I’m pleased to report that last week, twenty enthusiastic information professionals met at the Bedford Public Library to begin laying the foundation for NHLA’s new information technology section. (So far a total of 35 people have expressed interest in participating in the section, and the list continues to grow.) Represented within the group were information architects, library directors and assistant directors, reference, children’s, teen, and technical services librarians, and systems administrators and webmasters from numerous public and academic libraries.
During the meeting, we discussed organizational issues such as whether or not there should be a membership fee, and what kind of organizational infrastructure is needed. The consensus was that there should not be a membership fee and that compared to some other sections, the IT section would have fewer official committees, and instead, operate as a more fluid organization. In the next two months, a group of members will further discuss these issues as they draft a set of bylaws which will be reviewed at the section’s next meeting on Tuesday, April 8th at 10am at the Bedford Public Library.
In addition, another group of volunteers agreed to start exploring content management systems with the goal being to select one for the section’s web presence. Three applications in particular were mentioned, including WordPress, Drupal and Joomla. If any NHLA members would be interested in participating in this project, please contact Steve Butzel.
Finally, we closed the meeting with announcements of interesting information technology accomplishments and ongoing projects at our libraries. One announcement of particular interest was that the GMILCS consortium has recently implemented ChiliFresh. ChiliFresh is a plug-in that allows patrons to add comments and reviews of books right into the library’s catalog, for other patrons to read. Read more about this here.
In closing, if you are interested in participating in the Information Technology section, please contact Steve Butzel, and he will get you signed up for the section’s Google Group (which is serving as our communication system for now.) As I mentioned earlier, our next meeting is on Tuesday, April 8th at 10am at the Bedford Public Library. You are welcome to attend this meeting even if you missed our first one.