ALAO 2006 Keynote

The ALAO 2006 Conference [list of sessions / slides and handouts] was held November 3 in Akron. The keynote speaker this year was Dr. J. Richard Madaus, Executive Director of the College Center for Library Automation in Florida. Dr. Madaus's presentation was good. He spoke about how quickly technology has changed over the past five years and how libraries are tying their best to adapt with limited budgets. He addressed the hesitancy of some library administrators to implement emerging technologies. He encouraged us to experiment and to keep up with new technology and how our students and faculty are using it.

Overall, the content of his presentation was in line with the continual conversation on many library blogs about how to adopt and co-opt technology in the library.  I didn't really find anything he said surprising or new to me. I did however, write down a couple phrases he used during the presentation. During one point he mentioned "the illusion of site bound librarianship." This was in reference to how some libraries try to replicate the physical library in a digital environment. This practice does not make sense to our born digital students and even some younger faculty. He also talked at one point about how traditional college students are use to "information foraging." He advised that we need to design our interfaces and web sites to make it easier for students to "catch the scent" of a good information source.

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