Friday, October 28, 2005

Friday morning:

Nothing like starting the day with a business meeting. The Library Research Round Table is a small but sincere group dedicated to supporting and promoting library research (duh) -- and we always have entertaining business meetings. LRRT sponsored or cosponsored 5 programs at this year's conference -- close to the record, I'm sure.

One of the programs we sponsored was "MLIS Student Perceptions on Field Work Experience" in which Elizabeth Buchanan and Stephanie Reister presented some research about how fieldwork works out for MLIS students. The audience was a good mix of LIS faculty, students, practitioners, and people who had supervised fieldwork, so we had an interesting discussion. Generally, fieldwork seems to be a good thing but opinions are divided about whether or not it should be required. My own reference practicum at Middleton Health Sciences Library (about a hundred years ago) was very positive for me, but now I wonder how it was for the poor librarians who had to supervise me.

The last session of the conference I'm attending is "The Seven Million Books Project: Google Floods the Digital Plain" with Abigail Potter and Rebecca Dunkle. Google's digitization partnership with the University of Michigan (among others) has been pretty controversial but hearing this talk made me feel like this might just work - and even be a good thing. Many of the details about the project are confidential but you can find out more at It sounds like Michigan will be a good steward of the immense digital resource which is being developed.

The President's Luncheon is the final event of the conference and we've heard some pretty interesting talks over the years. As of late yesterday, we were still expecting to have Senator Russ Feingold as today's speaker. You never know, but it sounded pretty hopeful. I'll let you know.

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