Internet Librarian Day 1 – Moderating Track D, Library Issues & Challenges

Today, I’m moderating Track D: Library Issues & Challenges along with Michael Sauers of the Nebraska Library Commission. This track is an experiment, where we encourage more interaction and participation from the audience. We’ve got them at round tables instead of in rows of chairs, and we’ve asked our speakers to keep the “talking head” mode to a minimum and to encourage lots of questions and contributions from the folks out there. It worked really well at Computers in Libraries 2012, and now we’re trying it at Internet Librarian.

Session 1: The EDGE Initiative Benchmarks, Samantha Becker

The Gates Foundation and similar initiatives helped push libraries towards the path of digital inclusion and access. Would we have been seen as the place to go for computer access without those influxes of funding?

How do we create benchmarks to measure the success of this inclusivity that can be used by all sizes and scopes of libraries, from single-librarian buildings to the NYPL to a completely online library?

[And that’s where I ended up doing more moderator things]

Session 2: Open Source Trends & Issues with Nicole Engard and Marshall Breeding

Nicole started off with an overview of open source and three issues usually brought up against its use.

Neat story: A parking garage in Hoboken, NJ – the garage parked your car for you, but it ran on proprietary software. As they were negotiating renewal, the license ran out…and the garage shut down. Cars couldn’t get in or out. And therein lieth a major problem with proprietary software.

Marshall: “I’m an advocate of technology that’s successful in libraries.”

Resources mentioned:
Virtual Box: open source partitions app
Wubi: open Ubuntu as a Windows application

Marshall has data on ILS turnover from proprietary software to open source & back again:

Open Source for America
Four countries require their government to use open source software: China, Brazil, France & Italy

And that was the last time I was sitting down…

For the rest of the day, I was running around the room, facilitating audience participation and handing around microphones. We had a bangup audience: lots of comments, questions, and fabulous ideas. Just as in Computers in Libraries last spring, participants love the format of the discussion-based sessions. They love interacting with and connecting to other attendees, rather than just listening to talking heads.

Many, many thanks to Louise Alcorn of the Des Moine Public Library, who helped Michael and I by taking notes and capturing everything that our participants had to say.

I may add more notes on the track later, but for now, time to hit Publish and get on with Day 2!