On Saturday I had the pleasure of coordinating a panel on cloud computing “Updates to cloud computing for library services” that built on the session from last year. This year we had speakers from a wide range of areas talk about cloud computing in the 2 hour session.
Chris Tonjes from DC Public Library talked about the Amazon downtime. Krista Stapelfeldt from the University of Prince Edward Island talked about Islandora, a project based on fedora and drupal that uses cloud platforms. Carissa Smith from DuraSpace talked about the new DuraCloud platform (yes ZSR has a trial account!) and Yan Han from the University of Arizona talked about his work with the Afganistan digital library and other projects and how cloud computing made those projects possible.
The session was overflowing again this year and I cannot thank Krista, Yan, Carrissa and Chris enough for taking time to contribute to the session. There were a lot of questions from libraries who were seeking to either contextualize their own experience with cloud computing or who wanted to push in a new direction (e.g. Hosted digital library applications).
I also had the opportunity to present with Birong Ho and Scott Garrison on Sunday in a session titled “Does VuFind Meet the Need of Web 2.0 Users?” Birong and Scott are from Western Michigan and have done some really interesting work extending VuFind’s capabilities. In preparation for the talk Birong and I independently pulled some data from our catalog about types of searching in VuFind. While our numbers did not always match (particularly for the default search type), it was interesting to see a close match on the frequency of the use of subject searches (~24%). Of note there was an interesting discussion around the utility and sustainability of tagging in catalogs that sprung up mostly because attendees had some varied experience with this service.
After the Vufind session I wandered into the Vendor area and 1, caught up with some colleagues from UNC who are now at NCSU and 2, saw a poster from Clemson University on using a graffiti wall for research. The librarians used focused questions, sticky notes and a post-it board to gather data from students. The Clemson wall (top) is admittedly, a bit more academic than our own graffiti wall efforts (bottom) :).
The rest of Sunday was Lita Top Technology Trends (Social book reading, the death of the mouse and a discussion around individual information portals were my favorite trends), the presentation of the LITA Hi Tech Award to John Wilkin for his work on HathiTrust (Congratulations John!), and the opportunity to catch up with LIS folks at the ALISE reception.