Fall Conference Season in Full Swing

As I am writing this column, summer has returned—after a brief interruption by Hurricane Irene—but by the time the conferences below roll around, we will be at the height of one of the busiest conference months of the year.  Information Today jumps into its fall conference season with no fewer than 14 events (see the following posting on this blog), and the usual subjects of interest appear on the calendar.


The largest book fair of the year will occur at its traditional time and venue.  The Frankfurt Book Fair will be on October 12-16, and this year the book fair management has inaugurated the Frankfurt Academy, a new “umbrella” brand that “brings together the best international conferences, seminars, and publishers’ trips that the Book Fair has to offer all year round.”  The subjects include strategy, marketing, digital media, and rights and licenses.  It will be interesting to see how this new venture succeeds; Book Fair sponsorship will give it a significant advantage.

The 9th International Conference on the Book will take place October 14-16 in Toronto, ON.  The keynote speakers are George Elliott Clarke, Professor of Canadian Literature at the University of Toronto, who specializes on studies of literature from Nova Scotia; and Dr. Michael Geist, law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law.  Dr. Geist has written extensively on the Internet and intellectual property law.  Besides their formal presentations, the keynote speakers will participate in “garden sessions”, in which attendees can discuss their presentations in an informal setting.  Conference sessions are grouped into 6 subject “streams”, as follows:

  • Books, writing and reading
  • Educational resources and learning
  • Information society, print and electronic texts
  • Libraries
  • Literacy
  • Publishing

Digital Libraries

The 4th annual conference on A Digital Public Library of America: Perspectives and Directions will be in New York on October 11.  This is a single-day conference featuring the following speakers and their topics:

  • Robert Darnton, University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, A Vision of a Digital Public Library of America
  • Tom Allen, President and CEO, Association of American Publishers, A National Digital Public Library, the Google BookSearch Settlement, and U.S. Publishers
  • Pamela Samuelson, Distinguished Professor of Law and Information Management, University of California, Berkeley, Strategies for Overcoming Copyright Obstacles to Achieving Digital Library Objectives
  • Yakov Shrayberg, Director General of the Russian National Public Library for Science and Technology, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Russian journal, Scientific and Technical Libraries, and International Library Information and Analytic Center (ILIAC) President, Digital Libraries in Russia and Their Availability to the Public

The three U.S. speakers are leading authorities in their subject areas, and the speaker from Russia is one of the most influential librarians there, so this conference will be a highly relevant and educational event.  In fact, one of the organizers says that Darnton’s article, “Google and the Future of Books” (New York Review of Books, February 12, 2009) “is the best article I have read in the library and information field”.

The website for the Digital Preservation Summit 2011 (Hamburg, Germany, October 19-20) states that the conference will be “by experts for experts”—a forum where “experts exchange their practical knowledge and experiences on digital preservation”.  The theme for the first day is “Getting Ready for Digital Preservation”, and the second day will consider “The Ingest Process for Different Types of Digital Material” (where “ingest” describes the complete process of transferring material to the digital archive).

The International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL 2011, Beijing, China, October 24-27) is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China and has the theme “Digital Libraries — for Culture Heritage, Knowledge Dissemination, and Future Creation”.  This conference will have a wealth of information for attendees; four leading experts will present keynote addresses, and there will be 15 sessions arranged in three concurrent tracks.

The XIII All-Russian Research Conference RCDL’2011 (Voronezh, Russia, October 19-22) will focus on “Digital Libraries: Advanced Methods and Technologies, Digital Collections”.  The preliminary program (in both English and Russian) has recently been published.

Discovery Services

Information discovery services have burst upon the industry and have attracted significant interest.  The NFAIS workshop, “Web Scale Information Discovery: The Opportunity, the Reality, the Future” (Philadelphia, September 30) is therefore extremely timely.  It will feature an overview of discovery services by Judy Luther, President, Informed Strategies, followed by descriptions of the services by the four major players in the market at present, after which representatives from several libraries will present their experiences.  Bonnie Lawlor, Executive Director of NFAIS will describe a Code of Practice for Discovery Services that is currently under development, and the day will conclude with the players discussing the future of these services.  Given the high interest in discovery services and a number of important issues surrounding them, this workshop promises to be highly relevant and worthwhile.  Those who cannot attend in person will be able to register for virtual attendance.


Are e-books becoming the normal way to read?  Find out at “Ebooks: The New Normal” on October 12.  Sponsored by Library Journal, this virtual conference will begin with a keynote panel talking about how libraries are leveraging the e-book opportunity.  Three concurrent tracks will focus on K-12 libraries, public libraries, and academic libraries.  An extensive list of speakers will be participating, and the day will close with a keynote address followed by a Pecha Kucha session (20 slides displayed for 20 seconds each).

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has organized a forum entitled “The E-Book Renaissance: Exploring the Possibilities Exposed by Digital Books”, to be held in Baltimore, MD on October 24-25.  The Forum “will probe the key issues surrounding e-books from a variety of industry, library, scholarly, and consumer viewpoints”.

Information Science

The annual Workshop on Human-Computer Interaction and Information Retrieval (HCIR 2011, October 20, Mountain View, CA) will be keynoted by Dr. Gary Marchionini, Dean of the School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  It will be held at Google’s headquarters (the “Googleplex”)—an excellent venue for a conference on this subject!  An “HCIR Challenge” will use the CiteSeer digital library of scientific literature, and participants (information retrieval system developers) will be given tasks to perform using it.  The tasks will be used to demonstrate the systems to conference attendees.  (Watch this blog for a report on this workshop—I hope to be there.)

The International Conference on Trends for Scientific Information Professionals (ICIC, October 23-26, Barcelona, Spain) is now in its 12th year.  Approximately 24 presentations will be on topics such as digital natives, social media data, open access repositories, and cross-collection searching.  In keeping with its antecedents, ICIC also has a large chemical information component.

The International Conference on Integrated Information (ICININFO-2011), an interdisciplinary conference covering research and development in information management and integration, will be held September 29-October 3, on the island of Kos, Greece.  Professor Amanda Spink, Chair in Information Science, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University, UK, has been invited to keynote the conference.

The ASIS&T Special Interest Group for Metrics (SIG/MET) has organized Metrics 2011, the Symposium on Informetric and Scientometric Research, to take place October 12, immediately following the ASIS&T meeting in New Orleans.  SIG/MET is a newly formed Special Interest Group (SIG), so this will be the first occurrence of this symposium.  The program is still under development.


The 10th International Conference on the World/European Horizons of Librarianship in the Digital Age, organized by the Serbian Library Association, will be at the National Library of Serbia in Belgrade on October 27-28.  Here are the main subjects to be discussed:

  • Digitization of cultural and scientific heritage,
  • Free access to information,
  • World and European guidelines for libraries, and
  • The library as a support to the information society.

The program will be available shortly.

Access 2011: The Library is Open will be in Vancouver, BC on October 19-22.  Andrea Reimer, a member of the Vancouver City Council; Jer Thorp, Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times, and visiting Professor in New York University’s ITP program; and Jon Beasley-Murray, researcher at the University of British Columbia will be the keynote speakers.  Access is Canada’s premier library technology conference.  Its first day will feature a “hackfest”, in which participants work together on projects of mutual interest, as well as a pre-conference session on “Open Source for Library Decision Makers”.

Library 2.011 is a worldwide virtual conference on November 2-3 on the future of libraries in the digital age.  A wide range of subject areas will be discussed, including the e-book revolution, open resources, digital literacy, and the library in new learning models.  It is sponsored by the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San Jose State University.  So far, 46 discussion proposals have been submitted and are available on the conference website for comments.

Metadata and Semantics

Here are several conferences dealing with metadata and semantics that are on the schedule:


O’Reilly Media has organized its third Tools of Change (TOC) Frankfurt conference on October 11 as part of the Frankfurt Academy series.  A long list of distinguished speakers has been recruited for this version of the popular TOC conference, and a new Supply Chain track focusing on e-book supply chains has been added to the program.

Outsell’s Signature Event, an invitation-only conference for top executives, will be in Phoenix, AZ on October 19-21.  Produced in collaboration with the Jordan Edmiston Group, Inc. (JEGI), its theme is “Finding Revenue in All the Right Places”.  Speakers include executives from several leading companies in the information industry, and as usual, a significant part of the conference is devoted to the annual outlook for the industry.

Knowledge Management

The 20th ACM Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM 2011, Glasgow, Scotland, October 24-28), a major conference on knowledge management, has three keynote speakers:

  • David Karger, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, whose topic is “Creating User Interfaces that Entice People to Manage Better Information”,
  • Justin Zobel, Professor of Computational Bioinformatics in the University of Melbourne’s Department of Computer Science & Software Engineering, who will be speaking on “Data, Health, and Algorithmics: Computational Challenges for Biomedicine”, and
  • Maurizio Lenzerini, Professor of Computer Science at Università di Roma La Sapienza, who will discuss “Ontology-based Data Management”.

An extensive collection of full and short papers complements the keynote addresses.

The 3rd International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management (I3CK 2011, Paris, France, October 26-29) is composed of 3 co-located conferences: International Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Information Retrieval (KDIR), International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development (KEOD), and International Conference on Knowledge Management and Information Sharing (KMIS).  They share keynote speakers, but each conference has its own program committee and speakers.

The 8th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning (ICICKM 2011) will be in Bangkok, Thailand, October 27-28.  All areas of knowledge management are represented on the program.

Society Meetings

Here are the society and association meetings scheduled in October:

Conference Dates Venue Sponsor-Organizer
159th ARL Membership Meeting: Expanding Capacity and Partnerships in the Digital World October 11-13 Washington, DC Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
ARMA 56th Conference & Expo October 17-19 Washington, DC ARMA International
AASL 15th National Conference & Exhibition October 27-30 Minneapolis, MN American Association of School Librarians (AASL)
AMIA 2011 Annual Symposium: Improving Health: Informatics and IT Changing the World October 22-26 Washington, DC American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
ARL-CNI Fall Forum: “21st-Century Collections and the Urgency of Collaborative Action” October 13-14 Washington, DC Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
ASIS&T 2011 Annual Meeting: “Bridging the Gulf: Communication and Information in Society, Technology, and Work” October 7-12 New Orleans, LA American Society for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T)
ISMTE 2011 European Conference October 18 Oxford, UK International Society of Managing and Technical Editors (ISMTE)
Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA) Conference 2011: Dynamic Leadership for LIS October 3-7 East London, South Africa Library and Information Association of South Africa (LIASA)
LITA National Forum 2011: Rivers of Data, Currents of Change September 29-October 2 St. Louis, MO Library and Information Technology Association (LITA)
SIPA Fall Publisher’s Roundtable Conference October 4 New York, NY Specialized Information Publishers Association (SIPA)
STM Frankfurt Conference: Biting into the Core: Challenges to peer review, business models and their ilk October 11 Frankfurt, Germany International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers (STM)


As usual, there are many more conferences scheduled than can be listed here, but they’re all on the ITI Conference Calendar.

Don Hawkins
Columnist, Information Today and Conference Circuit Blog Editor

3 Responses to “Fall Conference Season in Full Swing”

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