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Plenty of insight on offer at inspiring industry conference

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					Gazette 30 November - 13 December 2007                                                                                                                                 NEWS 5
This year’s Talis Insight conference can hold its head up with the best, discovers Tim Buckley Owen.                                                            NEWS BRIEFS



Plenty of insight on offer at                                                                                                                    New staff and
                                                                                                                                                 office for OCLC
                                                                                                                                                 Andrew Pace has


inspiring industry conference                                                                                                                    joined OCLC as
                                                                                                                                                 Executive Director,
                                                                                                                                                 Networked Library
                                                                                                                                                 Services, Andrew was
                                                                                                                                                 most recently Head of
ACCEPT A FREE invitation as the guest                                                                                                            Information
of an information & library technology                                                                                                           Technology at North Carolina State
company and you’ll probably be pre-                                                                                                              University Libraries. Andrew has also
pared to tolerate a pretty high level of                                                                                                         worked for Innovative Interfaces,
promotion of your host’s products – or at                                                                                                        where he was a Systems Librarian
best a glorified user group meeting. But                                                                                                         and Product Integration Specialist
Talis’s two-day Insight 07 conference,                                                                                                           from 1996-1999.
held at the Birmingham Hilton Metro-                                                                                                             I OCLC is opening an office at the
pole earlier this month, was in a com-                                                                                                           University of St Andrews in Scotland,
pletely different league.                                                                                                                        and has appointed John MacColl to
  You could certainly find out all about                                                                                                         head it. The aim is to strengthen
new developments at Talis itself, with ses-                                                                                                      relationships with research institutions
sions on the company’s plans for an                                                                                                              and other partners the UK, Ireland
extended independent procurement                                                                                                                 and the rest of Europe. John MacColl
gateway, updates on the Lyra resource dis-                                                                                                       joins OCLC from his previous post as
covery programme, the newly unveiled                                                                                                             Head of the Digital Library at
Community Knowledgebase pilot and                                                                                                                Edinburgh University Library.
more. In fact, so rich is Talis’s product                                                                                                        www.oclc.org
research and development programme
that two days devoted entirely to this cre-     High calibre speakers featured at Insight – ‘no ordinary supplier freebie’
ative company’s offerings would have                                                                                                             Coates gets back
been a fully satisfying experience in itself.
  But when you also find speakers of the
                                                second day, the line-up of speakers was no
                                                less impressive and the issues just as chal-
                                                                                                bouncy castle? Sure there are health and
                                                                                                safety issues, but the council has insur-
                                                                                                                                                 to bookselling
calibre of information futurologist Euan        lenging. Nine and a half weeks into the         ance and lawyers, so deal with them.             Tim Coates, the
Semple, asking what ‘businesslike’ will         job, MLA’s new Chief Executive Roy                Perhaps betraying its academic research        former Waterstones
mean when business isn’t business any           Clare opened by asking why great                ancestry, Talis positively embraces disrup-      boss and an
more, or MLA’s head of library policy           achievements like Birmingham’s new              tive debate, including uncomfortable             outspoken
John Dolan on the need for new services,        central library don’t break the national        views about its own industry. So it invited      commentator on public
delivery models, governance and per-            surface.                                        the American specialist Marshall Breeding        libraries, is returning to
formance criteria, then you begin to              Public libraries shouldn’t be focusing        to tell a packed audience that existing          bookselling. He is
realise that this is no ordinary supplier       their efforts just on the disadvantaged, he     library systems were reaching the end of         joining YBP Library Services, the
freebie. Talis wasn’t afraid to embrace         challenged; we needed to give that group        their useful life (see separate feature).        academic library supply arm of US
controversy either, giving the platform to      something to aspire to. Simply saying that        Talis’s relations with its customers also      book distribution giant Baker & Taylor,
the provocative library campaigner Tim          people didn’t have time for libraries           seem remarkably close; so the demon-             as its UK General Manager. Tim
Coates and inviting the outspoken               wasn’t good enough; we had to find out          stration of its Engage community infor-          Coates campaigns for what he sees
Frances Hendrix to chair a panel discus-        why they didn’t make time for them.             mation product featured not just a Talis         as acheiveable efficiencies in the
sion in which a group of young librarians         Society of Chief Librarians president         spokesperson but pioneer customers               library supply chain, and for more
expressed their impatience for change.          Tony Durcan was concerned that existing         Andrew Cothliff and Heather Spencer of           spending on bookstock in libraries.
  Catching up with the conference on its        legislation kept public libraries in a 1960s    Lancashire County Council, showing
                                                model; we needed to understand the              how flexible and user-empowering the
                                                requirements of the born digital genera-        system is. And when closing speaker Liz          Blag a free place
                                                tion, and remove the barriers thrown up         McGettigan of Renfrewshire Libraries
                                                by 149 library authorities doing things         (feistily demonstrating that the private         at US event
                                                149 different ways. Specifically, con-          sector doesn’t have a monopoly on inno-
                                                tinued MLA’s David Potts, we had to             vation) disclosed that she had just quit         LIS students can write a 500-word
                                                streamline our antiquated inter-library         her job to work for Talis itself, you appre-     essay to earn them a free place at
                                                loan system, lessening its reliance on          ciate that this is indeed a company of all       the Special Libraries Association
                                                back office staff and equipping it to com-      the talents.                                     Conference in Seattle, US, 15-18
                                                pete with services like Amazon Market-            ‘This isn’t directly about our products;       June 2008. There are four awards
                                                place (a feasibility study on how this          this is about a set of issues that are facing    offered by different divisions.
                                                could be achieved should be published           the sector,’ Talis’s Paul Miller told Gazette.   Details at: www.slabf.org/;
                                                by December).                                   ‘It’s a success if people go away thinking       http://units.sla.org/division/
                                                  ‘Take risks’ was the message from             about the issues; they don’t have to go          dieb/index.htm; and
                                                Zoinal Abidin, the Manager of one of            away and sign a cheque.’                         http://units.sla.org/division/dst/
Dave Errington, Talis CEO, welcomes             Tower Hamlets’ Ideas Stores. You want to        I CILIP was a sponsor of Talis Insight 07.
delegates                                       host a sleepover in the library, or install a   www.talis.com
                                                                                                                                                 Award for good
                                                analysis we are getting from the system         desktop. BookScan’s unique sales data
                                                                                                                                                 practice in IL
New stock system                                so far, and looking forward to                  has also now been incorporated into the
                                                                                                                                                 The Information Literacy Practitioner
goes into action                                implementing and seeing those issues
                                                surging upwards.’
                                                                                                BookData Online service to allow users
                                                                                                to search and sort results by chart
                                                                                                                                                 of the Year Award is now open, for all
                                                                                                                                                 making an impact in the IL arena and
                                                www.bridgeallsmartsm.com                        position giving a clear indication of
Bridgeall Libraries has announced the                                                                                                            from any sector. The closing date is
                                                                                                weekly bestsellers.
first implementations of its smartsm                                                                                                             31 January and the award will be
                                                                                                BookScan’s TCM (Total Consumer
evidence based stock management                                                                                                                  presented at the LILAC 2008
(EBSM) tool – at Bournemouth Libraries          Fresh features for                              Market) sales ranking from the UK and
                                                                                                Australia is now available through the
                                                                                                                                                 conference dinner in Liverpool on 18
                                                                                                                                                 March.
and the City of Stirling Libraries.
Smartsm aims to deliver better value for        selection service                               service which is updated weekly.
                                                                                                Future plans from Nielsen include a joint
                                                                                                                                                 Details: Helen Harrington
money from stock, improved quality and                                                                                                           h.harrington@imperial.ac.uk
                                                                                                venture with Muze Europe to supply title
higher customer relevance by employing          Nielsen’s online search and selection
                                                                                                records for recorded music and videos
EBSM techniques. Smartsm is delivered           service, BookData Online, has several
                                                                                                in Marc format, offering search,
on web-based software. Robert                   new features. Now available is a Marc
                                                                                                selection, and cataloguing for
                                                                                                                                                 Focus on furniture and
                                                service for libraries that allows librarians
Ruthven, Library and Archive Service
Manager, Stirling District Council, said: ‘I    to search, select and instantly download
                                                                                                multimedia items.                                design Pages 7-11
must say I’m impressed with the stock           UKMarc & Marc21 records to their                www.nielsenbookdata.co.uk

				
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