Archive for the ‘SuperConference’ category

SirsiDynix SuperConference – Day 3

February 22, 2007

The iBistro/iLink Sharing Session was spirited. The enhancement requests and status were discussed. Several long-standing enhancements had been accepted and were scheduled for implementation. Many huzzahs from the audience. The spirited discussion came during the Q & A session and dealt with the EPS web client and its appropriateness to academic libraries. Academics seem to prefer, as a rule, solid, fast, accurate searching without a lot of portal associated features.

Another session gave an overview of RSS feeds and used as an example generating a new book feed from Unicorn. Pretty nifty. This is going to be a project I’m going to work on when I get back to work. However, J_ went to a session on project management and I think RSS feeds will be a lower priority. Still, an RSS feed looks to be fairly straight foreward and as the presenter pointed out, why not look for ways to provide information to your users.

The last session of the conference (for me) was a SirsiDynix staff presentation on future trends in searching. SirsiDynix has partnered with FAST to use their search engine as an add-on enhancement for the OPACs (WebCat, iBlink, EPS, Web2) to deliver faceted search results with real relevance ranking. This isn’t an OPAC upgrade or replacement. Rather, it is an additional search point for the library’s collection. It is scheduled for release in mid-2007 so it is still in development however what we saw is pretty impressive. It does require that the library’s holdings be exported to the FAST search engine but that is in line with similar products that have been discussed in the library world. I was pleased to see SirsiDynix putting something like this together fairly quickly. Pricing and exactly how it will work are still to be announced but it is scheduled for release in mid-2007.

Some Observations from SC2007

  • One feeling I always take away with me from a SuperConference is that there are a lot of very smart people who are extraordinarily generous with their time and expertise.
  • Major props to all the SirsiDynix staff. I’ve known many of them for 12 years and consider them friends.
  • The Broadmoor is beautiful, well appointed, and has the most friendly staff I’ve ever encountered. Too bad the only place I could afford to eat were the bars. I’m really tired of bar food.
  • SirsiDynix staff didn’t have much to say about the abrupt departure of Pat Sommers except that it caught everyone by surprise and there wan’t hostility between Pat and Vista. The speculatios have been interesting and imaginative.
  • SirsiDynix staff seem to be upbeat about the Vista purchase of SirsiDynix. Apparently Vista is an old money San Francisco company that invests in niche technology companies. I gather that Vista people were in the executive track at SC2007.

Blogging the SuperConference – Departure & Arrival

February 17, 2007

I’m going to try something new this year.  I’m going to attempt to blog from the SirsiDynix SuperConference.   Bets are now being accepted as to my ability to sustain this effort and to compose coherent posts. Starting tomorrow.  Today’s post is just short observations and impressions of the trip.

Before we leave, Northwest moves our departure up to 6:30 am from the fairly civilized 7:45.  Aaargh!

Julie picks me up Saturday at 4:15 am.

We arrive at RIC with plenty of time.  6:30 comes and goes with no flight announcement.   Our flight to Minneapolis disappears from the departure board.  Huh!  Finally a flight crew passes by and we learn that we are taking off at 7:50.  Just like the Army.  Get up early, wait for hours.

Flight to Minneapolis is uneventful.  Midwest is laid out in neat squares, covered in snow. People appear to be living down there.  Departure to Colorado Springs is on-time.  The Airbus 320 is actually comfortable.

Colorado Springs is warmer than the ‘Burg.  This isn’t right.   I want to feel the bite of mountain air.

Arrive at the Broadmoor.  Looks better live than on web cam.   Check into room. Yikes!  I’m not worthy.  This must really be the off season to get a room nicer than a lot of places I’ve lived.   Television has composite video input.  Yea.  I can watch True Grit using my iPod.

Tomorrow Julie goes to a session on Perl programming and I go to one on federated searching.  Should be interesting.  When Joe Lucia from Villanova spoke at Swem he told me that their database use statistics increased dramatically when they implemented federated searching.  Want to be able to build a case for providing it at Swem.