eM-powering eFutures

VALA 2012  was held at Jeff’s Shed in Melbourne. (officially – The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre).  The promising title was eM-powering eFutures.

Jason Griffey kicked off the proceedings telling us about Libraries in the Post PC Era. He talked about how our customers are accessing our resources, the fast adoption of mobile technologies, and the need for better metrics in measuring this change in access. He went on to show us some examples of new technologies: flip scanning devices that will scan a book at a speed of 500 frames per second; the Samsung transparent window pc; Maker-bot 3D printing machine; and others.

Eric Miller of Zepheira talked about Linked data – weaving the web of libraries, museums and archives. This was my favourite presentation of the Conference.

Eibhlin Roche who is an archivist from The Guinness Storehouse in Ireland talked to us about her job and the Guinness Archive: unlocking the potential of an iconic global brand.  She stunned us with her statistics concerning dollars generated for Guinness directly from the Guinness archives.

Many other people presented talks and information in a variety of ways on topics ranging from gaming in libraries, to big data, staff training, library makeovers, and more. The papers and presentations can be found here. Further comments and notes can be found on Twitter by searching with the tag #VALA2012.

The main streams of content from the presentations were: planning for the future; up-skilling library staff to be able to assist with new technologies; library space redesign; data management; social media applications; and finding relevancy in the community in an era when library resources and competencies are available from other sources.

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