I am happy to report that this year's Internet Librarian conference was as great in person as it sounded on paper. It was great to see so much of the "new" stuff in the titles and descriptions of the sessions. As I noted in my welcome to the public libraries track, I went through the program and counted at least nine mentions of RSS, at least five mentions of podcasting/videocasting, at least seven of "social software," at least seven of "web 2.0," at least two of "Library 2.0," at least six of mashups, two of Flickr, and I lost track of the number for wikis.
Just as great were the several references to "user-centered planning," "user-centered experienced," and "user participation," and the sessions for all of these topics were generally pretty full. I was especially heartened to see so many sessions focusing on real-life examples of Library 2.0 as models for any type of library. It's great that we've gone from Michael Casey coining the term "Library 2.0" a little over a year ago to such practical examples in just one year. As Helene Blowers noted in her Learning 2.0 talk, life moves fast, but I continue to meet a lot of librarians who have embraced change (both internal and external to our profession), a "play" attitude, a willingness to try new tools, and an open mind.
While I didn't encounter any new concepts, I learned something from almost every session I attended, and it's one of the few conferences I've been to lately where there weren't any real dead spots. There were a lot of other sessions I heard were great, and I wish I could have cloned myself to attend them all (hello, Second Life Library folks, Steven M. Cohen, Karen Coombs, and Gary Price, among so many others). So a big thank you to everyone that presented (especially in the public libraries track - you folks rocked!), and kudos to Information Today for putting on such a great show.
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