Thoughts From Internet Librarian International 2011 Conference #ILI2011


I attended Internet Librarian International 2011 a couple of weeks ago. It was a great event. Below are the tweets I sent out during the conference, just to give you a feel for the event.

Below them, I’ve also included some thoughts on the event itself.

How the Future Internet will Shape Libraries (Klaus Tochtermann, Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, University of Kiel and Professor of Computer Media)

  • Future internet. (3) Internet of things. Any item with an internet connection/IP address.
  • Future internet. (4) Internet of services.
  • Internet of services. Your services available wherever you have a presence – not just pull people back to your website to use them.
  • Put the book anywhere in Hamburg & geolocate them! Users find it via phone & share idea about book. What a crazy idea. I love it 🙂
  • Linked open data won’t replace marc. Catalogues are available immediately, but need to sync catalogues & L.O.D. service.

Visibility and Collaboration in Digital Domains (Linda Vidlund / Cecilia Petersson, Uppsala University Library)

  • Uppsala uni. – used qr codes around campus with temptation of free gifts from library. Also small digi screens on shelves with info
  • Qr-codes used to put references at end of physical books.

Visibility and Collaboration in Digital Domains (David McMenemy, University of Strathclyde)

  • Now listening to @D_McMenemy talking about collaboration in the digital domain. #ili2011
  • Digital libraries are moving on from content based – now greater interactivity.
  • Looking at processes in public libraries to see where collaboration could be put into place.
  • 98% UK public libraries don’t have a digital strategy.
  • If uk public libraries go down the fragmented volunteer route who will collaborate to provide coherent services?
  • Why are so many local authorities duplicating the same content?

New Ways of Analysing to Prove Value (Frank Cervone, Purdue University Calumet)

  • In session talking about how social networks work. How connections work.
  • How are nodes connected in social networks?
  • Measure of ties based on strength (frequency; duration; direction). Important because strong ties affect people & weak ties link…
  • is good for analysing social networks. Twendz is good. Twapperkeeper/summarizr is good for analysing…

New Ways of Analysing to Prove Value (Penny Bailey, Bailey Solutions)

  • RT @bethanar: PB: knowledge should not live in your email inbox #ili2011
  • Need to measure value of services where possible.

Innovations in Usage Analysis (Dave Pattern, University of Huddersfield / Bryony Ramsden, University of Huddersfield)

  • #lidp Huddersfield project – looked at library usage inc non-usage.
  • #lidp How does library borrowing affect user grades?
  • #lidp Needed to be aware of data protection and legal issues.
  • #lidp Found relationship between use of library resources and degree attainment, but not necessarily between visits and attainment.
  • #lidp More info about project at

Innovations in Usage Analysis (Lisa Charnock, Intute / Andy Land, University of Manchester)

  • SALT project at Mimas. Library circ. data activity could help promote underused but relevant stock.
  • How do people select books they use? Serendipity; Anxiety; Trust concerns; Cynical about ratings & reviews
  • Mimas SALT. User evaluation of service to see whether recommender service would work. Amended thresholds to get accurate recomends
  • Will be testing SALT at John Rylands Uni. to see how it works across subjects.
  • John Rylands want to go live with SALT locally or nationally & also make it available in Primo.
  • MIMAS looking at how this can be developed – inc. aggregate more data; how could this help collection development?
  • Look at & for more info about SALT project.

Cutting-Edge Technology Projects (Terence Huwe, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California – Berkeley)

  • Meaning Based Computing: How do you modify your beliefs based on new facts available?
  • Bayesian analysis uses inc. breaking the Enigma code; handwriting and speech recognition; military uses…
  • Market success must take into account unstructured data as well as structured data. Social media interaction is unstructured data.
  • Many Fortune 500 organisations recognise they need new tools for managing structured & unstructured data. 15:23:04
  • Autonomy’s Meaning Based Computing tools
  • New York Times article talking about how cheap software might replace lawyers. #savelawyers
  • Meaning Based Computing & Taxonomy based search might co-exist in future.
Cutting-Edge Technology Projects (Alexandre Lemaire, Ministry of Culture – Department of Public Libraries / Jean-François Füeg, Ministry of Culture – Department of public libraries / Christian Ducharme, W3line)
  • Samarcande – union catalogue of French speaking libraries in Belgium
  • Political issues slowed down development of Samarcande catalogue.
  • RT @ostephens: Depressing and almost unbelievable refusal by libraries and/or their political masters to share bibliographic metadata in Belgian #ili2011
  • RT @bethanar: Catalogue: Comes frm union cats of provinces, harvested by OAI. Also supports SRU & z39.50 #ili2011
  • Tools for librarians for Samarcande – Getting bib. descriptions – z39.50; SRU;OAI / MoCCAM for ILL’s / Getting stats
  • Not a real-time catalogue – need to develop availability functions
  • Samarcande – FRBR; Web2.0; Users contribute with Web2.0 functions; Sharing/monitoring tools. Want to develop social media presence.
  • Bring in external data to Samarcande.
  • W3Line were responsible for technical development of the Samarcande union catalogue.
Simply I love you

Simply I love you (c) Wasfi Akab (Painting) / Flickr

Library Users in Turbulent Times (Kayo Chang, Bahrain Polytechnic)

  • Talking about Bahrain demonstrations and effect on Bahrain polytechnic
  • Effected library service. Facebook and Twitter use was banned because this was seen as part of reason why disturbances started.
  • Commenting or liking picture taken at demonstration could lead to suspension of student.
  • Had to make more use of library blog than Twitter and Facebook after social media was banned.

Library Users in Turbulent Times (Feda Kulenovic, Peace Support Operations Training Centre BiH and Reading for Ubuntu ( )

  • Potential roles of libraries in post-conflict societies: Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Libraries can transform. The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation and information.
  • Librarians need to be the person people go to for reliable information in times of conflict were misinformation is prevalent.
  • Created a library wherever he could – embedded librarian. Beyond the walls of the library.
  • “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” (Helen Keller)
  • RT @kulinba: #ili2011 My latest SlideShare upload : Potential Role of Libraries in post-conflict…
Library Users in Turbulent Times (Maria Cotera, African Prisons Project)
  • Maria talking about African Prisons project (mainly in Uganda)
  • Literacy is a big problem in the prisons.
  • Moderator highlighting similarities and differences between the situations of 3 speakers situations.
  • Most important role in social change is providing information. Librarians have the power to progress social change. #savelibraries
Innovative Services to Engage Users (Joanna Ptolomey, Joanna Ptolomey Information Services)
  • Now on stage talking about health information content.
  • Old model is that health information is pushed out to users/patients, but can’t push information back in.
  • How do you manage the finding, collection, sharing of health content that is relevant to you?
  • Librarians will be very important as chaperones/stewards for helping others to curate their own health collections.

Innovative Services to Engage Users (András Kardos,

  • Project developed in Hungary. Central portal for all libraries – contains all info. for all libraries.
  • Want to develop it for UK libraries too.
  • Contains info re. library services; catalogue; news for libraries in Hungary
  • Similar projects in UK.;
Innovative Services to Engage Users ( Dave Puplett, London School of Economics)
  • I’m a lefty librarian and proud of it.
  • “People first, Content second” is a new social model.
  • Areas of opportunity – marketing; widening communication; user feedback; 2 way communication
  • RT @calire: #ili2011 Social design – Services designed around people. #b202
  • LSE Library use social media to be part of the conversation and engage with users.
  • 4square is a great marketing opportunity – people saying publicly that they’ve used the library to their friends.
  • Flickr – people are tagging photos; parts of photos
  • People will interact with social media accounts if they think it’s a real person they’re talking to.

Developing ourselves (Julio dos Anjos, INCITE: Associação Portuguesa para a Gestão da Informação)

  • 23 Things is now being run in Portugal.

Developing ourselves (Jo Alcock, Birmingham City University)

  • Heeeeeeeeres @joeyanne talking about productivity #ili2011 & #cpd23
  • Get things done: Record ideas so it’s not clogging up your head space; prioritise & do it; create trusted storage space…
  • Inbox flowchart for organisation. I wonder if this can be translated into automated actions using
  • Some really interesting productivity tools coming from @joeyanne
  • Huzzah. Ifttt gets a mention by @Joeyanne
 Searching without Google (Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services)
  • Looking at search tools beyond Google, inc. specialist search.
  • Google is launching its “standout” tag which will allow publishers to highlight a number of their articles to improve their ranking
  • Login to your Google dashboard and see what info they know about you.
  • Yeeeeeeeees. @Karenblakeman mentions mild beer. 🙂
  • Google sometimes thinks it knows what you really want when you search, rather than what you actually want.
  • What are Yahoo playing at? Seems as if they just can’t be arsed developing anything any more!
  • Search tools: Duckduckgo; Blekko (also shows who else has linked to site);Wolfram alpha (I still don’t get it!); Zanran (charts)
  • Silobreaker for news searches.
  • Specialist searches: chemspider; biznar; techextra; philpapers; mednar; scirus; pubmed; healthmash; offstats; guardian data store
  • Social media search: topsy; socialmention; blogpulse / Create search engine – blekko / zuula
The New Normal Needs a New You
  • Ulla de Stricker says expand definitions of what we do in a time-scarce economy.
  • @Chibbie Talking about how TEDx would be great for inspiration.
  • Michael Stephens: Libraries have the potential to be anywhere and everywhere.
  • @chibbie Says if you look for roles to take on don’t look for the word ‘librarian’ in description. Our skills go beyond the name.
  • Surprisingly even though conference is technology based, there has been a great focus on people interaction.
Thoughts on the conference

I really enjoyed the whole event, including meeting friends/people I know on Twitter and plenty of other library/information based people from so many different countries.

Even though they weren’t always of direct relevance to my current role, most of the presentations I sat-in on were of interest to me. They helped me put my job and library service into the wider context of library and information services in general. It’s useful to attend an event like this to remind yourself where your place might be in the grand scheme of things and how librarians and information specialist throughout the world are working towards common goals.

The key themes that came across during the conference were:

  • Library and information services and our information skills don’t have to be constrained by the walls of the library or the title “librarian”.
  • We need to share resources and knowledge with each other – by either collaborating with others to share the load or by pulling together isolated silos of information.
  • Libraries are key to developing social change and improving society – they open up access to reliable and relevant sources of information to everyone, and we are the chaperones of that information and those who want to access it.
  • We can help improve ourselves and our services by making sure we use the most appropriate tools available.
  • We are in an age where people are just as much content creators as information consumers and we need to understand how this impacts on the provision and management of information services

Even though it was a technology based conference, there was just as much emphasis on the human side of things, which appealed to me. Maybe within this area there’s a suggestion here that technology in information and library work will still need a reasonable amount of human input and not just steam along like a Google search engine, without anyone there to say “Hold up! Are you sure this information is correct?”

As I say, I really enjoyed the conference, and hopefully I’ll get the chance to attend again some time in the future.


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