One of the advantages of attending last month’s Computers in Libraries annual conference in Arlington, Va., is that you get to live it twice. First, in person, with all its benefits of session attendance and participation, networking, serendipitous encounters and stimulating conversations. And now online, via presentation slides for sessions I attended and others I would have liked to but could not. The organizers have also provided a complete list of speakers, with social media links.

This year’s theme was Digital Transformation: Next Gen Tools & Strategies for Community Impact. As with any conference, you can’t do everything, and there are always going to be time conflicts on various sessions. The organizers did an effective job of creating considerable time for networking by scheduling exclusive hours for the exhibition hall, where attendees could learn about new vendor offerings, and easily meet and talk with new contacts and old friends. It also helped that coffee, tea and food were on offer during these sessions (as well as at other times; a really nice perk).

From the above presentation page, here is a selection of sessions with slides currently available online that should be valuable to librarians and information professionals applying digital transformation for a better future:

Mary Ellen Bates: (ROI) Truth to Power

Mary Ellen Bates: Super Search Tips

Vickery Bowles: Toronto Public Library Overview: Strategic Plan, Digital Strategy & Accountability Framework

Chris DeCristofaro: Podcasting Basics: From Concept to Reality

Marianne Giltrud: Leveraging Data & Learning Outcomes: Tech Toolkit

Heather Hedden: Customer-Focused Thesauri

Heather Hedden: Practical Taxonomy Creation; pre-conference workshop Resources

James King: Custom Data Rich Websites using Information Architecture

James King: Demonstrating Value in Uncertain Times

Jill Konieczko: Marketing Tips from Award Winning Libraries

Meghan Kowalski: Picture This: Using Instagram to Connect With Your Users

Andrew K. Pace: Linked Data Reality Check

Aaron Tay: Plugged In: Identifying Open (& Subscribed) Access

I presented at Computers in Libraries 2016, on Repositioning Librarians for Success, a concept I still strongly believe in. On the CIL website, you can find the slides for that presentation, as well as other slides from that year’s conference.

Finally, here are 10 key points from this year’s conference:

  • Continual proving of worth for librarians/information professionals

  • Libraries/information centers of all types have to do the same

  • Continuous learning and professional growth

  • Application of Blockchain and other outside-generated technologies for library purposes

  • Face-to-Face networking remains highly valuable

  • Building community in-person and online

  • Partnerships among individuals and institutions

  • Development of innovative strategies for the future

  • Power of inclusion and diversity

  • Roles of different generations in libraries and other organizational workplaces

My sense is that all of the above will gain in relevance between now and the next Computers in Libraries, to be held March 26-28, 2019, also in Arlington. I look forward to seeing how the organizers approach these and related issues, and how conference participants will respond.

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