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CIL 2009 conversations focus on SharePoint-complementary technologies

Being a relative newcomer to the library space in terms of software technologies, I came to CIL 2009 with an open mind about what to expect. I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised!

Along with my colleagues Kipo, Jason, and Phil, I have been manning our booth and attending a session here and there. Given that our booth is right beside the Internet stations and the coffee and lunch areas, we have seen a tremendous amount of traffic to our booth. Many of our customers have been stopping by to say hello and get a first-hand demo of Presto for Social Libraries.

I’ve been lucky to have been able to talk to a wide variety of folks here, ranging from people in the public library space, to academics, to people from local non-profit organizations (this is Washington, D.C. after all!), to corporate entities.

The common threads I’ve found are that they all are extremely interested in

a) how new technologies can help them get their jobs done faster and better,

b) how these technologies can give their patrons better insight into the relevance and quality of the information they are finding, and

c) how they can leverage their existing investments by augmenting their current platforms and solutions with these new technologies.

It’s been refreshing to experience the passion they have for what they do, and the curiosity and openness they have for embracing new technologies.

I’ve also had quite a number of conversations with folks about the impact of SharePoint on their operations. In every case, the question has been about how they can use SharePoint and a library automation and publishing system together.

This is driven by the reality that SharePoint is becoming more pervasive in their organizations, whether they like it or not. And they are being asked to find solutions that, again, augment rather than replace SharePoint.

When I engaged in discussions about Web Parts technology, and how Presto and SharePoint both use this same building-blocks technology, I'm happy to say that their concerns were addressed. We could get back to talking about what they were most interested in, namely providing their patrons the best possible experience.

We have one day left, so here's hoping for more of the same!

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