>It would help if these workshops had the imprimatur of a respectable
>library organization. They would also benefit from the structural support
>that such an organization could give. Has anyone approached LITA about
>doing OSS_related institutes or workshops? Although those are usually only
>one day, it would be a beginning, and LITA does much of the organizational
I attended the 2000 LITA National Forum with the expectation to see some
interesting information technologies. I was sadly disappointed. There were
no OSS presentation at all. Either there were nothing interesting going on
with OSS or nobody bothered to submit program proposal to LITA. If I were
to believe that LITA National Forum represented the state of the art
information technologies in libraries, I would have come away with the
impression that ColdFusion was IT.
LITA relies on program proposals, a year in advance, to plan the agenda. If
we don't make a point to summit proposals or if they don't start actively
searching for best practices and invite speakers to balance their overall
program, we won't see much improvement. Even though I did my little bit by
sending in a proposal for next year, I don't think this is going to be the
solution. That was the reason that prompted me into organizing a couple of
programs via NERCOMP's Library/IT sig to focus some attention on OSS.
The "respectable library organization" has a lot of formal structure and
procedure that sometimes prevent them from moving ahead with new and
interesting ideas. How fast can you move when you have to plan a year
ahead? What new and interesting programs do you expect to see if people who
are busy creating these programs can't be bothered to work through the
procedures to submit their proposals? Can we wait for them to change the
way they do their business to accommodate our wishes?
For whatever reason, I am seeing a lot more library IT type attending
Educause, Nercomp and ASIS&T. We need to cast our net wider and not to rely
on any ONE organization to advance our cause. More than anything, we need
to spare some time to do the presentations and use every one of those
occasion to point out the benefits of OSS.
Associate University Librarian
Middletown, CT 06459
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