Friday, April 20, 2007

CIL2007: Sessions I Attended

I gave up on onsite blogging of the conference, although I did take copious notes. There were problems with the network, and connectivity was patchy. Here's a list of the sessions I attended (and I attended all three keynotes):


  • Library 2.0: Building Communities, Connections & Strateties, by Ken Roberts, Chief Librarian, Hamilton

  • Pimp Your Firefox, by Jessamyn West

  • Mashups, Remixing Info, & Making Data Browsable, by Derek Willis and Karen Huffman

  • Millenials and the Library, by Marshall Breeding

  • Using Google & SEs to Expose Digital Collections, by Marshall Breeding

  • Social Bookmarking & Folksonomies, by Ellyssa Kroski & Robert Cagna

  • Presented Rhumba with Joomla

  • Dynamic Instructional Content: Library 2.0 on a Budget, by Chad Boeninger

  • Search Tools Using Controlled Vocabularies, by Herd, Koeneman, Doszkocs

  • Podcasting Possibilites for Library Instruction, by Rachael Clemons

  • Gaming and Learning, by Shu Liu and Tammy Allgood

  • Dine-Around with Second Lifers

  • InfoTubey Awards

  • The New Library Automation Landscape, by Marshall Breeding

  • Catalogs/OPACs for the Future, by Roy Tennant and Tim Spaulding

  • Building Libraries in Virtual Worlds, by Bell, Gullett, Czarnecki & Peters

  • Repository Essentials: From Soup to Nuts, by Roy Tennant

  • Production to Portal: Info Delivery Channels, by Marjorie M.K. Hlava

For just about every session I went to, there was another one I couldn't attend. But, so it goes, at any conference. Things are going to keep filtering through, so I'll be coming back to talk about different things in the next week. I'm also heading off for E-Rate Camp next week...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Learning and Gaming Earmarked Tuesday's Sessions

Another full day... Chad Boeninger, author of The Biz Wiki, talked about using free and open source tools to develop and maintain library instruction programs. He uses wikis and blogs in place of handouts. He can quickly add answers to students' questions, keeping the material fresh and up-to-date. PHPESP is an alternative to SurveyMonkey. He uses polls during class to encourage participation: Meebo widget is one example, and the WordPress poll is another. He demonstrated CamStudio, a free screen recording software that I've been playing with lately. All in all, a good session!

Quite by accident I ended up in "Search Tools Using Controlled Vocabularies". I thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Tamas Doszkocs from NLM. He demonstrated how the latest search engines use a combination of controlled vocabulary and natural language to produce "intelligent" queries. The PolyMeta Smart Search is really too cool. He also pointed to the NCSU Endeca search engine.

I also dropped in on "Podcasting Possibilities for Library Instruction". The presenter, Rachael Clemons, said it takes her around 15 hours to create a 6 minute podcast. Chad Boeninger also uses podcasting for library instruction; he said between September and January, one library tour podcast was downloaded over 700 times. That's a pretty good return on the time used to create one.

My last session of the day was "Gaming and Learning". Shi Liu presented the theoretical side of learning objects. The poor Internet connectivity impeded her presentation, as it did ours earlier. Tammy Allgood discussed the creation of two different library instruction games. The first was a board game that has been refined through four versions. They are currently working with version 1.0 of an online game, called "Quarantined: Axl Wise and the Information Outbreak". I wish there had been more time for this session. Again the internet connection prevented our seeing a demo of the game.

Timing is a major issue-- some sessions seem to fit quite well into the timeframe; others clearly do not. For example, the "Gaming and Learning" session should have been two different sessions. Squeezing them both into one period was a disservice to both the presenters and their material.

I ended the evening with dinner at the Urban Thai with about 18 Second Lifers, and then caught the InfoTubey awards.

Tao sets up for our session

Tao sets up for our session
Originally uploaded by WoW Librarian.
Look for the slides from our session on the Joomla in Libraries site. I ran into several people afterward who attended our session... it seems we did "okay". Thanks very much to all who attended. And thank you to Stephen Cohen ( and Ellyssa Kroski for moderating the session. Stephen visited the State Library's new site the first week it was up, and registered for an account. He also blogged about the site... It was great to finally meet him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

CIL2007 Day 2

The conference opened today on a somber note, as the attendees observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the tragic and horrendous event at Virginia Tech yesterday.

Today's keynote speaker could not attend-- I was truly looking forward to her presentation on Gaming and Learning. However, Andy Carvin from NPR is presenting Using Social Media for Community Engagement.

Monday, April 16, 2007

CIL 2007

I'm at my first Computers in Libraries conference. We blew in on an intense wind... gales between 45 and 60 mph... and the energy there is manifesting at CIL as well. Tao, SCSL's web administrator and I are here to talk about using Joomla! as a content management system in libraries.

Today, I've seen another CMS, Django, in use at the Washington Post. It uses Python as its language, and runs on open source databases, etc. Its tagline is, "The Web framework for perfectionists with deadlines". An example:

Marshall Breeding is of course doing exciting things. One of Vanderbilt's projects has been providing the best access to their collections of television videos, which date back to 1968. He's developed an OpenWeb strategy that maximizes html content for Googlebots by using XML. He has used several Google tools to accomplish this, including Google Webmaster and Google Analytics.

I've also learned about some neat new extensions for Firefox, presented by Jessamyn West (

I anticipate having a mushy brain by the end of the conference.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites

Friends, friendsters, and top 8: Writing community into being on social network sites

Very interesting article on friends and friendships, and how social networking structures are shaping these concepts. The author also has a blog, apophenia.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Living Books

I love to read what other people think about books... not titles, but books as objects. In Lebbon's Dawn, there's a wonderful passage about books:

All her life, she had known that books were living things, not just a convergence of concept and and ink, intellect and paper. They did not breathe or think, but they grew and gave a sense of potential so much larger than whatever was written on their pages. one there to read them. Its pages would be closed and the spaces between the leaves dark and inscrutable, but the words were still there, telling their truths and hinting at so much more. ... Her own interaction with a book would change it, and someone else reading it would alter it again. ... Like a person, only a book could ever really know itself. (pp. 16-17)

Isn't that rich? Isn't it true?

I read Lebbon's Dusk last year and was so taken with it. The book is very dark; his worldbuilding is incredible. I was *there* in every scene. Dawn is of course the sequel. So far, it's every bit as good.

But most of all, one of the main characters is... a librarian!