Access 2008 in Hamilton Ontario

From Oct 1 to 4, I had the pleasure of attending Access 2008, a conference for library technology planning and development held in Hamilton Ontario. The following are selected summaries from the first day of the conference when I didn’t have volunteer responsibilities.

The always incredible Karen Schneider (of Free Range Librarian and Equinox Software) gave the opening keynote entitled “Open: the synergy of creativity and open source”. She gave us a peak at the new evergreen skin and stressed several key points:

  • importance of documentation for knowledge share
  • teaching librarians how to engage in the open source process via trickle-up engagement
  • end users are all alike while library workflows are all completely unique and therefore, should be flexible
  • open code opens communication
  • notion about open source being a last resort (ie. when you don’t have money) needs to change
  • meritocracies for development communities: best code wins, best coders get best street cred, etc. and the highest honour is when you get to commit code
  • importance of dogfooding (a user experience phrase)–eating your own dog food or using your own product
  • when code isn’t secret, you can develop training materials right away

Dale Askey (of K-State Libraries) delivered “We love open source software. No you can’t have our code” and stressed the following points:

  • avoid quirkiness—the sense that the institution’s software is so unique that there’s no sense in sharing which will eliminate redundancy 
  • nature of open source: If you need functionality, find code and get to work. Share, collaborate, communicate, etc.
  • ITSO CUL: Integrated tool for selection and ordering for Cornell University Library
  • Find a way to share software between libraries—an efficient evolution of Rutgers’ idea for libraries posting own code
  • Hire Mark Leggotts of the world ;p

Eric Lease Morgan (Head of Digital Access and Information Architecture Department at the University Libraries of Notre Dame) delivered “MyLibrary – A digital library framework and toolbox”

  • Mylibrary is really a big part of our vernacular these days. It is made up of 4 things: information resources, patrons, librarians, and facets and terms. The idea is that you create information resources for the other things
  • Mylibrary is a toolbox and not an application
  • Use it to make a reading list or use the MyLibrary Facebook widget
  • My library has been used by Notre Dame for 5 years. Created a tagging function for students where students tag with facet term combos.

A HUGE thank you to organizers of Access 2008 for letting me tag along.

Access 2009 will be held in Charlottetown, PEI.


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