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LITA National Forum is held annually in the fall. This year it is being held in St. Louis, MO. The theme is Rivers of Data, Currents of Change. Giz and I flew in yesterday morning for the 3 day conference. I became involved in it several years ago when I joined the Forum planning committee. This year I am a “lurker” on this year’s committee activities because I am chair of next year’s planning committee. The committee has been formed since the beginning of the year and has actually started to make plans for it. The call for proposals go out this weekend. This means that part of my job at this year’s Forum is to observe how it unfolds so we can learn from it for next year’s conference. My committee first met at ALA Annual in New Orleans and our second business meeting will take place Sunday at a breakfast where this year’s and next year’s committees will have a debriefing. However, knowing that, although most of our work will be accomplished virtually, we all want to get to know each other better. To that end, last evening our group met informally at the end of the day to get acquainted. I found that I have an energetic, enthusiastic group of people! I predict we will work well together and will put on an excellent event next year in Columbus, Ohio!

My main goal for the first afternoon of the conference was to prepare and deliver a concurrent session about the results of Erik’s and my Summer Technology Exploration grant. Our main preparation venue for getting the presentation set was through WebEx over the last month. So we met right after lunch and put the finishing touches on the presentation (linked below). It was well received, enough so that Giz and I have started talking about how we might be able to start introducing some of the tools to undergraduates to give them a gentle introduction to working with data!
http://www.slideshare.net/smithss_27106/data-visualization-and-digital-humanities-research-a-survey-of-available-data-sets-and-tools