For some time now I’ve been concerned about the relatively narrow focus of the London Library RFID conference. To be honest was never sure why RFID was seen as something ‘separate’ from other aspects of library automation. I have even wondered at times if the existence of the conference might in part be responsible for the disconnect between library management systems and RFID based solutions that appears to exist in some librarians’ minds.
In reality RFID applications generally don’t exist in isolation but are inextricably linked with the LMS/ILS – not always in as integrated a manner as we might hope – but reliant to a very large degree on each other.
So why have different events for management systems and RFID solutions?
Then there are the new mobile technologies – NFC equipped smartphones and tablets bring new apps and location-aware services into our increasingly mobile lives. How do they fit into the bigger automation picture?
So when Andy Walsh and I followed the R2 conference on Twitter last year we made contact about the possibility of running something similar in the UK. Andy – being a far more industrious person than I put in a prodigious amount of effort into venues and programmes and announced that a new event – i2c2 – would take place in Manchester from 6th-7th March 2014.
I’m delighted to have been asked to help promote the event – and to try and persuade the RFID industry to do likewise. The aim of the conference is to encourage innovation, inspiration and creativity in libraries. My hope is that this won’t just apply to the many librarians that will be attending – but also to the suppliers that will hopefully help to make it possible. Closer contact between technology suppliers is as essential as between them and their clients.
So this year there will not be a CILIP RFID in Libraries conference in November. Save your pennies to get to Manchester in March 2014 instead!