May 19. The largest Innovative Users Group (IUG) meeting in its seven-year history took place April 24 - 27, 1999 in Oakland, California. More than a thousand Innovative librarians were present to attend sessions and meet with each other and Innovative staff.
Organized by IUG, the four-day event began with keynote speaker John Gage, one of the founders of Sun Microsystems, and its Chief Researcher and Director of Science.
"Revolutions in technology mean we're going to have to re-think what it means to be a community," Gage said. "We're going to have to re-think what it means to be networked; we're going to have to re-think what libraries are and what they do."
Gage was followed by John Loether, Compaq's Senior Technology Consultant, who noted, "There's a constant increase in information velocity. What should it do for librarians? Help people find information—faster."
Over 120 sessions were held throughout the conference, ranging from topics of general interest to specialized presentations, given by partner libraries and Innovative staff, both separately and in tandem. All of the sessions were well-attended-in some cases with standing room only, including talks on circulation profiling, creating review lists and statistical reports, public library consortia, authority control, Millennium Circulation, and integration of Web pages, Web OPACs, and Web Access Management. In addition, the conference featured a demonstration room where users could experience Millennium hands-on, email workstations, demonstrations of related vendors' products, "birds-of-a-feather" meetings for users with specific interests, collections, and concerns, and a new job placement center.
Fred Gertler, Chair of the IUG, was enthusiastic about how the conference went. "As the Innovative community gets larger and more diffuse, the opportunities for resource and information sharing among Innovative libraries increase with each successive IUG conference. The scope of this year's meeting was wide: we were able to host librarians from hundreds of libraries on four continents and offer more than 120 sessions. It was extremely well-received."
Jerry Kline, Innovative's CEO and President, commented, "Of all the conferences that Innovative attends, the IUG meeting is the most important. When our partners come together and interact with us in a concentrated forum, there are very dynamic results."
The next IUG annual meeting will be held in Philadelphia from April 29-May 2, 2000.