Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 Innovative Users Group Conference

This years' IUG conference in Chicago was attended by 1,075 people from 19 different countries. The keynote speaker at the opening session was Scott Simon, host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday.

The big buzz at this year's conference was SkyRiver, a new bibliographic utility offering a low cost alternative to OCLC for cooperative cataloging. I attended the session "SkyRiver: an Introduction" in which three librarians from public libraries spoke about their transition to SkyRiver. In all, they concluded that the transition to SkyRiver was smooth, the pricing is good, and it is very easy to use. The libraries have discontinued their cataloging subscriptions with OCLC, and two libraries are still paying to upload holdings to OCLC. OCLC has responded by increasing the price for holdings updates. The libraries still perform resource sharing through OCLC. I am happy to see there is competition to OCLC's monopoly in this regard, and will be watching for future developments.

I attended a session on Statistics Reports, presented by Joe Wojtowicz, our III trainer. He covered processes for data cleanup, periodic bibliographic record creation reports, circulation activity reports, cross tab reports, web management reports, and spreadsheet interface reports. It was a good refresher for me.

The Technical Services Development update highlighted new features available with the 2009b upgrade.

The session "Presentation Counts!" by Dorothy Hargett was a wonderful, fun presentation about customer service training. She uses humor to train the circulation staff and she creates a disciplined culture of excellence.

The session "Circulation in the Modern Library" provided information regarding self-check, eCommerce, SMS, and RFID. SMS provides a link in the catalog that sends call number information as a text message--no need to write down a call number before searching in the stacks! RFID facilitates batch check in and check out, is a security tool, and is highly effective in performing inventory of the collections.

"RFID: After the Conversion" provided me with some good advice regarding what to expect once the collection has been converted to RFID tags. Carol Gyger and Carson Block from Poudre River Public Library described the workflow for circulation once RFID was enabled. This will help me in the decision making process to convert our library collections to RFID.

The final session I attended was "Managing Your Electronic Resources" which provided an overview of the features of III's Electronic Resource Management (ERM) module. The ERM can provide statistics and management of all electronic resources, helping librarians to use data to make decisions regarding collection development.

As in the past, the IUG conference always gets me thinking about the most effective way to use Millennium to help our patrons discover the resources they want!

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