The Conference Circuit–Lots of April Conferences. No Fooling!

April starts with April Fool’s Day, a time for jokes and pranks, but it’s no joke that there are lots of conferences to attend in April.  Here’s a look at some of them; you can find details on many others by consulting the ITI Conference Calendar.

Information Science and Information Retrieval

A new conference on multimedia information retrieval is being sponsored by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  The First ACM International Conference on Multimedia Retrieval (ICMR) will be in Trento, Italy on April 17-20.  ICMR was originally proposed as a forum for discussing image and video retrieval, but its focus has broadened to include all types of multimedia.  For example, one will find presentations on browsing and searching, semantic retrieval, relevance feedback.  The keynote address will be by Professor Bernd Girod from Stanford University on “Mobile Visual Search”.

The 33rd European Conference on Information Retrieval (ECIR 2011, April 18-21, Dublin, Ireland) claims to be “the main European forum for the presentation of new research results in the field of Information Retrieval”.  It is organized jointly by the Chartered Institute for IT, Information Retrieval Special Interest Group and the ACM Special Interest Group for Information Retrieval (SIGIR).  On the final day of the conference and co-located with it, Industry Day will be devoted to the special needs of information retrieval practitioners.  Speakers will come from companies with commercial interests in information retrieval, such as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, IBM, and others.

The International Conference on Information Science and Applications (ICISA 2011) will be held on Jeju Island, Korea, April 26-29.  Since this is an IEEE conference, many of the presentations have an applied focus; however, one will find sessions on multimedia, visualization, data mining, and content convergence.

LILAC, the Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference, occurs in London on April 18-20.  Besides traditional presentations, including three keynotes, LILAC will feature a pecha kucha session with rapid-fire presentations each 6 minutes 40 seconds long, with 20 slides that are displayed for 20 seconds each.

The 15th Museums and the Web Conference, organized by Archives & Museum Informatics, will be in Philadelphia, PA, April 6-9.  The opening keynote address will by Kristin Purcell, Director of Research at the Pew Internet and American Life project.  She will speak on “Grounding Digital Information Trends”.  Other sessions focus on e-books, information seeking, social media, augmented reality, and linked data.

Data Mining and Open Access

Organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mechanics (SIAM), the 2011 SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (April 28-30, Mesa, AZ) is another in a long-running conference series.  It features 4 invited plenary presentations on research topics.  One of the plenary speakers is Susan Dumais, from Microsoft Research, who has done extensive work on information retrieval technologies.  Her talk at the SIAM conference is entitled “Temporal Dynamics and Information Retrieval”; she will discuss how Web content changes over time and how those changes influence users’ site visitation behavior.  Other topics on the conference program include social network analysis, text and Web mining, and data mining for marketing.

The Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College at Adelphi, MD is offering another of its frequent courses on current topics of interest.  From April 18 – 29, an online course on “Open Source and Open Access” will focus on these two themes.  Here is the description from the course website:

  • “Ideas and practices of producers and developers who create open source products with the goal of making the products’ source materials widely available, and
  • The growing movement of open access initiatives and the desire to make widely available online digital documents that are free of charge and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.”

Publishing and Library Issues

In collaboration with iGroup Pte., Ltd (a vendor of electronic content for libraries), the University of Hong Kong Libraries has organized the 9th Annual Library Leadership Institute (April 29 – May 3, Bangkok, Thailand) for library directors and senior librarians in the Asia – Pacific region.  The theme of the Institute is “Reinventing the Academic Library: Challenges and Opportunities.”, and it will feature case studies and presentations.  The principal facilitator will be Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist at OCLC.

The 8th Annual Publishers’ Forum (May 2-3, Berlin, Germany) is entitled “From Editorial to Market”.  This year, it is being co-sponsored by the Frankfurt Book Fair along with Klopotek, AG.  Topics include the future of book publishing, international publishing, and e-book licensing.  Many of the sessions will be conducted in German.

In another of its very useful seminars, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is offering “Publishers and Library Consortia: Changing Expectations” in London on April 7.  Consortia in both Europe and the US will be discussed as well as negotiation issues from both the publisher and library viewpoint.

The News Industry

Digital Media Europe 2011 (London, April 11-13 is a merger of two conferences formerly offered by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).  Each day will focus on a different theme:  Monday: digital trends, Tuesday: mobile media, and Wednesday:  iPads and tablets.

The IFLA National Newspaper Conference 2011 will be at the National Library of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on April 25-27.  With the theme “The Newspaper in Multiple Scripts and Multiple Languages: Issues and Challenges for National Heritage” it will focus on the challenges faced by libraries collecting newspapers in both printed and digital form. It is being organized by the National Library of Malaysia, Librarians Association of Malaysia and the IFLA Newspaper Section.

Society Meetings

Listed below are conferences of major library associations.  Many other regional and state library association conferences are listed on the ITI Conference Calendar.

  • The Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) meets for its 25th annual conference in Vancouver, WA on April 7-10 (URL) with the theme “Go for the Green!”.  The keynote speaker will be Sari de la Motte, CEO, Nonverbal Solutions, speaking on “The Power of the Exhale”, in which she will show how the process of breathing can help us get to a balanced, successful life.  The Roger Summit Award lecturer will be David Meerman Scott, who will speak on “Real-Time Marketing and PR”.
  • Providential Transformation” is the theme of the 43rd annual conference of the American Society for Indexing, to be held April 28-30 in Providence, RI.   The keynote speaker will be Joshua Tallent, founder of, who will present an overview of the e-book market and indexing e-books.
  • At the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) spring meeting (San Diego, CA, April 4-5), Christine Borgman, Professor of Information Studies at UCLA, will receive CNI’s Paul Evan Peters Award and will present a lecture entitled “Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet: Reflections on Three Decades in Internet Time”.  The award is given in honor of the founder of CNI and recognizes achievements in high performance networks and the creation and use of information resources that advance scholarship.  The meeting also features Project Briefings on developments and issues of interest to the members of CNI.
  • The Council of Science Editors (CSE) will meet April 29 – May 3 in Baltimore, MD for its 2001 annual meeting entitled, “Making Science Matter” (URL).  Many issues of current issues to editors and publishers are on the program, such as doing more with less, publishing controversial research, how scientists search for information, and searching for a new Editor-in-Chief.
  • IFLA’s 2011 Presidential Meeting will be April 14-15 at the National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague.  The theme is “Libraries Driving Access to Knowledge: Action for Europe”.  The speakers are senior library advocates, primarily from major Dutch and European institutions.
  • The International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Editors (STM) will hold its Annual Spring Conference on April 26-28 in Washington, DC, with the theme, “Trailblazing & transforming scholarly publishing 2011 + Stakeholders venture forward”.  The keynote speaker will be David Levy, Professor at the Information School, University of Washington, and his topic will address a problem all too common these days:  “No Time To Think”.  Levy presented an earlier version of this talk at Google’s headquarters, and it is available on YouTubeRick Luce, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries at Emory University will give a plenary talk on “A New Value Equation Challenge: The Emergence of eResearch and Roles for Research Libraries”.  Many other talks of high relevance in the current publishing environment are also on the program.
  • The 34th annual conference of UKSG (formerly known as United Kingdom Serials Group) will be April 5-6 in Harrogate, UK.  Among the subjects to be covered in the plenary sessions are digital research, the future of libraries, the future of the book, filtering in a web-based world, e-book bundles, and open bibliographic data.

London Book Fair

One of the year’s major book fairs, the London Book Fair, will be on April 11-13.   The market focus this year will be on Russia.

After reading this column, you may be tempted to think, “So many conferences and so little time!”. How true that is!  Many of these conferences  have fascinating programs, so be sure to take advantage of those you can.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

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