Tuesday, April 08, 2008

CIL2008: Hi Tech with Hi Touch -- Libraries: Innovative & Inspiring

The guys from Delft Public Library (Netherlands) did the keynote this morning. They interviewed librarians on stage (including on LIS student) and showed video that they had shot while touring libraries in the U.S.

One of the themes that came up during their conversations on stage this morning was also mentioned in some of the other presentations. Libraries deal with many different containers for information (e.g., books, audio, video, ebooks, etc.). What is the correct container for a specific user? What is the correct container for the information? Can we build systems that will deliver information to users, no matter what the container is? We and our systems tend to get hung up on the container, but what matters is the information. Being able to find the information -- no matter what container it is in -- is vital. Having library systems that can handle any container are also important. (These are not all themes that emerged during the keynote, but did emerge during the day today.)

Information on the work the Delft guys did last year is at Shanachie Tour. They are continuing to tour and to gather information on libraries. Erik Boekesteijn's hope is that an organization in the U.S. will pick up and do what they have been doing, although the accent just won't be the same!

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