Code4Lib Conference 2014 Scholarship Brief Report

Arie Nugraha University of Indonesia

For me, the Code4Lib Conference 2014 was not only the first conference that I’ve attended abroad, but also my gateway for my first step in the United States. First I want to say, a big thank you to all scholarship sponsors, Council on Library and Information Resources/Digital Library Federation, EBSCO, ProQuest and also Sumana Harihareswara, without their generous sponsorship, it would have been impossible for me to come to Code4Lib Conference 2014.

Two words are enough to express my feeling toward the conference, unbelievable and amazing. Unbelievable because I CAN come to this conference, and amazing because I’ve been surrounded by many great people who share their amazing knowledge and skill, from libraries, archives and museums, that I’ve never seen before in my country Indonesia. What I’ve experienced in Code4lib Conference 2014 is an overwhelming new knowledge, that motivates me to always learn new library related technologies, and also the most important thing is, I met with great people with great hospitality. Code4Lib Conference hospitality makes me feel that I’m not an alien among conference attendees, since I’m coming from Indonesia, a country far away from The United States.

I learned many things from this conference. From this conference I know that we’ve come to the era where knowledge discovery has become more and more important to help library users to find what they need. APIs have become more and more important to learn and develop, they become standard if you intend to collaborate with other softwares. Web standards such as RDF, JSON, XML, YAML, etc. are playing a vital role when we talk about APIs, the choices that fall to us, and that is the beauty of open source and open standards, IMO. I also found that open source data visualization tools such as D3.js are also important to grasp, to create a pure HTML5 visualization as we move away from proprietary standards such as Flash. HTML5 and Javascript, combined with an API and also backend frameworks such as Rails and Django are once again proving that open source and open standards are the solid foundation of Web.

Talking about future proof library, the tour to The Hunt Library made me jealous of NCSU. The facilities provided are awesome, from The BookBot, Game Room, Maker Room, Learning Commons and simulation room. I think, the concept of colors in The Hunt Library is brilliant, stairs are painted in yellow to encourage users using stairs instead of elevator, and that happened to me!

Matt Miller’s presentation about visualizing library resources as a network really awed me on how powerful visualization can be. I am also very inspired by Bess Sadler’s presentation, about sustaining open source projects through training, because of what she said actually happened in SLiMS ILS open source project, the project that I am a part of. The Lightning Talks are cool too, from the first day to the last day, I can’t move my eye from each presenter, because they are all very exciting to watch. Five minutes for each presentation and it takes creativity to create a concise but powerful presentation, and I’m proud to have been one of the Lightning Talk presenters at Code4Lib 2014. Last but not least the closing keynote interview with Valerie Aurora on Ada initiative, gives me courage to always be confident around people with higher skill, and not affected by “Imposter Syndrome”.

APIs, Javascript, Data Visualization, and Resource Discovery are the main ideas that I take away from Code4Lib 2014, and all of them will be my main consideration for my existing and future open source projects. This conference really opens my eyes of how librarians can be! Salute and thank you to all the committees and volunteers, they did a very great job making this conference run well. Some problems happened such as the slow Internet connection, but I think the blame goes to the hotel which didn’t prepare well, maybe in the next conference, we must prepare a backup plan to avoid this kind of problem. Thank you for this great opportunity Code4Lib 2014, and hopefully I can attend the future Code4Lib conferences. I miss the Code4Lib conference already right now.