Iowa ACRL Spring Conference, pt. 2

Following the conference opening session I attended a presentation by Cecilia Knight from Grinnell College titled "Off-Site Storage: Value-added?" which gave an overview of some of the ways that libraries are dealing with crowded facilities in the digital world. She defined "off-site" as space not accessible to the public. (By that standard we already possess a large off-site storage facility in our basement.) Grinnell has an off-site storage facility a mile from campus where they are storing the print copies of JSTOR journals and some old print indexes. They will fetch materials from this facility on a daily basis if someone requests something. In general they are taking a more conservative approach than we have here.

Knight seemed to assume that most of us in the audience would save old materials if we could. She asked which of our libraries are members of Portico and I think there were three of us. She showed us some pictures of a facility in Minnesota that stores materials from a number of libraries. She also discussed briefly the large digitization projects being conducted by Google, Microsoft and the Open Content Alliance. Finally she mentioned the problem of how best to preserve born digital materials.

I also attended Ryan Gjerde's excellent presentation on Facebook applications in libraries. Ryan did a good job of giving background on Facebook for those of us who are non-members and then discussed and demonstrated (to the extent that a balky connection would allow) his own Facebook module for searching Magnus. He had a good, attentive crowd who were very interested in his work.