15 Important Things I Learned at the 2007 Internet Librarian Conference

Thanks to a $1000 Arizona State Library Continuing Education Scholarship, I was able to attend the 2007 Internet Librarian Conference in Monterey, California in October. Here are the 15 most amazing things I learned:

  1. When trying to be an effective technology change agent, remember a time when change was forced on you and think about how you felt. This will help you plan your steps with care. (Roy Tennant, OCLC, Becoming an Effective Technology Change Agent)
  2. Although it may seem that those who have been in the profession for a long time are the most resistant to change, we don’t really know yet how those who have recently graduated from library school will react when the technologies that they have grown up with are replaced by the next new thing. They may be just as resistant to losing those comfortable technologies as others have been. (Roy Tennant, OCLC. Becoming an Effective Technology Change Agent)
  3. The virtual world of Second Life is becoming a way deliver real services, and many libraries are getting involved. (Alliance Library System and McMaster University)
  4. World of Warcraft and other multiplayer games are changing the way we look at learning and job skill training (Liz Lawley, Blurring the Boundaries, Closing Keynote)
  5. Gaming is becoming more than just a way to entertain teens. Game events for adults are one of the hottest new program areas. (Aaron Schmidt, What’s happening in IL Space?)
  6. Librarians really like to eat and drink. (Personal observation)
  7. While we know the internet is becoming more and more integral to modern life in the US, about half the population can be classified as light or non-users, so we have to continue to figure out good ways to serve them. (Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Opening Keynote).
  8. The important changes that Google has implemented in the last few months may be transparent to most. However they include a way that Google manipulates results that they call a “Universal Search”. This is Google forcing search results to include maps, videos, books, images, news, depending on the search terms when appropriate. For example, when you search on a city, say Monterey, California, the Google guys think you might be looking for a map so that’s the first search result. When you search on the words “California Fires” they assume you are most interested in News results so that’s what comes up in the first few results. (Danny Sullivan, Future of Search)
  9. Trends to watch: Library without walls, a library interface that truly goes with you everywhere. Although information and books will continue to go digital, brick and mortar library buildings will flourish more as community centers for storytimes, teen events, book clubs, and author visits. (Sarah Houghton-Jan Librarian in Black, Gadgets and Gaming night)
  10. Your website is not a marketing tool, it’s a service point. (Casey Bisson, Building Web 2.0 Native Library Services)
  11. Library Literature regarding reference interviews circa 1930 includes this quote about patrons: “They will choke and die before they tell you what they really want”. How true this is even today. (Joe Janes, Reference 2.0)
  12. Reference is dying if not already dead. Customers are just not coming to us for this function often enough to consider it a major service for the future. About trying to get them back into our libraries– think about what you ask for before you ask: Do we really want to take reference back from Google? Most of us agreed that no, we couldn’t handle that. (Joe Janes, Reference 2.0)
  13. The service we provide in person is awesome, effective, efficient and very thorough, but we have to get better at providing these same services online. (Joe Janes, Reference 2.0)
  14. Wikipedia will continue to grow in reliability and importance. If you like to complain about errors you find in Wikipedia, correct them yourself or stop complaining. (Joe Janes, Reference 2.0)
  15. The library website as we know it may not even be needed. The future of the library’s web presence may just be a MySpace or a Facebook type application with links to our catalog. We need to go where our customers are going and be where they are so they can find us that way. If they won’t come to us, let’s go to them. (Repeated by several speakers in various sessions)

Many thanks to the Arizona State Library for helping me to get to this conference and learn so many wonderful things. Mary MitchellWeb Team ChairPhoenix Public Library602-534-7852Mary.mitchell@phxlib.org


Many thanks to the Arizona State Library for helping me to get to this conference and learn so many wonderful things. A version of this article will appear in the Arizona Library Association newsletter in the Spring of 2008.

Anali had nicely summarized the places online that you can get more information on this below, and that’s great. Most all of the conference was blogged about in some way and all of the Powerpoint presentations are going to be available soon on the Internet Librarian site. Today most are available at slideshare.




~ by Mary (from Phoenix Public) on November 8, 2007.

One Response to “15 Important Things I Learned at the 2007 Internet Librarian Conference”

  1. Mary, what a great synopsis! I love how these conferences are such a great way to open dialogue and learn from each other.

    Any one else go?

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