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Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) 2003
The general aim of the annual conference and course, Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA), is to address the changing and challenging environment for libraries and information systems and services in the digital world, with an emphasis on examining contemporary problems, advances and solutions. Each year since 2000 a different and current theme is addressed, divided in two parts. The first part covers research and development and the second part addresses advances in applications and practice. The course is oriented toward professionals and researchers in librarianship, information science, and informatics, as well as from other disciplines interested in this topic. In particular, the course is useful for practicing librarians and information scientists, for students of library and information science, and for system administrators, system operators, Web page managers, and related personnel in library and information systems.
The LIDA 2003 conference was a joint effort of the Faculty of Education in Osijek, Croatia and Rutgers University, USA under the direction of Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic and Dr Tefko Saracevic of those institutions. It was held May 26-30, 2003 in the enchanting locations of Dubrovnik and Mljet, Croatia. Two main themes of this year's LIDA were "World Wide Web and Information Retrieval," and "World Wide Web and Libraries." The Conference hosted speakers from all over the world and was attended by over 150 participants from 18 countries including Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, The Netherlands, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, USA.
The LIDA 2003 Preconference hosted a kick off meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology/European Chapter (ASIST/EC). Dr Saracevic and Emil Levine, the ASIST/EC Advisor from Austria discussed the development of ASIST and its current activities. Koraljka Golub from Lund University in Sweden presented a report on the 2002 ASIST annual meeting held in Philadelphia. The session was followed by a panel discussion on the role of professional organizations in career development. Panelists were Tefko Saracevic, Emil Levine, Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic, Sanda Erdelez from the University of Missouri, USA and Paul Kantor also from Rutgers.
The Preconference day ended with demonstrations of successful Web projects done in Croatian institutions such as the Croatian Information Documentation Referral Agency (HIDRA), CARNet, the Medvescak Public Library, and the National and University Library. Presentations were followed by the Welcoming Party hosted by ASIST/EC.
On the first day of the LIDA conference, after the opening session, the following papers were delivered: "The impact of change in Web-based IR systems on users'experience" by Sandra Erdelez; "Automating and Evaluating Metadata Generation" by Elizabeth D. Liddy from Syracuse University, USA; "Ask a Librarian and QuestionPoint"by Linda White, Library of Congress; Colleen Cool at Queens College and Nicholas Belkin from Rutgers gave a tutorial entitiled, "Interface Design for Web Information Retrieval;" and Gordon Dunsire from Strathclyde University in the UK offered a workshop on "Collection Level Description." Afternoon sessions included presentations by Ross Todd at Rutgers, Dania Bilal from the University of Tennessee and Sherry Chen at Brunel University in the UK, on the design and presentation of information with special emphasis on subject access.
The second day of the Conference started with David Harper's (The Robert Gordon University, UK) presentation on finding information in long documents. Following this, two interesting workshops were held. Paul Nieuwenhuysen from Virje University in Belgium offered an updated version of his workshop on finding information through the Internet and WWW, while Ross Todd explained how to create effective library web sites for children and young adults. At the third session that day, Ray Lonsdale and Chris Armstrong from the University of Wales, UK, talked about the provision and use of e-books in UK academic libraries, while Hannie Sander from the Coalition for South African Library Consortia presented digital initiatives in information service provision in academic libraries in developing countries. Oliver Obst at the Medical Library Muenster in Germany, and Imma Subirats Coll from Valencia University in Spain talked about issues concerning electronic media and cooperative digital libraries. The second day of the Conference was closed with a poster session with 26 participants.
The next day, the Conference was moved to the magnificent island of Mljet, where Tom Delsey from Canada and Martin Svoboda from the State Technical Library in the Czech Republic spoke on authority records, dynamic collections, and library services in the digital environment. The next session started with Caroline Baker's (University of Oxford, UK) lecture on collection management, with a presentation of content analysis of Croatian academic and special libraries web sites by Jadranka Stojanovski from Rudjer Boskovic Institute's Library, Croatia. The day's work ended with two workshops: Linda White talked about the Library of Congress' experience in creating a digital library, while Marija Dalbello at Rutgers addressed an interesting issue of application of oral and documentary history in Library and Information Sciences.
The final day of the Conference offered a number of interesting presentations on issues ranging from collection development in digital libraries by Scott Nicholson at Syracuse University; improving information access by Colin Schmidt from Besancon University in France; the invisible Web by Tefko Saracevic; developments in scholarly communication by Marta Deyrup at Seton Hall University Library, USA; hypertext by Hajrudin Hromadzic at the Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis in Slovenia; Web publishing by Natasa Milic-Frayling at Microsoft Research Ltd, UK; and Scottish Collections Network – SCONE by Gordon Dunsire.
A Conference closing panel discussion and roundtable dealt with current topics in the field entitled "Digital libraries: where are we and where are we going?" Following a lively discussion, it was agreed that in ten years neither books, nor libraries, nor librarians will disappear, and that the traditional and the digital shall be integrated to form a source of integral services. The very last and most exciting part of the Conference was a banquet with delicious Mediterranean cuisine, wine, music and dance, when the best poster winners were announced and ASIST prizes awarded which included an annual ASIST membership.
It still was not over, for on Friday, 27 May 2003, the Postconference full day workshop entitled "FRBR and FRANAR: Models for a New Conceptualisation of Bibliographic Control" was offered by Tom Delsey, Eeva Murtomaa (National Library, Finland), Tinka Katic, Sofija Klarin and Mirna Willer (National and University Library, Croatia).
Further, mention should be made of the almost invisible but well remembered participation of two prominent experts in the field: Paul Kantor and Maurice Line who were more than willing to answer all the attendees' questions and talk about their rich experiences. The LIDA 2003 Conference offered its participants a lovely week in May, filled with various programs and events, plus the possibilities to acquire new knowledge, meet interesting people, talk with top professionals in the field, and last but not least, to enjoy beauties of the old town of Dubrovnik and the national park on the island of Mljet.
A LIDA 2004 conference will be held as well, at the same time at the end of May, again in the charming Dubrovnik, Croatia with the theme, "Human information behaviour and competences for digital libraries." Information about the conference can be found at the following URL: http://www.pedos.hr/lida or obtained by inquiring from firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanjica Faletar (email@example.com) is a Research Assistant in the Department of LIS, Faculty of Education, University of Osijek, Croatia.