For the third year, I recently attended the 5th MidWest CONTENTdm Users Group Meeting and it was a great opportunity to visit The University of Iowa and to meet the rest of the planning committee. Being part of the program sub-committee gave me a good understanding -and an opportunity to be part- of some of the activities required to organize a regional gathering.
The keynote speaker was Kenning Arlitsch -Associate Director for IT Services at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library. Although the focus of his talk was on the results of a survey designed to discern the perceptions and preferences of future library leaders related to organizational cultures in academic libraries; he also underlined the importance (need) for librarians to acquire more technical skills in order to keep up with constant changes in users’ expectations.
I also found two other sessions quite interesting: a) The Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois (CARLI), perhaps this is another good example of a shared CONTENTdm installation serving multiple institutions and therefore sharing costs; and b) Customization, Web Services, and Storage at Ball State, this was a more technical session focused on authentication methods for viewing protected records and an off-line backup system; both topics seem to be relevant especially as libraries continue to digitize collections with some copyright restrictions.
On the second day, I was part of a panel “Collaboration & Partnership for Building Digital Collections.” Robin Crumrin and Connie Renfeld shared their experience in building the Indiana Memory project -a multi-institutional collaboration at the State level. And with the help of Jacky Johnson, I talked about the Freedom Summer Project as an example of a multi-departmental project here at Miami. A copy of our presentation is available here.
Last but not least, I heard it again; a major release with a new web-template option will happen this year, …look forward to checking that out!