|April 2002||Volume 4 Number 2|
Kendall F. Wiggin
Connecticut State Librarian
A few weeks ago I attended Web-Wise 2002, a conference on libraries and museums in the digital world, at Johns Hopkins University. The Institute of Library and Museum Services and Johns Hopkins sponsored this thought provoking conference. This was my third trip to Web-Wise and again this year I came away inspired, but also very aware of how much I don't know. Sitting in a classic lecture hall with steep rows of seats rising upward, I listened to speakers and panelists discussing topics and using a vocabulary that hadn't even been invented when I sat in lecture halls as a library school student.
We all know that the landscape of libraries, museums and archives (or any profession for that matter) is changing rapidly. Conferences and other continuing education opportunities abound to help us keep up on the latest developments. However, just keeping up with developments in our respective fields is no longer enough. Libraries, museums and archives are part of a larger community. Our services are not delivered in isolation from the latest research in reading and learning theories or developments in child health and development to name just a few. iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library, can be an important professional development tool and it's available at most of our desktops. As a professional development resource it crosses many disciplines and is available when you need it.
We have been promoting the use of iCONN far and wide (with good results), but how many of us are using it as our personal professional development resource? When I got back to my hotel room the first night of the Web-Wise conference, I logged into iCONN (proving to myself that it truly does work outside of Connecticut) and searched for terms like XML, Open Archives, and Flash 5. What I was able to find made me feel a little smarter, at least until the next day's program. So no matter what your field or level of knowledge, give iCONN a try next time one of your colleagues says "surely you're familiar with ... ."
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