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This year’s LITA National Forum is being held in Atlanta. There are 5 of us here from ZSR Library, probably the largest representation we’ve ever had at a single Forum. One big impact of this fact is that we were able to take advantage of the new library van to transport all of us down the road. There is nothing better than a road trip that starts in the back parking lot behind ZSR at 4:30 am!
I am on the conference planning committee again, so most of my weekend is involved with introducing speakers, helping with logistics and hosting a networking dinner tonight. Giz is attending his first Forum and Erik/Kevin/JP came to do a presentation on our cloud project.
We arrived in time to settle in and be ready for the opening keynote by Amy Bruckman, who talked about “How Wikipedia Works and What This Means for the Nature of Truth.” She talked about Wikipedia in terms of being a constructionist learning environment but said it has produced a epistemology crisis. With a source that is collectively created, how do we understand what to believe, what is objective or subjective? She believes it is through social agreement, or peer review. And this is what Wikipedia does through its framework of authors, editors and administrators. She offered several interesting perspectives in support of the value of Wikipedia and it was a great start to the weekend.
I was fortunate to be the one to introduce our cloud experts for their session (OK I admit I arranged to do it!). I’m sure each of them will give their perspectives, but the 70 minute talk was well received from a room that had standing room only. Often, the real test of the success of a presentation is how many questions are generated, and how many people hang after to talk to the speakers. Using those criteria, the talk was a resounding success with plenty of thoughtful questions posed (and good answers returned) and plenty of post-session conversations.
Today promises another full day with a keynote by Roy Tennant and concurrent sessions. So more to come!