Sunday at LITA began with a 7am meeting of the 2011 and 2012 LITA Planning Committees to discuss this year’s event and make suggestions for next year’s event. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the conference planning process and I now realize how much work lies ahead for our 2012 LITA Forum Planning Committee!
After the meeting I attended the last of the concurrent sessions, Making Waves: Library IT as a Disruptive Force, Erin White, Web Applications Developer at VCU. I had met Erin at the networking dinner the night before and wanted to see her presentation as a result of that meeting. She did not disappoint. Erin is a young energetic librarian who gave a great presentation on the best practices of working with other departments in the Library to work on a VuFind implementation, which actually led to using another solution other than VuFind! Once she had described her own experience at VCU, she spent the second half of her presentation time facilitating a discussion among the attendees of the relationship between IT and a library. This led to a lively discussion of how to leverage and/or improve those relationships to facilitate change.
The closing general session was “The Evolving Semantic World” by Barbara McGlamery of Martha Stewart Omnimedia where I learned all about the semantic web (I think I’m starting to get it now). I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara, like Erin, the night before at the networking dinner. She assisted in the development of a Semantic Web tool for Time Inc. called TOPICS, which uses ontologies and industry standards like RDF to create a semantically meaningful web of data, allowing for rich relationships that were used to improve the web experience.
I’ve discovered some cool new tools this weekend and can’t wait to get back to ZSR and continue working with Susan and our LITA committee to plan next year’s Forum!