I noticed two overarching themes for the plenary sessions: What we are giving up and how we are evolving, as well as "open." Open data, open research, etc.
Here are a few highlights:
- I met one-on-one with the Credo Reference CEO, Mike Sweet, who showed me their new product, Literati. It is described as "a simplified, smart approach to managing information literacy” and I think it is definitely something to watch. It seems like they are also selling services, like creating video tutorials for libraries, which is a novel idea for vendors.
- Linked data was another big point of discussion. For example, I attended a talk on Thursday morning on the semantic web (Highwire founder, Michael Keller) and then one immediately following called "Data Papers in the Network Era" (MacKenzie Smith, Research Director, MIT)
- I organized a panel called, "Experiences from the Field: Choosing a Discovery Tool for YOUR Unique Library" which brought together five librarians from different types of libraries to explain what their evaluation process was like, why they chose the tool they did and the impact it has had so far. It was a success!
- In keeping with Discovery, I attended a session from James Madison Univ on assessing usage statistics from Ebsco's Discovery, which helped to inform our current practices in usage data evaluation for Excelsior's instance of Discovery.
- I attended a session that explained how 2 librarians from Eastern Michigan University evaluated their Wiley collection to move from a "Big deal" package to purchasing titles on an individual basis. They not only used usage data for each title in the package, but also had one-on-one faculty interviews to see which journals they deem important. It was a neat approach (that seemed like a lot of work), and they ended up saving a lot of money.
- The closing session went back to the conference theme for this year and was called "The Status Quo Has Got to Go." Speaker, Brad Eden, Dean of Library Services at Valparaiso University discussed everything libraries are doing wrong and how we can fix it. He ended with many motivational quotes, on of which was "Don't play it safe. This fosters mediocrity, which leads to decay in a competitive environment." (The powerpoint has many references to current articles and links and is worth checking out!)