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Spring Conference Review

Posted By TSRT Communication and Web Coordinator, Friday, June 1, 2007
Updated: Friday, April 17, 2015

[Guest writer: unidentified]

To me, a conference or workshop is successful if I have learned something new, have been inspired, or have been introduced to tools I could utilize to perform my job better. Since Angela Kroeger’s posted a fantastic, thorough review below, especially on the keynote address, I will focus on specific aspects of sessions I attended that fulfilled my requirements. To me, they were successful in the following ways:

Through a glass darkly: Divining the “Next Generation Catalog” - Drawing on his vast experience with library databases as a vendor and as a systems librarian, speaker Mark Andrews offered fresh insight into the advantages and disadvantages of open- source ILS systems. Since library systems should be chosen based on user needs, Mark warned us that “free” open source systems are not really free – some do not have acquisition and serial modules and some can or cannot be tweaked to fit system needs. A “next generation catalog” is one that goes beyond being an index of information – instead it should be a dynamic, efficient process for the end user. Mark provided valuable insight into the features and shortcomings of Koha, PHPmylibrary, OpenBiblio, Evergreen, Solr, and other open-source systems; this input contributes toward making an informed decisions about these much-talked ILS alternatives.

The Next Generation Depository Library: Addressing Public Access to Government Publications in the Electronic Era addressed the issues surrounding selection of government documents, the availability of online access to government publications vs. downloading records, and the maintenance required when adding internet links to catalog records (validity and stability of direct internet links). What I learned from presenter James Shaw about the latter issue was the advantage of choosing links that utilize PURL, a service that attempts to check broken links for you. One significant resource that reduces the amount of time searching for and cataloging new government documents and points us to e-docs alert lists is the Nebraska Library Commission’s State Documents page. As a new librarian, new to Nebraska, and new to conferences, I returned from this conference eager to apply the concepts and tools I learned!

Tags:  c&u section  conference & meeting reports  e-docs  gov docs  next gen catalogs  spring meeting  tsrt  web 2.0 

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