Packed programmes for 'twin' conferences

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Organisers of this year's Internet Librarian International (ILI) conference in London have once come up with a packed programme for the October event.

The two-day event, to be held at London's Olympia on 15 and 16 October, is billed as 'Europe's friendliest forum for librarians and info pros to exchange ideas, learn new skills, hear about new tools and tech, make unexpected connections, and explore new and interesting approaches to our jobs' and promises to make a difference to librarians' respective organisations, clients and communities.

The majority of the event will be run on the basis of three separate 'tracks' that will ensure plenty of relevant content for delegates throughout the two days: Users and UX; New Visions, New Strategies;  and Digital, Diverse, Disrupted.

There will be three keynote speakers:

• Yvonne Campfens: Create, innovate, collaborate: learning from start-ups. Campfens is a consultant in the Netherlands, where she has researched and worked alongside many start-ups in the scholarly communications ecosystem. From this experience, she will draws examples of how innovation and collaboration can happen across different information sectors, and will encourage delegates to accelerate innovation through collaboration.

• Kajal Odedra: Harnessing the power of community. Kajal Odedra is the executive director of and the author of Do Something. Kajal will talk about engaging hearts and minds and the power of communities to bring about collaborative change.

• Silvia Modig: Libraries in Finland – a good news story. Silvia Modig has been a TV and radio host, spent eight years in the Finnish parliament and is now an MEP. She is also a librarian. In this session she describes how much Finland loves its libraries, considers what lessons we can all learn from this approach, and reflects on the ILI experience.

The two-day event provides plenty of informal networking among its participants and sponsors. ILI's Sponsor Showcase provides further opportunity for attendees to network and review global information products, services and resources available now. The conference is structured so that breaks, lunches and receptions give sponsors prime time to talk with attendees and establish their information needs. The tabletop format for this Showcase exhibition offers opportunities for quick demos and informal conversations and the Showcase remains open throughout the event.

Delegates are also being offered the chance to enhance their conference experience by going behind the scenes at one of London’s iconic libraries on the morning after Internet Librarian International, Thursday 17 October. This year delegates will have the chance to visit The British Library. Places are free of charge but strictly limited and available on a first-come first-served basis. The visit list will be closed once all available places are booked.

Places are only open to ILI delegates and bookings can only be made as part of the delegate booking process. Delegates will be responsible for their own transport arrangements to the British Library. It is easy to reach in Central London and is well served with public transport links.

Top up your taxonomy

Once again, Internet Librarian International will run in co-location with Taxonomy Boot Camp. Beginners in taxonomy as well as seasoned information professionals are invited to the event, which will feature around 50 speakers, more than 150 attendees from some 22 different countries – and, organisers boast, 1200 servings of tea and coffee!

The two keynote speakers are as follows: 

• Emma Chittenden: 'That word you keep using? I don’t think you know what it means.'

Emma Chittenden is an information architect at Angels Playing Skittles, UK. 'Whatever kind of taxonomy you are working with, the choices of label are absolutely crucial. Ambiguity, hidden context, multiple meanings and unconscious bias may all come into play for the unwary taxonomist. Emma's strategic and down-to-earth talk will help you make good choices.'

• Nick Poole: The ethics of structured information

Nick Poole is chief executive at CILIP (Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). 'Data ethics has justifiably become one of the hottest topics in technology. It is more important than ever that our community demand that information is created and managed according to ethical objectives, and with an awareness of the risk of bias. Nick is in the vanguard of industry efforts to address the implications of bias in structured information, and his talk is a wide-ranging overview of what our profession can do about it.'

Event programme chair Helen Lippell said: 'We like to cover the core topics of taxonomy management, as well as helping taxonomists make the most of new ideas and technologies. On day one of Boot Camp, Blockchain – Cutting Through the Hype' is a session to help information professionals get to grips with blockchain.

'Our speakers, Rob Begley and Jon Bushell, and Marc Stephenson and Noeleen Schenk, have the knowledge and experience to help you understand the potential and pitfalls next time blockchain comes up in your organisation. Later, a packed session lets you hear four expert perspectives from the BBC, BA Insight, British Medical Journal and Smartlogic respectively, on using taxonomies and automatic tagging to get your content tagged more accurately and more efficiently. 

'On Day Two of Boot Camp Setting up a taxonomy project to succeed has talks from Maura Moran and Matt Johnson, who in their careers have dealt with every kind of reluctant stakeholder you can think of, and have plenty of advice for all of us who need to convince people of the merits of a taxonomy project. Later, join Joyce van Aalten and Patrick Lambe in one of our sessions flagged as Best for Beginners and learn about Improving your core skills as a taxonomist. Joyce introduces the various open source tools currently available to taxonomists, and Patrick has a framework to help taxonomists at any level focus on the right areas for their own career development.'