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Michelle Frisque's picture

Top Technology Trends Committee (Library and Information Technology Association) 2013, annual report

Top Technology Trends Committee (Library and Information Technology Association)
2013, annual report

DATE: 9/29/13
CHAIR: Nadaleen Tempelman-Kluit

In effort to both enliven, and test the durability of the brand, in 2013 the Top Technology Trends (TTT) Committee focused on experimented with format, structure, and tone. We did this by soliciting feedback from LITA, and encouraging it from the audience at ALA midwinter. Much of the feedback focused around the lack of diversity of the panelists-both gender and genre wise. Several people mentioned that there were rarely public librarians on the panel, and many others mentioned that, historically, there was a dearth of women on the panel.

Fortunately, we’d already addressed the gender inequality issue for the Midwinter TTT event, including several women panelists:

Moderator: Carl Grant

Speaker: Bess Sadler

Speaker: John Law

Speaker: Julie Speer

Speaker: MacKenzie Smith

Speaker: Roy Tennant

Speaker: Todd Carpenter


For midwinter, Carl Grant moderated, and the conversation centered around the topic: “If Data I Created Resides in a Cloud Environment, Is it Still Mine?"

Feedback from this event was mixed, with many people requesting we go back to many trends identified by panelists, rather than those centered around a specific topic.

Responding to this feedback, for ALA Annual, we went back to the format of panelists talking about a number of topics. We had several conference calls, one with the panelists, to discuss their trends and how they’d complement the others, and not overlap. We were also fortunate that Lorcan Dempsey agreed to moderate the whole conversation.  Our panel consisted of an equal number of men and women, and panelists were drawn from academic, public, and corporate environments:

Moderator: Lorcan Dempsey

Speaker: Char Booth

Speaker: Aimee Fifarek

Speaker: Sarah Houghton

Speaker: Brewster Kahle,

Speaker: Clifford Lynch

Speaker: Gary Price 


The annual event was well received, and twitter feedback included:

  • ·      "also a good sign! such good content coming so fast that it's hard to get it all! :) indication of an excellent #ala2013ttt
  • “good discussion on national security letters, prism, etc at #ala2013ttt "we're privileged. anonymous privacy is baked into who we[lib] are." 

There was a nice blog post summarizing the event as well, at:

Following Annual the committee debriefed and came up with the following best practices:

  • Diverse panelists both in terms of profession and gender
  • Invite a previous panelist to moderate a panel
  • Have a conference call with the panelists to discuss trends in advance and do some planning
  • Have one committee member be the liaison to a panelist, answering questions, etc.
  • Tweet about events, provide a hashtag, and encourage feedback for future events
  • Provide a less formal “panel” environment, with chairs in a semi-circle, and no tables, if possible

The committee also noted that it needs more support from LITA, in the form of:

  • A budget for handouts
  • Technology support for videotaping events
  • More support generally from LITA, in the form of more information sharing, deadline reminders, etc.