Thursday, April 19, 2007

Library + Information Show 2007

Yesterday, I went to the Library + Information Show (opens in new window) in Birmingham (at the NEC). It's on today as well but I have found that usually one day is enough at these sorts of things. I find that these shows can be useful and interesting but that it is essential to have an objective for the day (to which I shall return in a moment).

I attended a couple of the seminars and picked up some useful bits:
  1. Panning for Gold - Maximising the Value of Your CV (presented by Suzanne Wheatley, Sue Hill Recruitment)

    Suzanne presented a few excellent suggestions that weren't new to me (like using action verbs and quanitfying things) but she also had some suggestions that I hadn't considered or found interesting:
    • 'Career History' is a more positive term than common alternatives such as 'Employment History'
    • If you're going to claim to be a high-level user of MSWord, for example, then make sure your CV (if it's in MSWord) makes full use of the software features (e.g. use Styles to format the content rather than modifying the 'Normal' style for the headings, using Tab instead of five spaces)
    • I have never included an 'Interests' section but if you're going to, be specific - if you like to travel, what kind of travel and where?
    • she also had a handy list of 'dos' and don'ts' but rather than list them all here, I will link to her presentation as soon as it is made available on the L+I Show website.

  2. Blogs, Wikis, and RSS: Key Technologies for Information Provision and Gathering (presented by Karen Blakeman, RBA Information Services)

    Karen's session was also interesting but I felt as though it was targeted at an audience with less knowledge and experience of blogs, wikis and RSS than I have. However, I learned about a few different services that I hadn't come across before (so it was still time well spent) including:
    • Omea (opens in new window) - a desktop RSS reader
    • (opens in new window) - lets you embed RSS feeds in web pages
    • Karen had a list of links to library blogs and to blog search engines that I would like to have captured as well but was too busy listening! I will have a look at her presentation slides (and link to them from here) when they are made available on the L+I Show website
My objective for the day was to find someone who could talk knowledgeably about metadata and engage them in a conversation around the management of document- vs content-level metadata (opens in new window). Although I found a few exhibitors who understood what I was talking about, none of them had encountered the siutation before and generally, they had a CMS that used document-level metadata and then relied on content keyword searching.

On the whole, it was an interesting day and I met some interesting people, some of whom may prove to be useful contacts in the future (and one who has already suggested someone I ought to speak to at BT about their use of metadata). I don't think that I needed more than one day and to be henest, rather than doing a 10-5 day, I probably could have accomplished the same amount in an 11-4 day...but I'd have missed out meeting a few people (and on my glass of cava - thanks Bennett Software)!

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