Internet Librarian 2008

By Jason Griffey |

There could hardly be a nicer conference location than Monterey, CA in the Fall. The weather is gorgeous, the town is walkable, and there is a plethora of tourist activities ranging from the phenomenal Monterey Aquarium to the local beaches. So to say that I spent my days at Internet Librarian 2008 sitting in hotel conference rooms should give you some idea of the speakers and the programs that Information Today manages to put together every year.

This year, the highlights included keynotes by Howard Rheingold (author of Smart Mobs) and danah boyd (a PhD candidate at the iSchool at UCal Berkeley, and online superstar...and yes, she prefers that her name be all lower case). ITI also put together amazingly well-tracked presentations like the "Solving Problems" track that included sessions like "Solving the OPAC Problem" with John Blyberg and Christopher Barr and "Solving the Interest Problem" with Kelly Czarnecki and Cliff Landis. The conference was full of great speakers, good ideas, and incredible examples that people could take back to their individual libraries in order to make a difference locally.

In order to get an idea of the breadth of content, I recommend taking a look at a few resources. First is the official conference wiki, which has a ton of information in it. The two best resources for coverage of sessions are Jenica Rogers-Urbanek's blog Attempting Elegance and Sarah Houghton-Jan's blog Librarian in Black. Both covered the conference in remarkable detail, capturing keynotes and sessions better than any other source I've seen. If you read up on their coverage, you will get a very good idea about the content of the conference.

This isn't to say that IL2008 was all business. Some of the best content comes from the dinner conversations with peers, or the "what is your library doing" conversation over a glass of ale at the Crown & Anchor. To get some idea what the social side of IL2008 looks like, check the Flickr pictures for the tag IL2008.

For anyone who is on the fence about attending Internet Librarian, give it a try. Hopefully I'll be there!