, aggregated content, hosted content, IR, etcetera) and searching with a single box interface ala Google. Watch for these solutions which are hitting the market.
I'm interested to find out the potential of these tools to integrate consortial indexing. That would be powerful.
4. I saw presentations on how we use data in collections decisions, how to track electronic acquisitions better using ticketing systems, a new ILL overlay from SUNY Geneseo which allows for patron driven acquisitions decision making before the purchase OR loan of materials. I saw much more and had great conversations with librarians about the changes we are facing.
5. I presented with Ellen Urton and Regina Beard on the impact of our "just in time" collecting strategies on liason relationships with departmental faculty. That presentation went well and has a lot of potential to open up the eyes of acquisitions librarians (and liaisons!) to the complexities of needs assessment.
6. I presented on using supply chain modeling to understand the relationships between acquisitions and our suppliers. I'm planning on writing this up for the proceedings, and the slides will be on the Charleston web page: http://www.katina.info/conference/
Feel free to ask about any of the above. I'd be glad to share more.