Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SLA 2009 Washington, DC

I spent most of the time talking with publishers and information providers at the exhibition area during the SLA conference. The primary goal was to find out shibboleth enablememt and technical contact person for follow up questions. The "survey" result is being updated in the Internet2 wiki page at

With the conference "guest pass", I was able to sit in few sessions that include Collin L. Powell's keynote (I did not know he is that humorous), Meg Smith (The Washington Post): Searching social media sites, and OCLC cataloging services ...

Some observations:
. no ILS vendors exhibite at this year SLA except Sirsidynix with 2 staff telling people to contact their customer agent for questions. a sign of no new production or major development to show off from ILS vendors. In comparsion with the past SLA conference, ILS vendors are among the major players

. Information providers are all trying to show their new google like interface, IEEE for example, developed search interface for mobile devices.

. Ebooks are catching up, Springer showed that their ebooks increased 63% every year, and have designed "MyCopy" service that with subscription to the ebook, customer can request to print the book with $24 per copy. In near future, the ebook can be printed in remote facilty with epub standards.

. Many talks on social network, and impact on library services. I like Meg Smith of the Washington Post talk, because she is able to really use the information from facebook and other social network to improve the quality of her work as a journal writer. We need the "same" story for librarians.

. OCLC Cataloging Services had a difficult start, at least for the session, only 6 people sit in the room prepared for 100. This services is offered so that library needs no cataloger, just send books to OCLC, they will do the cataloging for you.

. OCLC cloud computing/OCLC web scale ILS is still in cloud, by talking with OCLC staff at exhibition and presenter at various OCLC sessions, this web scale ILS is still at planing stage.

. Last but not least, I won a Kindle 2 ebook reader from CQ publisher, I returned it to Amazon to exchange for Kindle DX so that at least I can read some ebooks in Chinese.

-- Foster Zhang, Library systems

1 comment:

  1. Foster, I'm so jealous of your Kindle. Let me know how you like it. I wonder what it is telling us that no ILS vendors were there. I wonder if that trend will continue at ALA.