There is a conference for librarians that I have just learned of: Internet Librarian 2018. As law librarians, it behooves us to keep abreast of technological advances. I am always looking for different tech conferences that do not specifically revolve around the law and how to assist the legal industry, but rather tech conferences that focus on libraries in general. After all, I am a librarian first, who happens to specialize in legal information. In my opinion, keeping our libraries as technologically contemporary as possible, as institutions, whether brick and mortar or online, is of utmost importance no matter your patron base. We do not want to risk libraries becoming a burden to the very information they safeguard because they cannot provide efficient access (or any access at all) because they cannot keep up with the digital age.
Okay, before I get too far up on my access-to-information soap box, what is the Internet Librarian Conference?
The Internet Librarian Conference has been around since 1997. The previous conference websites are all archived, so I highly suggest you take a look at the evolution of technology and conference topics. Earlier conferences discussed cassette tape recordings and dial-up internet—but otherwise most of the 1997 conference program topics are the same topics librarians discuss today. The conference has taken place every autumn, typically in Monterey, California. Internet Librarian Conference claims to be the “most comprehensive conference for library and information professionals interested in:
- Technology to discover the insights;
- Strategies and practices that allow us to push the envelope in expanding the net;
- Building solid connections to the Internet of Things;
- Managing libraries and digital information; and
- Enhancing the information sharing and learning experience of people in our communities.”
Taking a quick look at the conference schedule certainly confirms it is comprehensive. The 2018 roster features a diverse group of speakers: academic librarians, public librarians, law librarians, government documents librarians, geology librarians, and librarians from NASA, the American Library Association, and so many more!
Access to information is the true goal of libraries. It does not matter what type of library or librarian you are. A conference that is so comprehensive is such a beneficial professional development component for librarians, because it is essential that we understand and grow the foundation (our libraries) before we be great at growing the specialization (legal information). If I sound excited about this conference it is because I am! I am only sad that I have just learned of its existence. Alas, I hope that some of my fellow law librarians are more conference savvy than I, and will be in attendance this year. If not, no worries; now we all know about this fantastic opportunity to “cross-pollinate” our librarian specializations and reach new technological heights. I will not be in Monterey for the Internet Librarian Conference this year, but I will do my best to attend next year and I can’t wait to tell everyone about what I learn!