User groups for Innovative and Ex Libris hosted their annual North American conferences earlier this month; the Innovative Users Group (IUG) met in Phoenix, Arizona, while the Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA) gathered in Los Angeles, California.
More than 1,200 Innovative and Ex Libris staff and software users gathered to participate in 271 total sessions presented by library staff and Innovative and Ex Libris teams.
At the IUG conference, following a day of pre-conference training sessions, IUG Chair Elect Jeffrey Campbell from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, opened the users conference and shared a video welcome by IUG Chair Wes Osborn, Executive Director at the Central Library Consortium. Innovative's Vice President and Executive Library Advocate and Strategist Tom Jacobson then presented Innovative's vision for library solutions. Futurist Anat Baron presented the keynote talk about the next great transformation, and what we can expect of the technologies that are still in their infancy. She said we can expect great change to come from unexpected places, and to stay optimistic about the future.
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Allen Jones of The New School and Chair of the ELUNA Steering Committee, set the stage for the ELUNA annual conference by welcoming everyone and highlighting the importance of the community sharing knowledge and ideas. Clarivate Senior Vice President and General Manager Yariv Kursh followed Jones' opening remarks by co-presenting with Vice President of Product Management Eyal Kirshner. The two discussed the future of libraries in the new era of Artificial Intelligence (AI), where Kursh encouraged libraries to think about how they can proactively engage every user and constantly innovate in a changing world.
Innovative announced product developments for library solutions, including new libraries that have launched LX Starter, Vega Promote Web for website building, new designs for the Vega Discover Homepage, and the upcoming Vega Discover kids' catalog!
The IUG conference included informal time for connecting at an evening reception that featured axe throwing, air hockey, a doughnut sundae bar, and a visit from local wildlife, Sophie the mini burro.
To close out the ELUNA conference, Marshall Breeding, creator and editor of Library Technology Guides, addressed the crowd at ELUNA and discussed the themes he'd observed over the course of the conference – community, networking, strategy, Linked Data, AI, and product roadmaps. The final session also included a brief cameo from Bar Veinstein, President of Academia & Government at Clarivate.
To learn more about joining a users group, visit the Innovative Users Group website or the Ex Libris Users of North America website. For Ex Libris users who weren't able to attend the ELUNA conference in person, there is an upcoming Annual Meeting Online Highlights Session consisting of four 3-hour events, starting on May 30.