by Cindy Shamel :
"The 16th annual Internet Librarian conference recently concluded in Monterey, Calif. More than a thousand registrants and 215 speakers tackled the topic Transformational Power of Internet Librarians. While the sessions ranged from accessibility of digital content to web analytics, two themes took center stage: the future role of libraries and the reality of ebooks. As it turns out, some would assert that the future role of libraries depends upon the ultimate impact of ebooks.
Role of Libraries
Depending upon whom you ask, libraries should serve as a platform for networking, return to their core competency as the keeper of print books, or launch new products and services as the enabler of content creation.
In the opening keynote address, David Weinberger advocated for the library as a platform for people, ideas, and works delivered through tools and services. Weinberger is senior researcher, Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, co-director, Harvard Innovation Lab, and author of Too Big to Know. He says, rather than attempting to collect knowledge in the form of published works, librarians can advance knowledge through public learning, generous sharing, and the power of iteration. Weinberger used the experience of software developers as an example of fast, efficient, and effective learning as they collaborate through tutorials, versioning, and social connections to tweak and improve programs. He posited that libraries can serve as a networking platform that “provides the resources that let others create and flourish.”