Saturday, April 02, 2011

CIL2011: Final wrap-up and looking toward next year

It's been over a week since the Computers in Libraries Conference ended and I'm finally writing my last blog post about the event.  Consider this stuff that didn't fit anywhere else.

What's in a name? I had several conversations this year - outside of the conference - about the conference's name.  The name "Computers in Libraries" no longer captures what the conference is about.  This is a conference that attracts people that are passionate about what libraries can do, who are creative in their approaches (innovators), and who - yes - see technology as an enabler, but not always as the most important thing to consider.

Renaming the conference would be a hassle, but could broaden interest in the yearly event.  Perhaps there is an appropriate name with the same acronym?  Creative Innovations in Libraries (CIL)? [Update 7/7/2011: I'm pleased to report that, although CIL has not changed its name, the theme for 2012 is "Creating Innovative Libraries".  CIL Program Chair, Jane Dysart, tweeted yesterday her thanks for my suggestion which they turned into the theme. Cool!  The Twitter hashtag will be #CILDC.]

The CIL web site - I have always appreciated the CIL website, which contains information on all of the sessions, speakers, etc.  It is easy to navigate and requires nothing special in order to use it.  Information Today always makes the presentations available on the web site, after the conference is over, for anyone to review.  That level of sharing reflects the level of sharing that the CIL community desires (and on occasion has demanded).

Mobile conference program - This year, Information Today launched a mobile conference program and told people how to add it to their smartphone's home screen.  Nothing like having the program on your phone so you can quickly check what sessions are going on, where they are, etc. 

Add sessions to your calendar - There was also an iCal version of the schedule that was available for people to add to their Google calendar.  And once in Google, it could be synced to other calendar programs.  Again the emphasis was on making it easy for people to access the schedule.

For those three things above, Information Today gets two thumbs way up!

T is is for Training Crew ready for lunchA community - CIL isn't just a conference, it is a community that welcomes new participants.  I don't know that newcomers always recognize that they can (and should) engage in conversations with anyone and everyone that is at the conference.  It is through conversations that we all learn. And...yes...important learning does happen outside of the sessions.

Next year - CIL 2012 will be held March 21 – 23, 2012 at the Washington Hilton.  I'd encourage you to find a way of getting there in order to hang out with this creative and innovative group of people (all 2000 of them).  Yes, there are less expensive hotels in DC and you can cut costs even more by sharing a room.  If multiple people come from the same organization, Information Today has offered a price break in the past and I'd hope they would continue that.  

If you are interested in presentation at CIL, look for the call for proposals likely in August-September 2011 (my guess). 

And let's hope that the Washington Hilton has spent money upgrading its communications network and Internet connection.  While CIL isn't just about technology, this is a group that carries a lot of technology with them and we want/need reliable Internet access!

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