Today’s Cub Reporter is Katie Dunneback. She is a librarian by day and romance reader and writer, under a pseudonym, by night. She’s long been interested in popular publishing and the interaction between publishing and libraries, especially when it comes to ebooks.
For those unfamiliar with the O’Reilly Tools of Change Conference, it “connects the people, companies, and organizations asking and answering the questions that will define the future of publishing.” This year’s conference was the fifth one and my first. I had heard about it through my contacts in publishing the last couple of years, and the conversations coming out of last year’s conference made an impact on me. I said a number of times on Twitter since the 2010 conference that it would be nice, an understatement, to see more librarians at conferences such as this as libraries are part of the publishing ecosystem. I got my wish when I was asked to represent libraries on a panel with a publishing representative and a technology representative to discuss the issue of lending ebooks in libraries.
This year’s conference had a bit of a split personality with sessions which focused on readers and consumers of publishing on one hand and the technologies behind publishing on the other. The benefit of attending a conference such as this though, is having hundreds of highly intelligent people in one place where we can merge discussions of these two prongs of the future of publishing.
Highlights of this conference, for me, were listening to opening keynote speakers Margaret Atwood and Theodore Gray, attending a session and afternoon keynote specifically addressing issues of
accessibility in the age of digital publishing, hearing so many discussions of how the reader, the end customer, impacts the industry, hearing about the many different ways to make a title more
“discoverable” to readers which is a specialty of mine as a librarian, and meeting so many people I know on Twitter in person finally as well as making a raft of new friends.
If you work in publishing or in a publishing-related industry, I would highly recommend attending a conference like Tools of Change as it gives you an opportunity to get a well-rounded view of the industry both on a global level as well as an industry level. I look forward to seeing who is brought together for next year’s conference and am fervently hoping I can attend it!
Bottom Line: Tomorrow is the last day to donate a prize to the Anniversary Bash to be held next week. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.