Carmen Schempp, Duluth Public Library

I found this conference worthwhile in a broad sense.  The Keynote speakers gave me an idea of how libraries can play a role in shaping future policy at a national level, in regards to technological advancements and the ethics involved.  Additionally, I found these two seminars especially impactful.

This seminar was very interesting, and gave insight into how Integrated Library Systems will likely be changing in the near future, using open source programming and apps for daily tasks (as opposed to being a closed system that only the developers can manage).  This seemed like a great way for libraries to be able to better evolve with rapidly changing technology, and for apps to be used to help create more flexibility and options for every-day tasks, such as circulation and acquisitions.  Something that was especially impressive is that the way they are going about developing FOLIO is to include librarians in the development of the different tools.  It is a true collaboration with developers and the people who use the product.

It also is very focused on providing flexibility to libraries – not all libraries operate the same and this platform will allow for users to customize their LSP to their library.

Additionally, libraries will be able to host their own services, or SirsiDynix, ByWater, EBSCO and other vendors will also be able to offer hosting services at a much lower cost than the vendor-driven systems that are currently available.  Some of these vendors are also already involved in assisting with the development.  These vendors clearly see it as the future of service platforms, and so, it seems, should our libraries.

  • G-Suite and Google Institutes: G-Suite has a number of exceptionally useful tools that allow institutions to streamline processes for staff (and for students in academic settings as well).  It is helpful for me as a staff person to know how to use the G-Suite tools so that I can better assist patrons who may need to use these tools for work, school, and perhaps for their own businesses.  The seminar was a hands-on workshop that demonstrated a number of the recent updates to G-Suite, and gave me a good idea of all the different tools available, as well as how to find tutorials within Google to assist me when I am not aware of how a function may work.  This seminar also helped me to see how valuable G-Suite could be to us as an institution if we could work with our IT department to allow us to implement it.