Friday, November 4, 2011

Charleston Conference Report Part 3

Thursday was the start of the conference and our day started at 7 am for breakfast. The opening ceremonies started at 8:00 am. Keynote speech was at 8:15 am with Michael Keller, University Librarian of Stanford University as one of the speakers. By the way, Charleston Conference organizers appoint a moderator who among his other duties is to watch the time so that the speakers do not go over their allotted 45 minutes of talk. Even the notoriously naughty speakers who go on and on tow the line. Hmmm, we should have that here at LCC (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

Keller’s talk was about the “Semantic Web for Libraries and Publishers.” In this thought-provoking speech, he mentioned that there’s just way too many silos of information out there. The landscape of discovery and access is in shambles. Search results from Google offer little precision and offers a lot of ambiguity. This is what he refers to as the dark world of the web. He talks about the efforts at Stanford to build a web of data called the semantic web. His talk was followed by MacKenzie Smith, Research Director from MIT Libraries. She talked about “Data Papers in the Network Era.” It was way over my head but it is interesting to learn developments on this front especially from this top universities.

I don’t have the time to write a summary of each of the sessions I’ve attended since I’m going to head down to a session in a bit, but I thought I’d list them out here (this is only for yesterday, Thursday):

Let’s Get the Dialog Started: Keeping E-Books Current (speakers from EBSCO, ebrary, EBL, Texas A&M University)

Electronic Resource Assessment: Adventures in Engagement (speakers from Columbia University Library)

The Role of Reference in Discovery Systems: Effecting a More Literate Search (speakers from GVSU, Georgetown University, Credo Reference)
Is there a Future for the Collection Development Policy (speakers from University of South Florida, Tampa)

In the evening we head out for the grand Charleston Conference reception (from 7 to 9 pm) held at the College of Charleston gardens. It was yet again a chance to experience Southern hospitality at its best and get to meet more librarians. It was a fitting end to an otherwise long day.

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