Annual International Course and Conference


Dubrovnik and Mljet, Croatia

2-7 June 2008

Inter-University Centre ( )

Don Ivana Bulica 4, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia, and

Hotel Odisej, island Mljet, Pomena, Croatia (

Web site:


The annual international conference and course Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA) addresses the changing and challenging environment for libraries and information systems and services in the digital world. Since its inception in 2000, LIDA has emphasized the examination of contemporary problems, intriguing advances, innovative approaches and solutions. Each year a different and ‘hot’ theme is addressed, divided in two parts; the first part covers research and development and the second part addresses advances in applications and practice. LIDA brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and developers from all over the world in a forum for personal exchanges, discussions, and learning, made easier by being held in memorable locations.


For papers and workshops: 15 January 2008. Acceptance by 15 February 2008.

For demonstrations and posters: 1 February 2008. Acceptance by 1 March 2008.

Final submission for all accepted papers and posters: 15 March 2008.

Themes LIDA 2008

Part I: Education and training in digital libraries

In a relatively short period of time, spanning less than two decades or so, digital libraries became a global phenomenon, characterized by an accelerated, explosive growth. Digital libraries are a subject of great many activities worldwide. These include diverse practical applications, research and development (R&D) on many fronts, continuing innovation, policy formulations, management changes, and more. A number of fields are involved, among the most prominent being information science, librarianship, and computer science.

Considerable and rapidly growing amounts of funds are spent on practical applications in building and operating a variety of digital library collections, components and service and on R&D in digital libraries. Many commercial enterprises are providing digital resources and software for digital libraries. This all creates demands for well educated and trained professionals in these areas.

However, the education and training for digital libraries is most often based on apprentiship and practical courses and conferences without receiving the same attention (and resources) of digital libraries applications and other areas mentioned. A number of institutions are teaching digital libraries modules and courses, or beginning to, and struggling with this relatively new and volatile educational area. Many practitioners are finding it hard to learn more and to keep up.

The goal of the first part of LIDA 2008 is to explore efforts, concepts and ideas related to education and training of professionals, dealing with the academic quality standards and practical training requirements for digital libraries and in variety of fields and contexts related to knowledge, values and skills needed for digital librarians. The general aim is to help further development of current efforts, as well as development of frameworks within which diverse efforts could be compared, evaluated, and improved.

Contributions are invited covering the following topics (types described below):

knowledge, values and skills of the digital librarian to be reflected in educational offerings
conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches to digital library education
instructional design, development, and evaluation of programs of study and specialization for digital librarians in a variety of schools and on different levels – existing and proposed
convergence and place of digital library education in broader curricula of library and information science, computer science, and other fields; impact of digital library education on other parts of the curriculum
examples of good practices of specific courses (or sequence of courses)and programs related to various aspects of digital libraries and digital library technology; examples of various modes of delivery
continuing education and training in digital libraries oriented toward practicing professionals
student evaluation of digital library education, as well as expectations and perceptions of professionals in continuing education courses and efforts
international aspects and cooperative opportunities in digital library education
banchmarking and evaluation of educational and training programs in digital libraries
cultural and social elements in digital library education.

Part II: Reference in digital environments

As access to electronic information through library Web pages has proliferated in recent years, an increasing number of libraries have added digital reference assistance to their list of user services. E-mail reference has become an expected venue for asking reference questions, having been included among the suite of information services for over 20 years. Live chat reference services are relatively new-comers, but have already been successfully operating for over 10 years. Information seekers are increasingly turning to virtual reference (also known as digital reference) for the anonymity and convenience of remote access and for the extended hours of operation, since many services operate 24/7/365. An increasing number of libraries and information centers are now experimenting with Instant Messaging, Text Messaging (SMS), and other emerging modes for offering reference services to increasingly tech savvy library users. Web 2.0 applications are opening new vistas for digital library services including reference blogs and wikis. Digital reference desks are appearing in virtual worlds such as Second Life. Although the proliferation of these alternative methods for service delivery highlights the need for research focused on understanding users and staff behavior and impact on issues of satisfaction and success, their assessment poses new challenges for researchers.

The goal of the second part of LIDA 2008 is to explore the totality of the virtual reference environment (including live chat, e-mail, IM, and Web 2.0 reference initiatives) and its relationship to digital libraries. Special attention will be on the evaluation of virtual reference services from a variety of research perspectives and approaches. The general aim is to concentrate on scholarship that increases our understanding of the needs, interests, and experiences of users as well as librarians/information providers in the context of virtual reference.

Invited are contributions (types described below) covering the following topics:

evaluation of various modes of digital library services
application of theories and models in study of users and use of virtual reference
application of theories and user information needs assessments for design and development of digital reference systems
assessment of the decision making process for users who choose virtual reference over other modes (e.g., face-to-face, phone)
advantages and disadvantages of different virtual reference modes
the role of knowledge databases in digital reference
sustainability and cost-effectiveness of virtual reference services
evaluation of virtual reference consortia and comparison of service models
benchmarking service quality and development of evaluation standards in virtual reference
evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of different virtual reference modes
assessment of the quality of interpersonal communication in virtual reference
studies of accuracy and efficiency in virtual reference
explorations of question negotiation in virtual environments
issues in archiving digital reference questions.

Types of contributions

Invited are the following types of contributions:

Papers: research studies and reports on practices and advances that will be presented at the conference and included on the conference Web site. Papers of up to 4000 words in length should be submitted, following the American Psychological Association (APA) style, followed, among others, by the Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (JASIST) and Information Processing & Management (IP&M). The papers will be refereed. All accepted contributions will be published in on-line proceedings, as well as provided in the conference kit.
Posters: short graphic presentations on research, studies, advances, examples, practices, or preliminary work that will be presented in a special poster session. Awards will be given for Best Poster and Best Student Poster. Proposals for posters should be submitted as a short, one or two- page paper.
Demonstrations: live examples of working projects, services, interfaces, commercial products, or developments-in-progress that will be presented during the conference in specialized facilities or presented in special demonstration sessions. These should involve some aspect of users and use. Proposals for demonstration should provide short description and a URL address, if available.
Workshops: two to four-hour sessions that will be tutorial and educational in nature. Workshops will be presented before and after the main part of the conference and will require separate fees, to be shared with workshop organizers. Proposals for workshops should include a short description, with indication of level and potential audience.
PhD Forum: short presentations by PhD students, particularly as related to their dissertation, in a session organized by the European Chapter of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (EC/ASIST); help and responses by a panel of educators.

Submissions should be sent in electronic format (as an email attachment) to Prof. Tatjana Aparac at Inquires can also be addressed to the Co-Chair of the conference Prof. Tefko Saracevic and Program Chairs (for Part I Prof. Jeffrey Pomerantz and Prof. Anna Maria Tammaro

. and for Part II Prof. Marie L. Radford). Full contact information is provided below. All submissions will be refereed.


For papers and workshops: 15 January 2008. Acceptance by 15 February 2008.

For demonstrations and posters: 1 February 2008. Acceptance by 1 March 2008.

Final submission for all accepted papers and posters: 15 March 2008.

Invitation to institutions

We are inviting libraries, information agencies, professional organizations, publishers, and service providers to consider participation at LIDA by providing a demonstration, workshop, or exhibit about their products, services or advances, or by presenting a paper or poster about their activities, as related to themes. Sponsorship of an event is also invited. Institutions can benefit as well: we will provide course materials to participants so that they can communicate and transfer topics of interest to their institution. Thus, we are organizing LIDA to reach a wider audience.

Conference contact information

Course co-directors:


Department of Information Sciences

Faculty of Philosophy; J.J. Strossmayer University

31000 Osijek, Croatia

(contact for general correspondence)

School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ, 08901 USA

Program chairs:

For Part I:


School of Information and Library Science

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3360, USA



Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dello Spettacolo

Sezione di Beni Librari

University of Parma

43100 Parma, Italy
For Part II:


School of Communication, Information and Library Studies; Rutgers University

New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA

Organizing chairs:

Organizing committee:


Department of Information Sciences

Faculty of Philosophy; J.J. Strossmayer University

31000 Osijek, Croatia
Local organizing committee:


Dubrovnik Libraries

20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia


The first part of LIDA 2008 will be held in Dubrovnik and for the second part the conference will move to island Mljet, less than a two-hour ride from Dubrovnik on a fast catamaran. Pre-conference workshops are planned for 26 May 2008 in Dubrovnik and post-conference workshops for 31 May 2008 on Mljet.

Dubrovnik, Croatia is recognized as one of the World Cultural Heritage sites by UNESCO. It is a walled city, preserved as it existed in medieval times. A beautiful natural location on the Adriatic Sea, a lavish architecture of squares, palaces, and churches, small, intriguing hill-hugging streets, pedestrian-only traffic within the walls, outings to the enchanting near-by islands – all these and more combine to make Dubrovnik one of the most popular destinations in Europe. For Croatia see and for Dubrovnik at

Mljet is one of the most enchanting islands in the Adriatic, a sea that abounds with beautiful islands to start with. Hotel Odisej ( is in a small harbor. Near the hotel is the entrance to Mljet National Park ( with lush vegetation surrounding three inland lakes, a small island with a monastery in the middle lake, paths for walking, and spots for swimming in the blue and green sea..

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