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Archive | Internet Librarian

The Soul of a Library

In the opening keynote speech, Michael Peter Edson, Co-Founder & Associate Director, Museum for the United Nations–UN Live, began by saying he’d changed to title of his talk to Cutting the Gordian Knot, or Jibo’s Goodbye. He  asked:

How do we get difficult work done in society today?

How do we get millions or billions of people working together on global/local goals?

Who are we and what is our future?

From stories he told, we learning that, when an art class teacher told students they would be graded either on the quality of their best pot or the number of pots they produced, quantity won over quality. Another story revealed that reframing a question from where to find culture to who are the creative people in your community led to much better answers.

He showed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and asked the audience to think of a story in support of one of the goals. (Conference chair Jane Dysart later reminded the audience that IFLA had been instrumental in getting access to information added as part of SDG 16.)

As for cutting the Gordian Knot, Edson recommended finding a direct path to your desired outcomes. Librarians should take more risks and be more assertive. We should recognize that an either/or mentality is a false dichotomy. For example, it’s not physical or digital; it’s a loop, a continuum. His view of global is that it’s a lot of local connected together.

He touched on the dark side of tech and said we should spin the problem space to find our angle. We must act.

And about Jibo? It’s a robot that shows emotion, but the company that makes it is going out of business.




Games, Gadgets & MakerSpaces

Sunday evening saw Internet Librarian conference attendees enjoying an evening of games, gadgets and makerspaces for the opening networking event. You can play with all kinds of games, learn about the MistyRobotics robot, and bid on a large and eclectic variety of auction items. My favorite was the Boy Scout calendar from 1951. Although I suppose it should have been the subscription to Online Searcher.

Information Today, Inc. generously provided refreshments including pizza and calamari. It seems very California Coastal to include calamari as a snacking option.

If your bid won, you can pick up your item at the conference registration desk after 5 p.m. today.

WebSearch University Presents Searcher Academy

What better way to start Internet Librarian than attending, the preconference workshop on Building Smarter Searchers. Super Searchers Mary Ellen Bates, Marydee Ojala, Greg Notess, Gary Price, and Daniel Lee provided a full day of practical information, insights into search strategies, and a look toward the future. The takeaways included the shift to mobile first (both as the device people use to search and the relevance ranking of results), the idea the your first search is for you not your clients, the need to use multiple search engines, and how to present your results in a meaningful way.

What does the future hold? More reliance of search engines on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics to determine search results relevance. This apples not only to web search engines but to library subscription databases.

If you didn’t manage to catch WebSearch University Presents Searcher Academy in Monterey, we’ll do it again at Computers in Libraries in the Washington DC area on Marcch 30, 2020, but with updated information.

Farewell to IL2018


IL 2018 has concluded.  It was an excellent conference, and I hope you have enjoyed the summaries I have written.  There were many other sessions of interest. You can see the speakers’ slides from many of them by clicking here.

IL 2019 has been scheduled for October 21-23 at the Monterey Marriott.