Before getting into the current issue's contents, I'd like to make a pitch for next month's Internet at Schools West conference in Monterey, Calif. The program features an opening keynote address we're sharing with attendees of the concurrent and co-located Internet Librarian conference: J.A. Jance, popular mystery writer and M.L.S. and former school librarian, will talk about where she gets ideas for her books, how she incorporates new technologies such as blogs into her material, and how she stays on top of what people want to read. We'll also have Lesley Farmer, on Visual Literacy in the Digital World; Jayne Hitchcock of WHOA (Working to Halt Online Abuse) on Online Bullies, Predators, and Stalkers; Mary Ann Bell on Good and Bad Behavior with Technology; and a lot more.
We've also instituted an excellent group pricing plan, so that any two or more of you from the same organization or institution who register together can do so at a substantially reduced rate, whether for the 2-day Internet@Schools conference or for both that and the 3-day Internet Librarian conference. I would urge you to consider the latter, as there's a lot of synergy between the two events. Check online at http://www.infotoday.com/Internet@Schools/ or call the Registration Desk (609/654-6266) for more on the group discounts.
School's In, and the Library Is At the Center
Now, for this "school's in" issue of MMIS, Erika Thickman Miller leads off with a primer on Internet2, what it means for school librarians, and how you can "get into it," which you certainly should. Find out about the giant boost I2 brings to videoconferencing, interactive collaboration, and, speaking to the core function of the school media center, access to resources in Erika's Internet2, K-12, and Librarians feature on page 10.
Barbara Fiehn, who last year put a magnifying glass to the sector of the library automation industry that's active in K-12 through a two-part series, is once again touching base with those companies and several new ones. She has found out what's new and compelling in the market in general and in their offerings in particular. (Just as we went to press, we got the news of Follett's acquisition of the Sagebrush library automation products, so check our online story Follett Acquires Sagebrush Corporation's Library Automation Business for that news.) In Library Automation in K-12, a 2006 Update, Part 1, on page 27, she recounts what she learned from Book Systems, Library Soft, Surpass, Innovative Interfaces, Sagebrush (but, see above), and TLC.
There's more, including Robert Congleton's database news feature on page 18. So dive in!
David Hoffman, Editor