IT Tralee hosts the Irish Innovative User Group Conference

IT Tralee hosts the Irish Innovative User Group Conference 2011 The Institute of Technology Tralee hosted this year’s Irish Innovative User Group Conference on Thursday 30th June to Friday 1st July. This conference is held annually and is hosted at different venues throughout the country. 2011 was the turn of IT Tralee and with over 70 delegates in attendance, the event was both informative and thought provoking, focusing on how library services can be best maximised through co-operation and innovation.

Key Note speakers included Dr. Philip Cohen, Head of Library Services at Dublin Institute of Technology and John Naughton, who is Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University as well as the London Observer’s Internet Correspondent.  John was born in Ireland and attended the Green in Tralee for a number of years. John drew on research for his forthcoming book ‘From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: What You Really Need to Know About The Internet’, to deliver a fascinating overview of how the Internet has developed over the last 20 years and the huge capacity it has to change the media and information industries.

In welcoming delegates Pat Doherty, Librarian at the IT Tralee expressed his thanks to those who were presenting papers and those in attendance for participating in the two day event. Part of the programme saw conference delegates visit the Library and Information Resource Centre (LIRC) on the North Campus which was developed at a cost of over €10 million. Pat also outlined the appropriateness of the IT Tralee in hosting the event given the extensive partnerships the ITT has engaged with as part of the Shannon Consortium, where there is significant focus on sharing library resources in addition to shared training of library personnel. He also outlined that the Institute has a pro-active policy in terms of encouraging and supporting students in their use of traditional library resources in partnership with new technologies. “Use of both traditional material and accessing information and resource material using the internet, in additional to using social media to share views and resources is becoming the norm with the learners of today. Use of technologies offers excellent flexibility for the learner, with students now having the option of accessing significant amounts of material on-line. This requires libraries to have the information available for our clients in the format they require and this will present opportunities and challenges for our profession over the coming years.” 

Terry Kendrick, who is MBA Programme Director in the University of East Anglia, focused on the importance of marketing the use of traditional library resources, particularly in a world where Google and other Internet providers offer students access to a wide range of free online information sources.  Cathal McCauley, (Librarian, NUI Maynooth) outlined how some libraries have developed areas such as blogs, Twitter and Facebook to promote their services.
Plans are currently underway by the IT Tralee library team to market their services using various social tools.

Other speakers at the conference included Terry O’Brien and David Kane, Waterford IT;   Dr Tom Farrelly, Tony Murphy and Catherine Murray, IT Tralee; Charles Montague and Christoph Schmidt-Supprian, Trinity College Dublin and Graham Woodruff, Innovative Interfaces Inc.