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Demonstrating the Research Cloud
Since I reported in yesterday, I finished up my “hosting” jobs of introducing session speakers in concurrent sessions. I introduced Robin Hastings (Missouri River Regional Library) who spoke on “Collaborating in the Cloud.” She discussed how libraries can leverage their social networking presence using various free sites like Google Docs and Flickr. It was a talk geared to those just entering into the social networking realm and gave a good introductory overview. The final session of the day I introduced Michel Nguessan (Governors State University) , who presented his research on “Academic Libraries’ Strategic Planning in the 21st Century: The Role of Information Technology.” He analyzed strategic plans from 100 libraries and confirmed many of the typical goals that you would expect to find in strategic plans.

The final activity of Saturday afternoon was the poster session and it was nice to unwind from a busy day by chatting with folks about their projects (Erik above is hearing about the SDCU Research Cloud. Then Erik and I hike several miles uphill to visit University of Utah to find that it is closed for fall break. So we weren’t able to visit their Marriott Library, although it looked like a substantial operation. Then we jumped on the local light rail for a quick return to the city.

This morning I started early by attending a conference committee planning breakfast (I will continue on the committee one more year). There was one more round of concurrent sessions, but I didn’t have an introduction assignment so was able to pick a session that looked interesting. I went to a session by Andrew Nagy and Scott Garrison: “Next-Gen Catalog is Half the Solution: Making eResources Truly Accessible.” There was a discussion about Vufind as Scott implemented it at his institution (Western Michigan) and then he talked about their beta testing experience with Serial Solution’s Summon product, which Andrew is helping to develop. Summon looked very slick, but it’s not open source ($$). VuFind appeared to operate similarly to what we have seen with our implementation. It was interesting to see VuFind’s experimental browse function.

I’m sure both Lauren and Erik are reporting on the final keynote address by Liz Lawley. Recording her talk was my last official assignment, and was the most challenging as she is a very short woman who could barely see over the podium. So she moved around the stage, which made some recording adjustments necessary. But it turned out well and her presentation was most interesting as she told about her Picture the Impossible project. Be sure and look at Lauren’s in-depth notes.

Overall, this was a very successful conference (both from the view of being an attendee and from the view of being part of the planning). The Twitter feed was active, take a look at what attendees had to say!