The 5th Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) Conference was held February 1–3, 2010, in Austin, TX. This conference is planned by academic librarians to discuss issues concerning electronic resources and to share best practices.
The 350 attendees from 40 states and six countries were primarily from the academic library community (77%) with 16% representing the information industry and the remainder from libraries in government agencies, institutions, and corporations. Registration is capped to maintain the collegial atmosphere of the conference and to facilitate networking and discussion. Vendors from the information content and services industry provide some funding for the conference to defray expenses and keep the registration fee as low as possible, compared with other conferences. The only sales opportunity is the two-hour Sponsors’ Reception, hosted by the vendors, on Monday evening.
Prevalent themes of this year’s conference were:
- ways of dealing with library budget reductions (a relatively new experience for academic librarians)
- using electronic resources usage statistics to evaluate the collections and determine cancellations,
- creation and maintenance of digital collections with local content (such as historical documents, maps, artifacts, and art objects),
- standards for data and system interfaces, and
- technology trends such as electronic books (e-books), mobile access devices, web-scale discovery, and federated search
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