I just returned from the Special Libraries Association (SLA) conference in Denver. The SLA is an (inter-) national association for librarians working in less-traditional settings (think corporate, news, competitive intelligence, etc). I’ll blog more about in the next couple days, but for now …
The conference included some highlights, such as an Al Gore as keynote discussing our current inability to use information wisely in decision making, Michael Tiemann from redhat making some interesting points about a copyright and patent system gone awry, and some great information about microformats and how they’ll enable information sharing and searching for social networks.

With the good you sometimes have to take the bad. In the same session as the microformats (“Mining Social Neworking Sites: Rich Resources Lie in Wait for Those Who Dig”), I was disappointed to hear Regina Avila, assistant library director tell of the Denver Post library’s “innovative” mining of social network sites. They use these sites to dig up information on minors to help reporters who are researching news stories. The actually mining doesn’t bother me– I’m a former reporter myself and know you gotta get sources — it’s the idea that they are doing this and obviously haven’t considered the ramifications (and potential chilling effect) this practice could have at a time when lawmakers, educators, and parents are trying to limit access to these sites. This is one you’ll hear more about from me later.

By the way, we’re sorry for the posting lag. It’s graduation week (actually graduation day!) for Kathleen and I. The past couple weeks have flown by with little to show on the blog. I’m sure we’ll make up for that soon.

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