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ILL department upgraded to ILLiad 8, the revamped, re-designed ILL management software shortly before the Virginia Beach conference. The aftermath was clearly felt, as we had some tumultuous adventures with the upgrade. It was hoped that we would get familiar with the new interface before the conference, so we could bring questions, issues to the table and to learn how to take advantage of the new C# code base to help with ILL workflow. Many seemed to have the same idea; this conference is said to be the largest so far, with more than 300 participants.

With many excellent sessions, this conference has to be one of the best conferences I have ever attended, if not the best. One of the most exciting and valuable topics is how to streamline your ILLiad workflows with the IDS Workflow Toolkit in the preconference. According to the IDS Project website, “The IDS Project is a mutually supportive resource-sharing cooperative within New York State whose members include public and private academic libraries, the New York Public Library, and the New York State Library (view a list of current members). The Project is based on a strong sense of community among its members and a unified collection perspective. The major goal of the Project is to continually implement and objectively evaluate innovative resource-sharing strategies, policies and procedures that will optimize mutual access to the information resources of all IDS Project libraries.”

With the flexibility of the C# code base, IDS project programmer wrote several scripts using LUA for adding some often-used websites in the ILLiad staff client, like Amazon and Google Scholars, so we can access those website directly from the client. They even wrote a script for adding Princeton’s online catalog. Since we have not had much luck with using Z39.50 to search our catalog within ILLiad, this is very exciting news. I am looking forward to talking with our IT team members about adding our catalog button to the ILLiad client. Thanks ahead to the IT members.

Another very interesting topic is GIST – Getting It System Toolkit, which is “a system for merging Acquisitions and ILL request workflow using one interface, enabling user-initiated requests, coordinated collection development and acquisitions.” This is exactly what Lauren Corbett, Mary Beth Lock and I have been discussing. We are very excited about the possibility and are very much looking forward to the discussions with the Tech team and the Collection Development team.

Reporting – finding out what our user demographics are is another interesting session I went to. With the new more flexible interface, I can use the pivot table to really get to know who our users are and what they requested.

The OCLC updated us on several projects in development, including the Web-Scale Management Services and some commercial vendors’ policy changes.

Overall, this was a very informational conference. There are many small but useful tricks from the IDS Project that I am anxious to experiment soon, along with the tips l learned from talking with other participants. As Mary Beth mentioned in her round-up, collaboration, communication, promotion and evaluation are very important in today’s library work. We are looking forward to working together with various library users and staff members to implement some of the ideas we learned in the conference.